TIL Pale Ale exists because the fuel source for brewing beer changed. Peat and coal were used to roast malt, imparting a dark color and smoky flavor to beers. But when coke fuel, a cleaner-burning fuel derived from coal, was introduced, the color and smoky flavor were not present, they had pale ale.

Read more: https://www.anchorbrewing.com/blog/the-tale-of-pale-ale/

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  1. You’ve misquoted.

    Prior to the use of coke: “Before the use of coke, wood and peat fires were used to roast malt, which infused it with the smoky character of the heat source and gave it a brown color. Coke-fired maltings produced a lighter variety of malt without the smoke.”

  2. There are some embellishments in that blog post for sure.

    Porter was by far the most popular style in India.

    Daniel Wheeler and his drum roaster enabled maltsters to roast malts similar to coffee and avoid direct fire.

  3. Coke is derived from “cooking” coal in a low oxygen environment. Many of the impurities are burned out leading behind coke, the clean burning fuel that fed the Industrial Revolution.

    Ales have been produced since at least Medieval times, possibly earlier, but it wasn’t until 1703 that the English were regularly using coke to brew ale. Now that coke is no longer used, brewers are using different hops, varieties that are noticeably lighter in color than the traditional hops used in brewing.

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