There’s so much good beer around the world but sometimes the best is right around the corner.
A local brewery is often a nice little treasure. You can stop at their pub and have a oh-so-fresh treat.
I stopped at a local pub recently and had a random discussion about beer a week or so ago. That prompted me to try and write something on this blog again.
I’ll provide an anecdote, some history, and some random facts.
Splitting wood leads to beer discussion
After a tree fell a couple months ago, I was able to use the lawnmower to pull the log in the backyard near the shed — out of the way — where it’s been sitting.
With winter coming, I figured I’d get it cut into pieces that fit the fireplace. I tried cutting it with a small hacksaw, but I realized I needed a handsaw to do the job right, which explains why I got nowhere fast. Oh well.
I looked into buying and using a splitting maul on the logs a week or so ago; instead, I put up a local ad and paid somebody to do the work.
As the wood chopper chopped the wood, there was discussion about, you guessed it, beer.
I’m not sure how the discussion started, but the chopper listed a few of tips and tricks for keeping commercial beer cold if there’s no cooler.
Example: Get a bag of ice, put a small starter hole in the ice, and shove the beer in. Not a bad idea, I guess.
A little research
I had know idea how long beer has been around, but it dates back to at least 3000 BCE, according to various sources on the Internet — so it must be true, eh?
Essentially, there are two types of beer: Ale and lager.
Ale is made with top fermenting yeasts, and lagers are made with bottom fermenting yeasts.
There are lots of different styles of beer. Some common ones include India Pale Ales (IPA) and stouts.
History has a lot of beer references.
I’m sure you’ve seen the quote, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
Internet research indicates that’s a misquote from Benjamin Franklin.
According to Freakonomics, the inventor and founding father of the US wrote in an undated letter to French writer Abbe Morellet, “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy!”
I did not know that the White House has its own brewing recipe.
And it turns out that more Internet research indicates that former Presidents Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and James Madison were beer brewers.
I know Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the U.S., ended prohibition in 1933 — after 13 years.
It was not until Jimmy Carter legalized home brewing in 1978 that craft brewers could do there thing.
Nowadays, craft brewing is huge and I’ve looked into it because a buddy of mine has a beer making kit. He does it in the shop, but I’ve seen people do it in their basements and bathtubs.
It’s amazing how the smallest changes in ingredients can have a massive impact in the final product.
The main ingredients are water, grain, hops, yeast.
Water accounts for up to 95 percent. Grain provides the color, flavor, maltose, proteins, and dextrins in beer. Hops provide the bitterness, flavor, aroma, and stability. Yeast is either ale yeast or lager yeast.