British beer is back.

It sounds ridiculous to say���after all, England has thousands of years of brewing history, and stalwart labels like Fuller’s and Timothy Taylor are still producing some of the world’s most well-respected ales. But modernity hasn’t been entirely kind to the birthplace of bitters and imperial pints.

The problems started at home: The historic rise of tied houses (brewer-owned pubs that primarily serve their own beer), as well as the more recent trend toward corporate pub chains, contributed to a tightly controlled beer culture with little room for innovation. This situation, in turn, gave way to a broader image problem: As madcap American brewing made a name for itself across the pond, the Brits began to look like stick-in-the-mud traditionalists grumbling about the good old days.

But then something amazing happened: The beer scene in England went flat-out gangbusters. The number of breweries in London has tripled in the last six years, and there’s a similar boom in new upstarts—and new styles—happening around the Isles. And while stateside trailblazers have clearly been a major influence, this is no copycat revolution.

Here, we survey the scene and give you the tools you need to experience the best of new-school British brewing.

Written by Chris Schonberger (@cschonberger)