Food Programme

BBC Radio 4

Arts, Food

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Investigating every aspect of the food we eat


Wild Beer

March 30th, 2014

Episode 395 of 661 episodes

Dan Saladino meets the brewers transforming the flavours and styles of the British craft beer scene. From experiments with seaweed to efforts to find lost Victorian recipes, it's a diverse and fast moving world, so where are the new ideas for beer coming from and which brewers are leading the way? The award winning beer writer Pete Brown has described 2014 as the year in which craft beer has gone mainstream. A term first used to describe the renaissance of American brewing in the 1980's "craft" refers to smaller scale breweries, producing in small batches and often working with beer styles packed with flavour. In the last ten years the overall beer market has crashed by 25 per cent. Although cask ale is holding its own, the beer of this new wave of "craft brewers" is growing at around 70 per cent, year on year. The Food Programme finds out who is behind this trend and what kind of beers they're producing. Dan hears from Brewdog in Scotland, Thornbridge in Derbyshire, Wild Beer Co in Somerset as well as The Kernel and Meantime breweries in London to hear why sour beers, German styles and Saisons are the order of the day. Beer archivist Ron Pattinson talks about his efforts to revive some of Britain's lost beer recipes and Garrett Oliver, editor of The Oxford Companion to Beer, explains why experiments in yeast are giving us new beers flavours. From Copenhagen the man behind the Mikkeller brewery describes why he never brews the same beer twice and why seaweed, popcorn and vanilla are on his list of ingredients. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.

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