Recently, we have started to offer more English ale in the cafe. So here is a little about its history.
(This information was taken from Wikipedia.)
Beer has been produced in Britain since pre-historic times. It was already popular when the Romans invaded over two thousand years ago. It is possible that many Celtic people enjoyed beer made from wheat and other flavourings. At this time there were no 'hops'. Hops were not used until the 9th Century.
In the Middle-ages, an average person drank about 300 litres of ale a year, and breweries became large and well-organised. The government and guilds controlled the quality. At this time most beer was bought before it was ready to drink. The buyer had to wait until it was ready. But in the early 1700s a new beer was made called 'Porter'. This beer was kept at the brewery until it was ready to drink. It was very popular and the companies that made it became rich.
Later, the government allowed anyone to buy a license to brew beer and the power of the breweries became less. Hundreds of new pubs opened, and many people made beer at home too. By the middle of the 19th Century, pale ales and bitters were becoming popular. They were much lighter than porters and Stouts. Lager beer from Europe also started to be drunk, (but was not poplar until the 1970s.)
Magnolia Cafe currently offers beer from two breweries: Spitfire and 1698 from the Kent brewery 'Shepherd Neame'. And London Pride and ESB from the London brewery 'Fuller's'.
We hope to offer more ale in the future. Please try a bottle next time you visit.