Another Hop Myth

Written by Martyn Cornell for

No they weren’t, and nor were there ever any petitions against hops to Parliament, nor were any general bans on brewers using hops made by Henry VIII, Parliament, the mayors and corporations of Coventry or Norwich, or anybody else.

What did happen was that at different times and in different places between approximately 1440 and 1540 attempts were made to maintain the distinction between (unhopped) ale, the only malted cereal drink made in England before the last quarter of the 14th century, and beer, the hopped malted cereal drink brought into this country by immigrants from the Low Countries and Germany. Various authorities thus forbad the ale brewers – who remained an entirely separate group of men and women from the beer brewers until at least the reign of James I in the 17th century – from putting hops into their ale. Beer brewers, however, were allowed to hop away.
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