Maltings processed barley and turned this into malt, the main ingredient of beer.
During the Industrial Revolution harsh working conditions with extreme temperatures and dry, dusty factory environments led to high levels of beer consumption. The huge arable fields of East Anglia provided the quality barley
required and the malts produced could be supplied to the London breweries by rail or sailing barge.
By the 19th century, maltings had evolved from barns into major industrial structures. They became concentrated on the coast as at Snape and Mistley, or by mainline railways, as at Ware. Malt processing required huge amounts
of water so their waste could be discharged into the sea or rivers.
The first industrial breweries were vertical structures, unlike earlier maltings. These tower breweries are still landmarks in large market towns such as Hertford and Colchester. On the upper levels, malt and other ingredients were added to water to form wort, which was fermented using yeast to make beer. More processes were carried
out at lower levels before the filling of beer into barrels which were then loaded into drays for final delivery.
In the 19th century, the brewing industry was dominated by large common breweries, who controlled tied houses. Victorian urban development included many new public houses on housing estates.
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