Meaning of BEER in English


In Britain, beer is the most popular alcoholic drink which is drunk in pubs . Many people drink bitter , a brown-coloured beer. It is sold on draught , if it is drawn for each customer from a large container, usually a keg or barrel , or bottled , if it has been put in small bottles at a factory. Bottled beer is sometimes called ale . Bitter is usually drunk at room temperature. Lager , which is yellow in colour, has more gas in it and is usually drunk cold. Many pubs sell a selection of French, German and Australian lagers. Stout is a strong, dark brown beer which forms a thick white froth, or ‘head’, on top when poured into a glass. Two of the most popular makes are Guinness and Murphy’s. Mild is a sweeter, darker form of bitter but is less popular. Shandy is a mixture of beer and lemonade or ginger beer. Draught beer or lager is sold in pints or half-pints . Some people drink low-alcohol beers and lagers in order to reduce the risk of drink-driving (= driving a car while under the influence of alcohol), which is against the law. Many people like to drink real ale , beer that is made and stored in the traditional way, often made by smaller breweries (= companies that make beer). The interests of real ale drinkers are defended by CAMRA , the Campaign for Real Ale, which publishes a list of real-ale pubs .

The US brewing industry was begun by Germans who moved to the US, and so the typical US beer has always been like German beer, light in colour, similar to what the British call lager, although Americans do not use that word. Until the beginning of the 20th century there were many small, family-run breweries in the US, but then Prohibition came into effect and it became illegal to sell alcohol. By the time Prohibition was cancelled most of the small breweries had gone out of business. Today, most beer is produced by a few large breweries, all of whom make similar products. Recently, however, Americans have begun to appreciate different sorts of beer and many microbreweries have opened. These brew and serve high quality beer made in traditional ways. This movement has even led some of the large breweries to return to traditional methods and materials. The microbrewery movement has been supported largely by professional people with a high income but, in general, beer is seen as a drink for people with less money, or for informal occasions. People drink beer after playing sports or while watching them, but wine is considered more appropriate to drink with a meal.

Many makes of beer in the US are sold in both bottles and cans, though microbrewery beers come only in bottles. Restaurants always serve bottled beer. In some states beer can be sold in supermarkets, gas stations and local convenience stores (= shops that are open for many hours each day). In other states it can be sold only in specially licensed liquor stores or bottle shops . This can be confusing and even embarrassing for Americans when they travel to a different state, as well as for foreign visitors.

Oxford guide to British and American culture English vocabulary.      Руководство по британской и американской культуре, Оксфордский английский словарь.