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Beer

Beer Pictures

The world’s most popular drink, and possibly its oldest – and we have images of the amber nectar from brewing beer to drinking beer. So raise a glass of foaming ale to the beer pictures of Lordprice, quite possibly the largest collection available anywhere. Beer is Best, as some of them say.

Remember that you can have the picture of your favourite brew at the size you need, and framed in any way you want. Click on one of the images below to reveal posters, photographs, prints, illustrations, cartoons and more.

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"A woman drove me to drink and I never even had the courtesy to thank her." W C Fields

Beer. Such a simple word, but a source of such joy and pleasure. It's one of the oldest prepared beverages in the world and traces have been found going back 5,000 years or more; beer pictures have been around almost as long. just about any starch or sugar solution can undergo natural fermentation and it's likely that this serendipity has recurred many times and in many locations, inspiring people to formalise and control the process when they recovered from their hangovers.

In medieval England, and in London especially, beer was the regular and safe source of water for the common man - water was often contaminated and as likely to give you typhoid as slake your thirst; the boiling stage of brewing rendered it a lot safer. As we came to understand microbiology and germs, beer started to be produced on an industrial scale purely for social and leisure purposes.

The process of making beer is brewing. Grain (usually barley) is used as a starch source. It is allowed to germinate and roasted - longer roasting times produce darker beers. Hops are used to give beer flavour. In England hops were traditionally grown in Kent and a summer hop picking was a cheap holiday for working class families from London. The Kent countryside was filled with hop poles, but the world has moved on and you're now more likely to see the yellow scar of oilseed rape. However the wonderful oast houses, used for drying the hops, still largely remain, an icon of the Weald and nowadays converted into very des res'.

There are two main types of beer. Ales are the traditional British beer, dark in colour, bitter in taste and drunk at room temperature. Continental beers or lagers are lighter in colour, less bitter (usually less tasty, in fact, with the glorious exception of beers from the Czech Republic, especially the rich, golden brown Pilsner Urquell) and drunk chilled. The other European beer source of note is Belgium, where monks brew beer so strong it's like treacle and merely smelling the stuff is enough to give you brain damage; those Trappist monks have a lot to answer for!

Beer was traditionally brewed where it was drunk: in the alehouse for the town or village, and large houses brewed their own, until central breweries were established to serve networks of public houses. The great English breweries, such as Whitbread, Bass, Courage and Shepherd Neame, were established in the 17th and 18th centuries, and slowly grew by both supplying freehouses and by building and buying their own pubs who would serve only their beer. That led to the need to advertise the product, so beer posters and adverts, usually a touch more down-market than those for other drinks, proliferated. Cartoonists have always seen the funny side of beer drinking; funny drinking pictures and cartoon drinking, usually referring to the effects of over-indulgence, abound, especially when related to the loosening of social inhibitions on holiday and thus often depicted on seaside postcards.

Oh well, all this talk has made me thirsty, and as it's beer o'clock I'm off to the pub!

"Marriage is based on the theory that when man discovers a brand of beer exactly to his taste he should at once throw up his job and go work in the brewery." George Jean Nathan