Today’s the day that marks the end of a month of total abstinence from all alcoholic beverages; but also the beginning of self-awareness and understanding what the health benefits of cutting down on the consumption of alcohol has on the body and mind. I, myself, had also noticed a difference as I took part in Dry January: my sleeping pattern had improved, my mood shifted from negative to positive and my mind went from overanalysing and hazy to thinking sharp and clearly.
If you are choosing to continue a life without alcohol, or just going to continue to cut down, then I wish you the very best and good health!
On today’s Midweek Drink, I have chosen a lager. A lager that has a history dating back to the Medieval Period which has been revived in the 21st Century by two men in South Bermondsey, London.
A brief history on Small Beer & Small Beer Brew Co.
Before I go into explaining how and why Small beer has made a comeback, I would like to just give you a quick history lesson of how it began.
The term ‘Small beer’ originates from Medieval Europe that means ‘small lager’ or ‘small ale’ containing little alcohol (ranging from 0.8% to 2.8%). It was known to be unfiltered, brewed by using oats and was much cheaper than beer with higher alcohol content. During the 18th Century, it was recommended that workers, especially heavy-work labourers, should be allowed to consume small beers because of its nutritional benefits, cleaner and safer to drink than water and also to remain hydrated during work.
Fast forward to the 21st Century, and we can see that this tradition of beer making continued thanks to these two men: Felix James and James Grundy. Felix, a man with a passion for food and drink and the knowledge of yeast culture, and James, who has a knowledge on wine and a passion for beer, both worked together at Sipsmith and decided it was time for them to use their knowledge on alcohol and brew their own beer. With this great combination of the duo, like peanut butter and jelly or the fusion process in Dragonball Z (my inner child came up with the latter), they managed to establish their own brewery in 2017 called Small Beer Brew Co. and produce two types of beer: lager and dark lager.
Three senses and a beverage
The ingredients used are: water, malted barley, oats, hops and yeast. It has an alcohol content of 2.1% and is vegan and vegetarian friendly.
The lager comes in a 330ml bottle, with an illustrated label of a hand with the index finger and thumb (credit to Felix James for his awesome depiction of his own hand) almost touching each other with the words ‘SMALL BEER’ between the gap. It has slight misty gold colour, a fantastic white frothy head and moderate carbonation. For the taste, it has a great balance of malts and hops that is met with a pleasantly bitter yet refreshing aftertaste. And by the way, for its aroma you can really notice the oats that are used in this lager, too. This can also be enjoyed with an Indian cuisine as the guys at Small Beer Brew Co. recommend. Believe me, it is worth trying.