It's difficult to decide whether the Anglophile more strongly associates the British with tea drinking or beer drinking. Tea by day, beer by night, right? (Or some may declare, "Scotch whisky by night.") However, as is so often the case with stereotypes, this association is incorrect, for British drinking habits have changed.
TEA VS. COFFEE
Nowadays, Brits choose coffee more often than tea. (So saith the UK Tea Council). Actually, this trend reflects the British returning to their roots. In the 17th Century, traders of Asian goods introduced both tea and coffee to the British Isles, but initially, residents warmed up only to coffee. Indeed, in the 17th and 18th Centuries, England was a veritable hotbed of coffeehouse culture! In the 1600s, for a penny, gents could buy a cup of coffee and entrance to a coffeehouse, where they chugged caffeine and yakked about politics, art, literature, and local gossip. (The Queen's Lane coffeehouse in Oxford, dating back to 1654, still exists!) Not until a hundred or more years later did tea gain its immense popularity in Britain, a trend that held sway until recent years when the public regained its taste for java. For more about British tea, click HERE.
BEER VS. SPIRITS
Everything is topsy-turvy nowadays. Statistics provided by the research group Vinexpo show that in recent years, Brit beer consumption has waned while its wine consumption has grown. And now the #1 spirit of choice for the British is vodka rather than their traditional Scotch whisky!
(Note: American and Irish spelling is "whiskey"; British/Scottish spelling is "whisky.")
We Anglophiles do understand that British tastes have changed and that the British now consume tea, coffee, beer, whisky, and vodka, all with gusto. However, it should be noted that if one administers a word-association test to an Anglophile, we Anglophiles will, undoubtedly, continue to associate the words "beer" and "tea" with the word "Britain." (Anglophiles are incorrigible, aren't they?)
Have a British beer you love that's not on the list?
Please email me the name of the beer!
Beer and Whisky Terminology
beer: A drink made from malted cereal grains and hops that is allowed to ferment. There are numerous types of beers (e.g., ale, lager, porter, stout), each made by a different process.
ale: A rapidly fermented beer that is made from malt and hops. There are various types of ales (e.g., bitter, mild, brown, pale, Indian pale, and old ale), and they tend to have robust flavors and a stronger alcohol content than lager beers. Ales are typically the beer of choice for Brits.
bitter ale: A type of ale that is made from hops, which imparts a dry, bitter taste to the beer.
mild ale: A flavorful ale that has a low alcohol content.
brown ale: An ale with a strong alcohol content, dark color, and robust flavor that is malty and somewhat sweet.
pale ale: A dry, crisp, slightly sweet ale. Some of Britain's best beers are pale ales.
Indian pale ale: A dry, strong, hoppy ale.
lager: A slowly fermented beer that matures in cold storage. Lagers tend to taste crisp and light and have a lower alcohol content than ales. Lagers are consumed in the States far more than in Britain.
stout: An ale that is dark (almost black) colored and tastes quite bitter yet fruity. Both Irish and English styles exist.
porter: A type of beer common in Britain in the 18th and 19th Centuries. The beer is heavy, dark in color, bitter, but lighter in flavor than a stout.
shandy: beer mixed with a carbonated citrus drink, such as carbonated lemonade.
snakebite: A lager beer mixed with cider.
whisky: A distilled alcohol beverage made from fermented barley, rye, wheat, or corn. (Scottish whisky is distilled twice; Irish whisky is distilled three times, making it the finer, more expensive product.)
American pint: 16 U.S. fluid ounces (473 milliliters).
imperial pint: 20 imperial fluid ounces (568 milliliters). Equals approximately 1.20 U.S. pints.
Which British brewery is oldest? ANSWER
The British also consume an array of non-alcoholic drinks, other than tea and coffee. On this side of the pond, the flavorings for many of these drinks sound quite exotic--elderflower, dandelion, burdock--they sound healthful too! And the beverages manufactured in the UK are sweetened with sugar rather than with the less healthy high fructose corn syrup, which we commonly use here in the States.
Here is a list of the most common non-alcoholic drinks that Britons guzzle....
GO TO: HOMEPAGE WHAT’S AN ANGLOPHILE? ABOUT BRITISH BOOKS BRITISH CARS BRITISH CLOTHING BRITISH DRINKS BRITISH FOOD BRITISH HOMES BRITISH MOVIES BRITISH MUSIC BRITISH NEWSPAPERS BRITISH RADIO STATIONS TEA CUSTOMS MAPS THE ROYALS BRITAIN IN YOUR TOWN VISIT BRITAIN CHAT FORUM CONTESTS BRIT BLOG TODAY AU DESIGN SHOPPE AU MARKET