Martyn Cornell Tackles Strong Ale
On Tuesday, Martyn Cornell published an excellent article in which he dives into the differences between old ale and barleywine, and after a bit of a foray into the history of mild ale and the historical difference between "ale" and "beer", finally comes to an interesting conclusing. I won't spoil it for you, though. Go and read his article, because he's a great writer and you shouldn't pass him up.
Mr. Cornell's articles frequently include some great examples of old advertisements, and my favorite in this one is the ad for Smith & Bruce's Barrack Ground Brewery, which has a couple of Masonic symbols in it. It's very neat to spot that sort of thing in a beer ad.
In North America, the barleywines tend to be split pretty evenly between the more old-fashioned English barleywine and the newfangled American barleywine. The latter is certainly an extreme beer, being overly malty and usually heavily hopped. Personally, the English style is preferred, with a slightly subdued malt character, well-balanced hops, and a slightly lower ABV that makes it an excellent brew to sip by a roaring fire in the winter.
Of course, in Costa Rica there are neither winters nor roaring fires to sit by. But I will bide my time, because such things are certainly in my future somewhere.
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