International Stout Day is being celebrated for the third year on Friday, November 8th and we couldn’t be happier. What a great way to bring in the weekend! Having a day dedicated to a certain beer style has just amplified the craft brew market as we start to learn more about the history and the many different types of beers that are offered.
Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast. There are a number of variations including Baltic porter, dry stout and imperial stout. The name porter was first used to describe a dark brown beer popular with street and river porters of London that had been made with roasted malts. This same beer later became known as stout though the word stout had been used as early as 1677. Thus, the history and development of stout and porter are intertwined.
Not all stouts are created equally. Guinness had been brewing porters since about 1780 and is famous for their Dry or Irish Stout. Oatmeal stout beer is one of the more sweeter and smoother in the stout family. And now there is even an Oyster Stout and Chocolate Stout (we particularly enjoy a delicious pint of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout at our Pubs). The one thing all of these beers have in common is color. Most stouts have the same dark color and many are fermented with lager yeast.
(Belhaven Black Stout) (Young's Double Chocolate Stout)
The modern day ‘craft beer revolution’ provides an amazing array of stouts. This allows you to easily pair with your favorite gourmet meal or enjoy anytime during the chilly months.
Join us for a perfectly poured Guinness or your favorite stout to celebrate International Stout Day at any of our locations! Cheers!
November 11th is observed in numerous countries around the world to honor veterans and remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty. This observance dates back to the end of World War I. While WWI officially ended on June 28, 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles was signed, an armistice went into effect at 11:00 am on November 11, 1918 and fighting ceased between the Allied nations and Germany.
In the United Kingdom, November 11th was dedicated by King George V in 1919 and was then called “Armistice Day”. It was re-named to Remembrance Day after World War II and honors all those who lost their lives in military conflict. The main observance takes place on the second Sunday in November (Remembrance Sunday) and a national ceremony is held in London at the Cenotaph. Although Remembrance Sunday is the main observance, a two-minute silence is held on November 11th at 11:00am.
Remembrance Day is also known as Poppy Day. Used since 1920, the remembrance poppy was inspired by the WWI poem, “In Flanders Fields”. The American Legion first used poppies to commemorate American soldiers who died in WWI and this trend was adopted by military veteran groups in the British Commonwealth of Nations. It is very common to wear poppies in the U.K. on Remembrance Day and the weeks leading to it to honor the fallen soldiers.
The United States made November 11th a legal holiday in 1938, also known as “Armistice Day”, to honor the veterans from WWI. However, it wasn’t until 1954 when the day was legally changed to Veterans Day and it became a day to celebrate American veterans of all wars. Along with local parades and services, there is a Veterans Day National Ceremony held every year at Arlington National Cemetery to celebrate and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces. It begins with a wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns at 11:00 am and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors.
This Monday, it’s our turn to serve. We will offer a 50% to all members of the military (excluding alcohol) as a thank you for their service.
As a British Pub we’re interested in British tradition and celebrations. Guy Fawkes Day is approaching so we set out to research the history of why people meet and gather. November 5th, 1605 is a day in England history that will never be forgotten and is observed every year. This day commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot and is honored with bonfires and fireworks.
After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, Catholics had hoped that King James I would be more tolerant of their religion as they have been persecuted under the Queen’s rule. Though his own mother was Catholic James didn’t turn out to be any more accepting of their religion. Led by Robert Catesby, the Gunpowder Plot conspirators included 13 infuriated Catholic men who were willing to kill King James I for refusing to grant greater religious tolerance to Catholics. They had a plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament during the Opening of Parliament. Their intention was to kill the King and the members of Parliament so they could reinstate Catholic rule in England. But this plan failed when some of the plotters realized innocent people would be hurt or killed in the attack. The conspirators were betrayed which led to the undoing of the attack.
So why is this day of remembrance called Guy Fawkes Day? Guy Fawkes was one of the men taken into custody the evening before the planned attack. Fawkes was in the cellar of the parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities captured him. He was captured, tortured, tried, convicted and finally executed for his part in the conspiracy. All of the conspirators had been either captured or killed as well.
On the very night the Gunpowder Plot unfolded on November 5th, 1605, bonfires were set to celebrate the safety of their King. This led to a tradition we now know as Guy Fawkes Day. This day is celebrated in the UK and other countries that were once a part of the British Empire. They celebrate with parades, fireworks, bonfires and food. While traditionally children carried effigies, called ‘guys’, in the streets the days leading up to Guy Fawkes Day, now people create straw effigies of Fawkes to throw into the bonfires. Fireworks are set ablaze to represent the explosive that were never used in the original plot. Guards even perform a search of the Parliament building searching for potential arsonists, but it is mostly just ceremony.
Guy Fawkes' image has gone through many makeovers. He first was known as the infamous traitor, but now he is seen by many as a revolutionary hero. This view was influenced by the 1980s comic novel “V for Vendetta” and the movie that was released in 2005. The main character in these stories is seen battling a future fascist government in Britain.