Beer Day Britain, a.k.a. National Beer Day, is celebrated on June 15 to mark the signing of the Magna Carta. It was on this day, in the 13th century, when a group of English barons successfully negotiated a pact with the King of England that curtailed the seemingly universal rights of a monarchy. The pact also standardized the measurement of beer, ale, and wine throughout the country. In 2015, beer sommelier Jane Peyton honored the 800th anniversary of the charter by establishing Beer Day Britain.
Every year on June 15, the pubs fill up and chips run out, but the beer taps never run dry, as the country comes together to celebrate Beer Day Britain.
History of Beer Day Britain
Beer may be just another alcoholic drink to the rest of the world, but not to the Brits. Britain is the birthplace of some of the most iconic kinds of beers. Industrial lagers, stouts, pale ales, porters, and commonplace ciders all owe their origin and propagation to this humble island of West Europe. As a part of Celtic traditions, the islanders have been brewing beer almost since the beginning of time. In the middle ages, homebrewing gained tremendous popularity.
On a similar timeline, the King of England faced a rebellion from an elite class. In a year-long campaign, the English barons continually expressed frustration over excessive taxation and demanded the establishment of fair justice and the rule of law.
Tied up in his losing wars, King John signed a pact to relinquish control over the judicial and civic matters of the country. This was largely seen as the first cessation of power by the British monarchy. In the Magna Carta, he also standardized the measurement of ale, beer, wine, and corn throughout the kingdom — also known as ‘the London quarter.’ Beer brewing and consumption haven’t slowed down since. In fact, it has compounded beyond belief with each passing century. In the 15th century, beer overtook ale and became the national alcoholic drink of Great Britain.
In 2015, beer education and sommelier, Jane Peyton, established Beer Day Britain to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Great Charter. She also co-wrote the ‘Cheers to Beer’ anthem, which is sung by Brits at 7 p.m. to honor the national day of beer.
Beer Day Britain timeline
King John of England signs the royal charter of rights, granting civil liberties and unifying the trade measurements of wine, ale, and beer.
A German alewife brews the first beer from imported hops in Colchester, decades after the hops are imported to Britain from Amsterdam.
British brewers cultivate hops throughout the country after the first crop of successful plantation in Kent, as the beer begins to take over ale consumption in the kingdom for the first time.
Alcoholic Educator Jane Peyton initiates the first observation of Beer Day Britain on the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.
Beer Day Britain FAQs
What is a beer called in Britain?
The most common way to refer to a beer in Britain is lager, which loosely translates to ‘in-store.’ Most people refer to the beer by its brand, like Budweiser, Guinness, and Stella Artois.
What is the difference between a beer and an ale?
The difference comes down to the yeasting process of the drinks. Ale undergoes a warm fermentation that results in a sweet and fruity taste, whereas beer is fermented from a relatively cooler wort that gives it a bitter taste.
Do the British drink warm beer?
British beers are often bitter and the flavors cannot be appreciated when they’re ice cold, hence, it is consumed at room temperature. It’s not super chilled but it’s not categorically warm either.
How To Celebrate Beer Day Britain
Visit your local pub
There’s nothing like being at a pub with your friends, family, and a couple of randoms. Celebrate the day by savoring a crisp, refreshing beer, as you order another round of fish and chips, and raise a toast to the divine process of fermentation.
Explore the unfamiliar
Did you know that there are more than 25 types of lagers and that there are over 2,000 different kinds of beer brewing in Britain right now? Try a new brew and reflect on the rich history of this holiday.
Sing the 7 p.m. cheer
Along with establishing the holiday, beer sommelier Jane Peyton also co-wrote the ‘Cheers to Beer’ anthem. This cheeky ‘ode to’ Britain’s most beloved drink is sung at 7 p.m. on June 15 to mark the celebration of National Beer Day. It doesn’t matter if you are at the local pub or home alone, make sure you sing a couple of lines of this fun melody.
5 Epic Incidents Related To Beer
The great beer flood
The explosion of the Horse Shoe Brewery in 1814 released over a hundred thousand gallons of beer down the cobbled streets and drowned eight people.
The beer barter
Builders of the great Egyptian Pyramids were paid in beer and bread — jars of beer are also preserved in their graves.
The Downing Street brewery
One of the first landmarks on Downing Street was a brewery, which continued its operation until the late 1500s.
The search for life and beer
Academics have argued that ancient nomads only settled in places where they could harvest and ferment barley.
Beer over water
In medieval times, a jug of beer was considered better than a sip of water, as the fermentation purified the drink and made it safer to consume.
Why We Love Beer Day Britain
It’s a celebration of rights
With the signing of the Magna Carta, the British Monarchy relinquished a degree of control over its people for the first time. The pact also promoted fair trade practices and established an understanding between the people and the Crown. On June 15, we celebrate our earned rights and honor the rebels who paved the way.
It’s an ‘ode to’ culture
Beer and Brits are joined at the hip. It’s an association that goes back thousands of years. Had a hard day at work? Let’s go to the pub. Up for a promotion? Let’s go to the pub. Beer Day Britain honors the British beer culture and promotes independent pubs that offer authentic and affordable beer to everyday people.
It’s good for the economy
Local businesses need our support. With our purchasing power, we can help to boost the economy in a big way.
Beer Day Britain dates