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10 Facts About Beer!

10 Facts About Beer!

Why is Beer so Great? 

Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world. Beer forms part of the culture of many nations and is associated with social traditions such as beer festivals. The taste of beer releases a chemical in the brain which makes people want to drink more - without even any effect from alcohol - beer can trigger the production of dopamine in the brain. It’s natures way of telling us to drink more beer! (not that we needed an excuse). Beer has been proven to of been around for 5,000 years, and that is just as far as we have discovered! Craft beer is enjoyed during everyday celebrations and is viewed by many as one of life’s special pleasures. Each glass displays the creativity and passion of its maker and the complexity of its ingredients. Craft beer is treasured by millions who see it as not merely a fermented beverage, but something to be shared, revered and enjoyed in moderation What’s not to love?

 

 

Now, all though every beer category has its subcategories, there are 5 main types that beer can be divided into.

Ale: A beer that is brewed by fast fermentation with a quick-acting yeast at relatively high temperature. Ales tend to have a complex, slightly fruity or spicy flavour with a usually darker appearance than lagers and usually with a more intense, bitter flavour of hops. The yeast also has a tolerance of higher alcohol concentrations, resulting in a beer with a usually higher alcohol content than a lager.

Lager: A beer (such as a bock or pilsner) that is brewed at cool temperatures by slow fermentation with a slow-acting yeast. Known for being crisper, cleaner and more refreshing than ales, lagers are lighter in body and lower in alcohol, while typically having a higher carbonation.

Porter: Porter is a style of dark beer that originated in England during the 1700s. With the exception of Baltic porter, porters are brewed with top-fermenting ale yeast. These beers are known for their deep ruby brown to black colour, dark malts that often impart chocolate and caramel flavours, and well-balanced, hearty characteristics. The style was all but lost following Prohibition in the United States but has been revived, primarily by craft brewers. Today, these dark beers are favourites for winter and the styles diversity offers options for year-round enjoyment.

Stout: Stout is a dark, full-flavoured ale made with dark-roasted malted barley, which gives it a distinctively coffee-like, almost chocolatey flavour that's balanced by bitterness from hops (a type of dried flower commonly used in beer-making). Unlike lighter lager beer, made with yeast that sinks to the bottom of the tank, stout is "top fermented": made with ale yeast, which floats to the surface during fermentation. Stouts primary association is with Ireland, thanks to Guinness, but it also has roots in England, Scotland, and even Russia. Despite its reputation as a heavy drink, stout can actually taste light or medium-bodied, as well. It's full flavoured, to be sure, yet it's a great companion to food, especially braises, grilled meats, burgers, and even dessert (especially chocolate).

IPA: India Pale Ales (IPAs), which encompass numerous styles of beer, get their characteristics largely from hops and herbal, citrus or fruity flavours. They can be bitter and contain high alcohol levels, though the final product depends on the variety of hops used. Some IPAs can taste like pure citrus, while others are strong and bitter. Prominent IPA styles include West Coast IPA, British IPA and New England Style IPA.

Fact 1:

Monks improved beer production in the Middle Ages

Long ago, beer was mostly brewed at home. Bread was usually made on one day and then an incomplete baked loaf was taken as the starting culture for brewing beer on the following day. Mixed with water, the fermentation processes would begin with yeasts and microorganisms present in the surrounding air. This household routine is probably referenced in the Brothers Grimm fairytale ‘Rumpelstiltskin’, in the line: “Today I’ll brew, tomorrow I’ll bake, then from the Queen, her daughter I’ll take.” During the Middle Ages, monks embraced beer production in their monasteries and, even today, we still perceive their approach to the art as being very professional. They observed and scrutinised the individual beer production steps and, in doing so, gradually improved the beer brewing processes.

 

Fact 2:

Beer is the third most popular drink in the world!

It’s certainly the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world and comes in at third overall after tea and water!

 

Fact 3: 

Why do people toast “cheers” and clink glasses?

How did the ritual of “cheers” along with the clinking of glasses take hold? Explanations abound and one suggestion is that, in ancient times, clinking arose to protect people’s lives… In the Middle Ages, the hearty clinking of robust beer tankards supposedly established that their contents had not been poisoned; the assumption being that the merry clonking of tankards against each other would lead to beer spilling from one vessel into the other – it was a way of ensuring that your drinking companions weren’t harbouring evil intentions and trying to kill you off!

 

Fact 4:

The Czechs are the world’s biggest beer drinkers

The Czechs have the worlds largest beer consumption per head at around 191 litres per year. Ireland are in 6th place and we wonder how much of their 95 litres per capita is the black stuff!  The UK comes in at 21st place with 72 litres.

The top 8 beer-drinking countries

  1. Czech Republic – 191.8 litres per capita
  2.  Austria – 107.6
  3. Germany – 101.1
  4.  Romania – 98.9
  5. Poland – 98.2
  6. Ireland – 95.8
  7. Spain – 86.0
  8. Slovakia- 83.5

 

Fact 5: 

Beer does not cause a ‘beer belly’

As a general rule, beer is not to blame for the development of a ‘beer belly’. Rather, its components of hops, malt and alcohol combine to stimulate the appetite. If drinking beer leads you to eat fatty foods more often, all those excess calories might mean that you acquire a ‘beer belly’.

 

Fact 6:

Beer contains vitamins!

Did you know that, because of its ingredients and the fermentation processes, beer contains a host of minerals and vitamins? Beer contains vitamins B1, B2 and B6 and B7 (biotin) and, according to current scientific opinion, B vitamins help to improve concentration, support the formation of red blood cells, have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, stimulate the metabolism, and help the nervous system to function properly.

 

Fact 7:

The Egyptians were drinking beer when they built the pyramids!

Apparently, an American archaeologist has determined that the builders of the pyramids in ancient Egypt drank around 4 litres of beer every day! It was evidently healthier than drinking dirty water from the Nile, but obviously must have meant that the men often worked slightly tipsy…

 

Fact 8:

Carbon dioxide creates beer foam

The formation of a frothy head on a beer is a natural process: during fermentation, the yeast changes the malt sugars in the beer wort into alcohol and carbon dioxide. When you pour beer into a glass, the carbon dioxide is released to create the foam.

 

Fact 9:

What makes the perfect beer head?

Perfect beer foam is formed on a cold beer at 6-8ºC; if beer is too cold it doesn’t make enough foam and, if it is too warm, it makes too much! If you like to enjoy your beer with a perfect head then it’s especially important that beer glasses are absolutely clean and free from grease. Fat residues in a beer glass have a direct effect on the surface tension of the carbon dioxide bubbles that make up the beer’s head. The more fat there is in a beer glass, the weaker the tiny carbon dioxide bubbles will be – the foam won’t grow to any size and will collapse after only a short time. Furthermore, when handling glasses make sure your fingers do not touch the inside surface. Every fingerprint contains tiny amounts of fat which contaminate the beer glass. Glasses should always be cleaned using hot water and a grease dissolving detergent. After washing it is imperative that the detergent is rinsed away using clear, cold water because detergent has the same detrimental effect on beer that fat has.

 

Fact 10:

What do you call the fear of an empty beer glass?

The fear of having an empty beer glass is called cenosillicaphobia! Yes, really…

 

Thank you for reading! 

- Jordan Hart



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