Beer has been a part of human civilization since the domestication of cereal grains. Some interesting facts have sprung up concerning your beloved beverage during that time too. Here are some fascinating facts about beer, drawn from throughout history.
Prohibition: Prohibition in the US lasted 13 years, 10 months, 19 days, 17 hours and 32 minutes. It was never successful, but took an enormously long time to be repealed. If it weren’t for Prohibition, organized crime would have to have found another way to spread. Also, there would be no NASCAR.
Babylon: The birthplace of beer was Babylon. It was a holy brew and brewers were held to strict quality control standards. In fact, they were so strict that if a brewer made a bad batch, he was sentenced to drown in his own brew.
Water: Water is the major component in beer but water from different areas helped give rise to different styles of beer. London and Dublin both have very different beer styles largely because of the differences in the mineral content of their water.
Stout: Stouts and porters are both derived from ale, the same as India pale ale and hefeweizen are. Bocks and pilsners on the other hand, are derived from lagers.
Elimination: The human body eliminates alcohol in three ways – urination, exhalation of breath and by processing in the liver. Through this tripartite elimination process, the human body can break down the alcohol in one drink within an hour.
Storage: Beer bottles should be stored upright. This helps prevent contamination from the cap but also helps prevent oxidation, which is responsible for breaking down the flavor and freshness in a beer.
Safety: During the Middle Ages and ancient times, it was very difficult to find safe drinking water. Many people chose to drink beer or wine instead of water to avoid sicknesses like dysentery. In addition, beer or wine was often added to water so that the alcohol could kill any germs in it.
Clarity: Brewers often find that they need to clarify their beers before bottling. One of the most common things used to do this is called isinglass. It’s made from the swim bladder of the beluga sturgeon. Plenty of large and small breweries use this ingredient as well.
These are only a handful of the fascinating facts regarding beer and brewing. Why not raise a glass of your favorite brew to this weird and wonderful world?