If there is one thing we must admire the Americans for it is their sense of inventiveness. 

Within the last decade more exotic - and at times frankly draw dropping combination of ale blends with anything from bacon, coconut  curry,  peanut butter -  through to the more disturbing bull testicles have appeared. Some described as as truly inspired whilst others labelled as absurd.

There appreciation of British beer styles has been at the bedrock of the American craft beer revival, and ingenuity at producing new category sub styles, such as ESB's on the back of the famous Fuller's brand is a case in point. 

A classic example of such inventiveness is an 'English Style Royal Ale'  which goes by the fictionally grandiose aristocratic title of Lord Alesworth produced by the Pyramid Brewery at Seattle in North West America.

This in itself however is interesting in that there really is no defined style for a 'Royal Ale' although the premise is presumably based on the strong ales brewed to mark royal occasions in the past, such as Coronation or Jubilee brews.

Royal involvement (if you were lucky) would perhaps be a member of the family paying you a visit as in the case of Bass King's Ale when the newly crowned Edward V11 started the mash in 1902 at the brewery in Burton on Trent.

There involvement would be none to taxing, perhaps pulling a lever or turning a screw to release the grain into the mash tun, but in an age of obsessive royal deference it was considered enough of a draw to warrant a special ale to mark the occasion.

                 Mash Tun No.2 at Bass where Edward V11 started the brew in 1902.


Its PR benefits to the company concerned over its competitors were obvious...

The Pyramid ESRA is a seasonal product released annually between August and October, earlier than you would expect for a strong ale, and uses Golding's hops  as well as caramel and chocolate malts within the blend to give it that English feel.

In effect it pays homage to the influence of British ales on the American craft brewing scene, but will it encourage other US brewers to follow suite and produce their own?

Perhaps, but it would require a consensus on a clear definition of the style to be laid down, which in this instance is fairly loose and open to personal interpretation.

Nevertheless it is a hearty brew that would find favour with many an Englishmen!

Lets hope there spirit of adventure continues, with more exploration into traditional beer styles...


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