coriander, caraway,nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, milfoil and yarrow.
Mixtures of such herbs werecalled ‘gruit’ and with local variations were incorporated into beers to add flavorand improve keeping qualities (Forget, 1988). Widespread use of hops began inGermany and spread throughout Europe. Not only did it alter the flavor of beerflavor but it also improved shelf life of weaker beers since it was no longernecessary to rely entirely on the anti-microbial qualities of ethanol. Thearrival of hops in the United Kingdom required distinguishing between ale andbeer. When commercial and domestic brewing were at equal operations, theproduct of the town brewery was named beer and the home brewed material as ale.”Ale was used to describe the product made from the first strong worts, whereasthe term beer derived from subsequent weaker worts.” (Boulton et al) There wasresistance to the use of hops, primarily because of different interests.
Thus,ales and gruit all had good commercial reasons to discourage production ofhopped beers. Ultimately, this attitude was unsuccessful. In response to publicdemand the use of hops became the norm. (Boulton et al) Theorigins of the use of bottom fermentation to produce lager beers are also unknown.Corran (1975) suggests that “it probably began in Bavarian monastic.” Lagerbrewing requires low temperatures, mostly found in continental Europe duringthe winter.
Without refrigeration, therequirement of low temperatures made bottom fermentation a seasonal activity. “Thus,in Bavaria, bottom fermentation was discontinued during the summer months andtop-fermented beers using higher temperatures were produced instead.” (Corran,1975).
The preponderance of ale production in the United Kingdom can beattributed directly to the effects of the Gulf Stream. According to Miller(1990), in 1842 a Bavarian monk smuggled the first bottom-fermenting yeast intoBohemia and thereby laid the foundation for the production of lager beer in theCzech Republic.