The New Beer Frontier (BBC Food Programme) explores how the modern American Craft Brewing industry is now influencing how British brewers are approaching beer. Dan Saladino explores the beginnings of the American beer industry, which was heavily influenced by British beers, and was then subsequently replaced in the 1850s by German and Czech beer styles from new immigrants. German beers lost their popularity after the First World War and because of prohibition during the 1920s, many European beer traditions were lost forever.
Lager beer became the standard fare in the US after prohibition due to modern industrial techniques and refrigeration made it more economical to produce than other styles of beer. It wasn’t until 1979, when home brewing was again made legal again, and the deregulation of the airline industry in 1981, meant that Americans could travel around the world cheaply again, that the modern American beer industry took off. Since the US hasn’t had a long tradition of beer making, they are ‘free-er’ to experiment with techniques and ingredients, such as heavy hopping which is now influencing beer makers around the world.
The New Beer Frontier – http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/foodprog/foodprog_20120423-1600a.mp3