Canada can learn a lot about its history by looking at five types of beer, says author and beer connoisseur Ian Coutts. This Canadian author said Canada became a beer country due to environmental factors because wine has only been made in small areas throughout the nation.
Here are the five types of beer that have shaped Canada, as defined by Coutts:
Brown aleA pioneer beer made by "guys in the tub" in rural areas in the late 18th Century.
The beer was simple to make but unpredictable because you could not control much about the taste or colour.
Pale aleThe drink of saloons, found in "handsome establishments" in towns and patronized by young guys.
It looked good in a glass and it coincided with the rise of the idea of brands — marking the growing urbanization.
LagerThe "star" of every beer commercial from 1955 to 1975, it came in during Prohibition and became the focus of lifestyle-based advertising. It's an industrial beer and you need a refrigerator for storage.
It is good for people raised on soft drinks. It is very connected to postwar affluence and the assembly line.
Craft beerIt is what's current, so history is still being made. Craft beer is not exactly a beer, but a "state of mind." It's like music or fashion or anything else.
"It began as a rediscovery of lost beers, but now it is moving into exciting new territory, taking an increasingly sophisticated audience with it," Coutts said.
As for the future of Canadian beer, Coutts said it's looking bright. "This is the golden era of Canadian beer. We've never had more varieties of beer. We've probably got more breweries going now than we had in any time in the last 100 years," he told Robyn Bresnahan, host of CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning.
"You can walk into any bar and get absolutely amazing drinks — pale ales, porters — and it's just going to get better and better."
CBC News June 2013