On a recent trip to England, I did what any self-respecting beer blogger should do and “drink in” the local culture. This included a stop at a local microbrewery in Bath – the Bath Brew House. As I was on a trip related to “Roman Britain,” I was particularly titillated by the presence of a Classically-themed beer, Gladiator. Needless to say, pounds were spent and “research” was conducted.
Gladiator offers a caramel base with a strong herbal hop presence that does not fight with the bready sweetness. The bitterness attacks with alacrity, but quickly falls at the hands of the victorious malt. The sanguine hue of the beer also casts a pleasant appearance – reminiscent of the sands of the Colosseum. Definitely a thumbs up!
Gladiators – the athletic stars of the Roman period – were slaves who competed in front of masses of public spectators. Armed men (and rarely women) fought to the death or submission. The practice of gladiatorial contests originally began as funerary games (possibly 4th or 3rd c. CE?) and, by the later Republic and Early Empire (1st c. BCE-1st c. CE), slowly became the prime sport of the Romans. Adversaries were often supplied with different arms and armor to test specific scenarios: for instance, a slow but heavily armed man against lightly armed but quick gladiator. Alternatively, vicious animals were introduced to the arena, such as lions, to face the men.
Grain, hops, water, yeast . . . duh
US Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons). Mosaic at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid