The best English beer brands include some classics and some new brews on the market. The interesting thing about English beer is that the companies now producing beer have a rich legacy in beer-making that often involves the merging of several historic breweries. The list of English beers includes lagers, bitters, ales, porters and stouts, and making up a list of bests includes some personal taste preferences. There are several beer brands that are sure to please even the most discriminating drinker.
- Boddington's. Originally made in Manchester in 1778, the ale is now imported to the U.S. by Anheuser-Busch Company as a draught option for bars. It's also available as a four-can pint take out carton in stores that know good English beer. Boddington's was made by the Strangeways Brewery, founded in 1778, so the brewing process for this beer has a heritage. Henry Boddington joined the company in 1832, and the rest is history. Boddington tops the prepackaged list of the best English beer brands due to the widget can that has a secret device that keeps the beer as fresh as draught the minute it's opened and poured from the can.
- Bass. The company calls itself "The Original Pale Ale." That title may be debated among the best English beer brands, but the fact that Bass should make the list is not in dispute. The first Bass Black and Tan creation, a mix of ale and stout, dates back to 1889, but the brewery on Burton-on-Trent dates back to 1777. A merger of UK breweries, including Charrington's and Mitchell's and Butlers in the 1960s, added Bass to the list of the best English beers. In 2000, Bass Brewers was bought by a Belgian brewery company, Interbrew, in a sale that netted over two billion pounds for the company. That company sold the Bass brand to Coors in 2002. The lineage becomes even more cloudy with Coors' name change to Molson Coors Brewing Company (UK) Limited in 2009, but the tasty brew is still made and that's the only thing that really matters.
- Fuller's. This company is a Chiswick fixture. It has been for over 350 beer-making years. The Fuller's brand features London Pride, ESB, London Porter and 1845, in addition to Vintage Ale. The company won two gold medals at the Brewers Association World Beer Cup. "The Publican" newspaper, a British periodical, gave Fuller's an award as "Best Regional Brewer" in 2009. It is certainly a brand that should be included as one of England's best beers.
- Newcastle. The Brown Ale made by this company pushes the Heineken International-owned company onto our list of great English beer brands. Made since 1927 at the Tyne Brewery in the United Kingdom, Newcastle Brown was a favorite among English beer drinkers, and with the bottling process instituted in 1928, the beer's fame spread. The first mix for the ale was the brainchild of Colonel J. Porter, but the company fine-tuned the beer into the ale sold today.
- Samuel Smith's. This brew has been made at the Old Brewery at Tadcaster since 1758. The company proudly states that it is one of the last to use a fermentation system that involves stone squares. The company is also one of a handful of English brewers still operating independently from large brewing conglomerates. The main beer offered by Smith's was crafted at the turn of the 1900s and came to the United States in 1978. Aside from the tasty hops and the fresh water, all beers made by Samuel Smith are certified vegan. Go vegan, drink beer! The company makes Yorkshire Stingo, a group of organic fruit beers, organic ales and lagers, pure brewed lagers, India ale, nut brown ale and a pale ale. If your tastes go to taddy porter or oatmeal and imperial stouts, then Smith's also has your flavor. Winter Welcome Ale is a favorite in many a local pub. Smith's choices of fine beers reserve a slot for the brand on the list of the best English beers.