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An alcoholic drink brewed from malt and hops.
When ale/beer was first made in Britain - probably by the Germanic tribesmen who settled eastern Britain during the last years of the Roman occupation - beer was the term used for the brew when it had barely started to ferment (it was then often flavoured with hydromel) - honey water. Ale was a term for malted liquor, and more bitter. The practice of adding hops to either, was introduced by the Flemings at a later stage. See 'Beer/Ale'; Ale,Real'; "Covent Garden Purl"; "Mum"