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I find the descriptions of North American brewing in the Journal of the Institute of Brewing totally fascinating.

Being written by outsiders, they incluse a lot of detail which an American brewer probably wouldn't have considered worthy of mention. In particular, the authors compare and contrast American practice with that in Britain.

Let's start with confirmation that climate helped shape American beer:

"To begin with, the climatic conditions of the country are totally different to what we have to contend with. They have almost tropical weather for several months of the year, and then a long spell of hard, wintry weather. Under these trying conditions, especially the hot weather, the brewer has to produce a bright, brilliant, cold beer, for which there is a demand. In the coldest of weather they still like the beer cold and bright, like the lager beer. The cosmopolitan type of the people has to be reckoned with, with all their different tastes and fads which, they have become accustomed to in the country of their birth or from whence they came."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 13, Issue 4, July-August 1907, page 358.
There were also economic reasons for differences in brewing between the two countries:

"Then, again, the American brewer is, from economic reasons, compelled to use only such malt and hops as the country produces. He cannot, as we do in England, use imported malt or hops. The tarif
on these commodities makes them prohibitive."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 13, Issue 4, July-August 1907, page 358.
As we've seen when looking at the raw materials used in British brewing, considerable quantities of both barley and hops had been imported into Britain since the middle of the 19th century. If only for the simple reason that Britain couldn't produce enough raw materials to satisfy the demand of the industry.

The Ales of Britain and the USA were quite different in character by 1900. The same was not true 50 years earlier, when it terms of techniques and styles, American Ale brewing was still greatly influenced by British brewing. The brewing of IPA - a style which didn't exist at the time of American independence - proves that continued influence.

"Under these and other numerous conditions, it is impossible to compare the ale brewer of the two countries on equal terms. Although we both brew on the top-fermentation system, the two products are entirely different in character when placed before the consumer. The ale as consumed by us in England would not suit the taste of the average American, and I should very much doubt if the clean, cold, sparkling American ale would suit the taste of the British working man, who is the largest consumer of our product. As a rule, he likes some thing thicker, with more weft or food value in his beer. At the same time, I would not be so sceptical as to assert that a modification of the methods adopted by American and some of the Canadian brewers of finishing the beer, would not be of benefit to a portion of the English ale trade."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 13, Issue 4, July-August 1907, page 358.
British brewers had a sneaking admiration for some aspects of American brewing, even though they generally acknowledged British beers tasted better.

Even this early Ale brewing had become regional:

"I may here mention that ale brewing is practically extinct in the Southern and Western States, and is wholly confined to the Northern States and Canada; and, indeed, these districts would have shared the same fate if new and more modern methods had not been adopted."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 13, Issue 4, July-August 1907, pages 358 - 359.
Not really that surprising, as these were the areas where British influence was still its strongest.

If you remember, we've heard of these types of Ale before:

"Ten years ago the two principal types of ale were known as stock ale and lively or present use ale. The stock ale is like our English stock ale, of high gravity, hopped down in cask, and stored a few months before sending out. This type of ale possesses a harsh, old flavour, and is only consumed in the more northern States and Canada. The lively or present use ale is much lower in gravity and is not stored at all, but is heavily kräusened and placed in a warm store to generate violent cask condition, which must be sufficient to entirely empty the cask when on draught. The pressure generated is as high as 70 lb. per square inch. The casks are specially made, the heads being 4 inches thick.

The lively ale was always thick and creamy on draught, and had a pronounced old yeasty flavour which could not be called agreeable. Considering, therefore, the two classes of ale, there is no wonder that the ale brewer across the water was in great danger of being cleared out by the brewer of lager beer, simply because a light, brilliant beer was undoubtedly better suited for the beer-drinking public of that country."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 13, Issue 4, July-August 1907, page 359.
The lively or present use Ale was the American equivalent of Mild Ale. Though as far as I can tell, it never underwent the mysterious darkening that befell British Mild around 1900. Odd that the article makes no mention of this. It sounds pretty scary to me. With all that pressure, those casks must have been potential bombs. The flavour doesn't sound great, either. I can see why you'd have troible shifting cloudy, yeasty Ale when sparkling Lager was sidely available.

Falling sales made Ale brewers have a rethink. The first was to start brewing Lager themselves. But once they had the new plant installed, they began to look further.
"Quite a large number, when they found that the demand for heavy stock ale, also the lively or present use ale, were declining, and that the demand for the light, brilliant lager beer was rapidly increasing, forthwith went in for brewing lager to meet the competition. This, gentlemen, is the position to-day both in Canada as well as the States. They have a separate plant for brewing lager. If you ask them why they went in for lager beer brewing, the answer is the same in every case, viz.:— That their ale sales were going down and the demand was for clear beer, like lager, and they had no alternative but to go in for it. But once they got their lager plant working, with its elaborate system of cold cellars and the necessary ice machinery for that purpose, it quite naturally occurred to them, why not treat the ale on similar lines as regards storage in cold cellars and finish in the same way exactly as lager?

I was given to understand that the preliminary trials on these lines were not a success in any of the breweries, but a modification of the same process has proved very successful, and is in general operation in almost all the ale breweries in the country. Each brewer, of course, has a different idea of treating his product, but, broadly speaking, all arriving at the same type of beer to compete with the lager, viz. — a brilliant, carbonated ale in cask and bottle.

The results of these new methods of treatment have been very satisfactory, and given a great impetus to the consumption of ale."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 13, Issue 4, July-August 1907, pages 359 - 360.
In Britain, despite various attempts, Lager-brewing never really got much a foothold in the 19th century. British Ale brewers didn't have Lager to compete with. Had they, it might have prompted similar changes to production methods.

The cross-fertilsation of ideas from British Ale brewing and Continental Lager brewing seems to be the defining feature of North American brewing.