Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Home   |   On This Day   |   Babe Of The Week   |   News   |   BBQ   |   Hot & Spicy   |   Beaches   |   The Beach Pirates   |   Caribbean   |   Hemingway   |   Know Your Pirates   |   Tiki   |   Multimedia   |   Boats   |   Fishing   |   Diving   |   Snorkeling   |   Movies   |   TV   |   Music   |   Sports   |   Rum   |   Beer   |   Cocktails   |   Food   |   Recipes   |   Ads   |   Ye Olde Board   |   Speak Pirate   |   Voting   |   Stooges Corner   |   Photos   |   Calendar   |   Joke Of The Week   |   Women   |   Hall Of Fame   |   Guestbook   |   Links   |   Contact


All About Beer!!!


Some popular brands...
Beer History!
Bass
Budweiser
Budweiser
Bud Light
Bud Ice
Carta Blanca
Colt 45
Coors
Coors
Coors Light
Corona
Corona
Corona Extra
Dos Equis
Fosters
Fuller's
Guinness
Heineken
Joseph Huber Brewing Co.
Keystone Light
Latrobe
Michelob
Miller
Miller Genuine Draft
Miller Lite
Newcastle
Red Stripe
Rolling Rock
Sam Adams
Yuengling
Traditional
Black & Tan

Beer is the world's most popular alcoholic beverage. It is produced through the fermentation of cereal sugars which are not distilled after fermentation. Alcoholic beverages made from the fermentation of sugars derived from non-grain sources — grape juice or honey, for example — are not considered to be beer, even though produced by the same yeast-based biochemical reaction.

Because the ingredients and procedures used to make beer can differ, beer characteristics such as taste and colour may also vary. While local names for beers made with the same methods and ingredients may vary, the similarities of method and ingredients can be detected to form a study of the nature of beer styles.

Beer is one of the oldest beverages humans have produced, dating back to at least the 5th millennium BC and recorded in the written history of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

In Classical Greece and Rome wine was the usual alcoholic beverage and beer was little known, except as a drink favoured by foreigners (barbarians) of the Middle East and northern Europe. Tacitus wrote disparagingly of the beer brewed by the Germanic peoples of his day, but documentary evidence (e.g. from Vindolanda) shows that Roman troops serving in northern and central Europe customarily drank local types of beer.

Beer largely remained a homemaker's activity, made in the home in medieval times. By the 14th and 15th centuries, beermaking was gradually changing from a family-oriented activity to an artisan one, with pubs and monasteries brewing their own beer for mass consumption.

Today, the brewing industry is a huge global business, consisting of several multinational companies, and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries.

The brewing process

Though the process of brewing beer is complex and varies considerably, the basic stages that are consistent are outlined below. There may be additional filtration steps between stages.

Mashing: The first phase of brewing, in which the malted grains are crushed and soaked in warm water in order to create a malt extract. The mash is held at constant temperature long enough for enzymes to convert starches into fermentable sugars.

Sparging: Water is filtered through the mash to dissolve the sugars. The darker, sugar-heavy liquid is called the wort.

Boiling: The wort is boiled along with any remaining ingredients (excluding yeast), to remove excess water and kill any microorganisms. The hops (whole, pelleted, or extract) are added at some stage during the boil.

Fermentation: The yeast is added (or "pitched") and the beer is left to ferment. After primary fermentation, the beer may be allowed a second fermentation, which allows further settling of yeast and other particulate matter "trub" which may have been introduced earlier in the process. Some brewers may skip the secondary fermentation and simply filter off the yeast.

Packaging: At this point, the beer contains alcohol, but not much carbon dioxide. The brewer has a few options to increase carbon dioxide levels. The most common approach by large-scale brewers is force carbonation, via the direct addition of CO2 gas to the keg or bottle. Smaller-scale or more classically-minded brewers will add extra ("priming") sugar or a small amount of newly fermenting wort ("kräusen") to the final vessel, resulting in a short refermentation known as "cask-" or "bottle conditioning".

After brewing, the beer is usually a finished product. At this point the beer is kegged, casked, bottled, or canned.
Unfiltered beers may be stored for further fermentation in conditioning tanks, casks or bottles to allow smoothing of harsh alcohol notes, integration of heavy hop flavours, and/or the introduction of oxidised notes such as wine or sherry flavours.

Some beer enthusiasts consider a long conditioning period attractive for various strong beers such as Barley wines. There are some beer cafes in Europe, such as Kulminator in Antwerp, which stock beers aged ten years or more. Aged beers such as Bass Kings Ale from 1902, Courage Imperial Russian Stout and Thomas Hardys Ale are particularly valued.


Ingredients

The main ingredients of beer are water, malted barley, hops and yeast. Other ingredients, such as flavouring or sources of sugar, are called adjuncts and are commonly used; common adjuncts are corn, rice and sugar. These starches convert in the mashing process to easily fermentable sugars that serve to increase the alcohol content of beer while adding little body or flavor. Major American breweries use relatively high percentages of adjuncts in order to produce very light-bodied beer at 4-5% alcohol by volume.

Water: Because beer is composed mainly of water, the source of the water and its characteristics have an important effect on the character of the beer. Many beer styles were influenced or even determined by the characteristics of the water in the region. Although the effect of, and interactions between, various dissolved minerals in brewing water is complex, as a general rule, hard water is more suited to dark styles such as stouts or porters, while very soft water is more suited for brewing light-colored beers, such as pilsners.

Malt: Among malts, barley malt is the most widely used owing to its high amylase content, a digestive enzyme which facilitates the breakdown of the starch into sugars. However, depending on what can be cultivated locally, other malted and unmalted grains are also commonly used, including wheat, rice, oats, and rye, and less frequently, maize and sorghum. Malt is formed from grain by soaking it in water, allowing it to start to germinate, and then drying the germinated grain in a kiln. Malting the grain produces the enzymes that will eventually convert the starches in the grain into fermentable sugars. Different roasting times and temperatures are used to produce different colors of malt from the same grain. Darker malts will produce darker beers. In most cases, two or more types of malt are combined when making modern beers.

Crushed hops

Hops: Hops have commonly been used as a bittering agent in beer since the seventeenth century. Hops contain several characteristics very favorable to beer: (a) hops contribute a bitterness that balances the sweetness of the malt, (b) hops also contribute aromas which range from flowery to citrus to herbal, (c) hops have an antibiotic effect that favours the activity of brewer's yeast over less desirable microorganisms and (d) the use of hops aids in "head retention", the length of time that foamy head created by the beer's carbonation agent will last. The bitterness of commercially-brewed beers is measured on the International Bitterness Units scale. While hops plants are grown by farmers all around the world in many different varieties, there is no major commercial use for hops other than in beer.

Yeast: is a microorganism that is responsible for fermentation. A specific strain of yeast is chosen depending on the type of beer being produced, the two main strains being ale yeast (saccharomyces cerevisiae) and lager yeast (saccharomyces uvarum), with some other variations available, such as brettanomyces and Torulaspora delbrueckii. Yeast will metabolise the sugars extracted from the grains, and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide as a result. Before yeast's functions were understood, all fermentations were conducted naturally using wild or airborne yeasts; although a few styles such as lambics still rely on this ancient method, most modern fermentations are conducted using pure yeast cultures. On average, beer's alcohol content is between 4% and 6% alcohol by volume, although it can be as low as 2% and as high as 14% under ordinary circumstances and several brewers claim to make beers that are upwards of 20%.

Clarifying agent: Some brewers add one or more clarifying agents to beer that are not required to be published as ingredients. Common examples of these include Isinglass finings, obtained from swimbladders of fish; kappa carrageenan, derived from seaweed; Irish moss, a type of red alga; and gelatin.

Since these ingredients may be derived from animals, those concerned with the use or consumption of animal products should obtain specific details of the filtration process from the brewer.

Varieties Of Beer

There are only several different types of beer, though there are many different names and style labels that attempt to categorise beers by overall flavour and occasionally origin. The British beer writer Michael Jackson wrote about beers from around the world in his 1977 book The World Guide To Beer and organised them into style groups of his own devising. This book had an influence on craft and home brewers in USA who developed an intricate system of categorising beers which is exemplified by the Beer Judge Certification Program. Outside of North America beer is mainly categorised by strength and/or colour.
A common method of categorising beer is by the yeast used in the fermentation process. Most beers fall into one of two large families: ale, using top-fermenting yeast, or lager, using bottom-fermenting yeast. Beers that blend the characteristics of ales and lagers are referred to as hybrids. Alcoholic beverages made from the fermentation of sugars derived from non-grain sources are generally not called "beer," despite being produced by the same yeast-based biochemical reaction. Fermented honey is called mead, fermented apple juice is called cider, fermented pear juice is called perry, and fermented grape juice is called wine.

Ale

Cask ales

A modern ale is commonly defined by the strain of yeast used and the fermenting temperature.
An ale yeast is normally considered to be a top-fermenting yeast, though a number of British brewers, such as Fullers and Weltons, use ale yeast strains that settle at the bottom. Common features of ale yeasts regardless of top or bottom fermentation is that they ferment quicker than lager yeasts, they convert less of the sugar into alcohol (giving a sweeter, fuller body) and they produce more esters (which give a fruity taste) and diacetyl (which gives a buttery taste).

Ale is typically fermented at higher temperatures than lager beer (15–23°C, 60–75°F). Ale yeasts at these temperatures produce significant amounts of esters and other secondary flavor and aroma products, and the result is a beer with slightly "fruity" compounds resembling but not limited to apple, pear, pineapple, banana, plum, or prune.
Stylistic differences between some ales and lagers can be difficult to categorize. Steam beer, Kölsch and some modern British Golden Summer Beers are seen as hybrids, using elements of both lager and ale production. Baltic Porter and Bière de Garde may be produced by either lager or ale methods or a combination of both. However, commonly, lager is perceived to be cleaner tasting, dryer and lighter in the mouth than ale.

Lager

A glass of lager

Lagers are the most commonly-consumed beer in the world. They are of Central European origin, taking their name from the German lagern ("to store"). Lager yeast is a bottom-fermenting yeast, and typically undergoes primary fermentation at 7-12°C (45-55°F) (the "fermentation phase"), and then is given a long secondary fermentation at 0-4°C (30-40°F) (the "lagering phase"). During the secondary stage, the lager clears and mellows. The cooler conditions also inhibit the natural production of esters and other byproducts, resulting in a "crisper" tasting beer.

Modern methods of producing lager were pioneered by Gabriel Sedlmayr the Younger, who perfected dark brown lagers at the Spaten Brewery in Bavaria, and Anton Dreher, who began brewing a lager, probably of amber-red color, in Vienna in 1840–1841. With modern improved fermentation control, most lager breweries use only short periods of cold storage, typically 1–3 weeks.

In terms of volume, most of today's lager is based on the Pilsner style, pioneered in 1842 in the town of Plzen, in the Czech Republic. The modern Pilsner lager is light in colour and high in carbonation, with a strong hop flavour and an alcohol content of 3–6% by volume. The Pilsner Urquell or Heineken brands of beer are typical examples of pilsner beer, as are most American beers such as Budweiser, Coors and Miller.

Spontaneous fermentation

These are beers which use wild yeasts, rather than cultivated ones. All beers before the cultivation of yeast in the 19th century were closer to this style, characterised by their sour flavours.

Hybrid beers

Hybrid beers have some of the characteristics of ale and of lager. Steam beer, Kölsch and some modern British Golden Summer Beers are seen as hybrids, using elements of both lager and ale production. While Baltic Porter and Bière de Garde may be produced by either lager or ale methods or a combination of both.

Draught and keg beers

Draught beer keg fonts at the Delirium Café in Brussels

Draught beer from a pressurised keg is the most common dispense method in bars around the world. A metal keg is pressurised with carbon dioxide (CO2) gas which drives the beer to the dispensing tap or faucet. Some beers, notably stouts, such as Guinness and "Smooth" bitters, such as Boddingtons, may be served with a nitrogen/carbon dioxide mixture. Nitrogen has fine bubbles, producing a dense head and a creamy mouthfeel.
In the 1980s Guinness introduced the beer widget, a nitrogen pressurised ball inside a can which creates a foamy head. The words "draft" and "draught" are often used as marketing terms to describe canned or bottled beers containing a beer widget.

Cask ales

Schlenkerla Rauchbier direct from the cask

Cask ales are unfiltered and unpasteurised. When the landlord feels the beer has settled, and he is ready to serve it, he will knock a soft spile into a bunghole on the side of the cask. The major difference in appearance between a keg and a cask is the bunghole. A keg does not have a bunghole on the side.

The soft spile in the bunghole allows gas to vent off. This can be seen by the bubbles foaming around the spile. The landlord will periodically check the bubbles by wiping the spile clean and then watching to see how fast the bubbles reform. There still has to be some life in the beer otherwise it will taste flat, but too much life and the beer will taste hard or fizzy. When the beer is judged to be ready, the landlord will replace the soft spile with a hard one (which doesn’t allow air in or gas out) and let the beer settle for 24 hours. He will also knock a tap into the end of the cask. This might simply be a tap if the cask is stored behind the bar. The beer will then be served simply under gravity pressure: turn on the tap, and the beer comes out. But if the cask is in the cellar, the beer needs to travel via tubes, or beer lines, up to the bar area using a beer engine.

Bottle conditioned beers

Bottle conditioned beers are unfiltered and unpasteurised. It is usually recommended that the beer is poured slowly, leaving any yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle. However, some drinkers prefer to pour in the yeast, and this practise is customary with wheat beers. Typically when serving a hefeweizen 90% of the contents is poured and the remainder swirled to dissolve the sediment before pouring it into the glass.

Beer culture

Gambrinus - king of beer

Beer in a social context

Various social traditions and activities are associated with beer drinking, such as playing cards, darts or other games; or visiting a series of different pubs in one evening. Consumption in isolation and excess may be associated with people "drowning their sorrows," while drinking in excess in company may be associated with binge drinking.

Beer around the world

Beer is consumed in countries all over the world. There are breweries in Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq and Syria as well as African countries and remote countries such as Mongolia.

Serving

Glassware

An appropriate glass is considered desirable by some beer drinkers. Some drinkers of beer may sometimes drink straight from the bottle or can, while others may pour their beer into a vessel before imbibing. Drinking out of a bottle inhibits aromas picked up by the nose, so if a drinker wishes to appreciate a beer's aroma, the beer is first poured into a glass, mug, tankard, or stein. As with wine, there are specialized styles of glassware for some styles of beer, and some breweries even produce glassware intended for their own beers. Some aficionados claim that the shape and material of the vessel influences the perception of the aroma and the way in which the beer settles, similar to claims by drinkers of brandy or cognac. Some drinkers in Britain prefer their ale to be served in pewter tankards, while in Europe it is common for glasses to be rinsed just before beer is poured into them. While glass is completely non-porous, its surface can retain oil from the skin, aerosolized oil from nearby cooking, and traces of fat from food. When these oils come in contact with beer there is a significant reduction in the amount of head (foam) that is found on the beer, and the bubbles will tend to stick to the side of the glass rather than rising to the surface as normal.

Temperature

The conditions of serving have an influence on a drinker's experience. An important factor is temperature: colder temperatures start to inhibit the chemical senses of the tongue and throat, which narrow down the flavour profile of a beer, allowing delicate, fully attenuated beers such as Pilsners and Pale lagers to be appreciated for their crispness, but preventing the more rounded flavours of an ale or a stout from being perceived. While there are no firmly agreed principles for all cases, a general approach is that lighter coloured beers, such as Pale lagers, are best served cold (40-45F/4-7C), while dark, strong beers such as Imperial Stouts should be served at cellar temperature (54-60F/12-16C) and then allowed to warm up in the room to individual taste. Beers between these two extremes should be served at temperatures between these extremes.

Pouring

The pouring process has an influence on a beer's presentation.
The rate of flow from the tap or other serving vessel, tilt of the glass, and position of the pour (in the center or down the side) into the glass all influence the end result, such as the size and longevity of the head, lacing (the pattern left by the head as it moves down the glass as the beer is drunk), and turbulence of the beer and its release of carbonation.
Heavily carbonated beers such as German pilsners or weissbiers may need settling time before serving, however many Weissbiers are served with the addition of the remaining yeast at the bottom of the bottle to add both flavor and color.

Rating beer

Rating beer is a recent craze that combines the enjoyment of beer drinking with the hobby of collecting. People drink beer and then record their scores and comments on various internet websites. This is a worldwide activity and people in the USA will swap bottles of beer with people living in New Zealand and Russia. People's scores may be tallied together to create lists of the most popular beers in each country as well as the most highly rated beers in the world.

Health effects

Beer contains alcohol which has a number of health risks and benefits. However, beer includes a wide variety of other agents that are currently undergoing scientific evaluation.
Nutritionally, beer can contain significant amounts of magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, and B vitamins. Typically, the darker the brew, the more nutrient dense.
A 2005 Japanese study found that non-alcoholic beer may possess strong anti-cancer properties. [1]. Another study found non-alcoholic beer to mirror the cardiovascular benefits associated with moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages.

It is considered that over-eating and lack of muscle tone is the main cause of a beer belly, rather than beer consumption.

The Strongest Beers In The World

Beer strength varies by local custom. British ale tends to average 4.4% abv. Belgian beers tend to average 8% abv. While the typical strength for the global pale lager is 5% abv. The yeast used for brewing beer normally cannot get the strength much beyond 12% abv; however, in the 1980s the Swiss brewery Hurlimann developed a yeast strain which could get as high as 14% for their Samichlaus beer. Since then breweries have experimented with using champagne yeasts, continually pushing up the strength. Samuel Adams reached 20% abv with Millennium. The strongest beer sold in Britain was Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout, a 21% abv stout which was available from UK Safeways in 2003. In Japan in 2005, the Hakusekikan Beer Restaurant sold an Eisbock believed to be 28% abv. The beer that is considered to be the strongest yet made is Hair of the Dog's Dave - a 29% abv barley wine made in 1994.



 What is a beer garden...?

A beer garden (or in the German language, Biergarten) is an open-air drinking establishment that originated in Bavaria, where beer gardens in general are distinguished from traditional beer gardens today. In Austria, the beer garden is called Gastgarten (guest garden).

History

Beer gardens developed in Bavaria in the 19th century, during which top-fermented beer was predominant. According to a decree by King Ludwig I, this had to be brewed during the cold months, since the fermentation had to take place at temperatures between four and eight degrees Celsius. In order to provide this beer during the summer, large breweries dug beer cellars in the banks of the river Isar, which allowed them to keep the beer cool. In order to further reduce the cellar temperature, the banks were covered in gravel and chestnuts were planted, since their leaves provided good shade in summer.
Soon after, the beer cellars were used not only to store but also to serve the beer. Simple tables and benches were set up among the trees, and soon the beer gardens were a popular venue for the citizens of Munich. A Munich beer hall was the location where Adolf Hitler and the Nazis attempted to overthrow the government in what would come to be known as the Beer Hall Putsch.

This aggrieved the smaller breweries that remained in Munich. In order to prevent the further loss of customers, they petitioned Ludwig I to forbid that the beer cellars surrounding Munich to serve food. Thus, the patrons had to bring their own food.
This decree is no longer in force, and many beer gardens do serve food today, but many beer gardens still allow their patrons to bring their own food. The latter beer gardens are called traditional beer gardens. In summer, these are a cheap and convenient way of eating out under chestnut trees in the shade, avoiding expensive restaurants in the upscale city of Munich and have become an important part of life for many citizens. Traditional beer gardens cannot be found in other German cities. The Biergärten have developed their own food culture, which typically features Radi (Radish), Brezen, and Obatzda. If one chooses to buy food on site, another classic is Hoibe Hendl (half a grilled chicken).
The Waldwirtschaft near Pullach and the Kugler-Alm, both of which claim to have invented Radler, are among the oldest Munich beer gardens. The largest traditional beer garden in the world is the Hirschgarten in Munich.


Beer gardens around the world

Many locales around the world feature the name beer garden. Most of them are indoors, thus more resembling the German beer hall, featuring the originals' selection of foods, and live music. In Japan, outdoor beer gardens are enjoying increasing popularity.