~ Beer Facts ~

Beer, the oldest known alcoholic beverage, dates back to 3000 BC. All beer is the result of sugar extraction from grain. This sweet liquid (wort) is boiled with hops, and sometimes spices, which are used to add bitterness and aroma. The liquid is then fermented with a special yeast strain to convert the sugars to alcohol (by-product) and carbon dioxide (product).  Almost all beer falls into two main categories: lagers and ales.

Lagers

Bottom fermenting yeast is used in the fermentation process. Lagers ferment at a colder temperature than ales and generally take weeks longer to ferment out than ales. Characteristically lagers are typically clearer, cleaner and crisper tasting than ales and are meant to be drunk at a colder temperature. (40-50 degrees Fahrenheit) Styles include Pilsners,  Helles, Dunkels, Bocks, Schwarzbiers and Oktoberfests- just to name a few.

Pilsner

Originally from the town of Plzen in the Czech Republic.  Straw colored with moderate hop aromas and a good light malt balance.

Helles

Golden in color, this lager is medium bodied with a toasted malt flavor with a low hop aroma and flavor.

Dunkel

Generally dark brown in color with roasted malt, baked bread and chocolate flavors.

Bock

Originally from the German town of Einbeck.  Generally high in alcohol with sweet malt aroma and flavor.

Oktoberfest

Traditionally this style was brewed in Germany in September. Amber to mahogany in color this style is traditional really malty in flavor with little hop presence.

Ales

Top fermenting yeast is used in the fermentation process. Ales ferment at a warmer temperature than lagers and tend to ferment in just a couple of days as opposed to weeks. Characteristically ales are more complex, fuller bodied and hazier than lagers and are meant to be drunk at a slightly warmer temperature. (50-60 degrees Fahrenheit)  .….Styles include Pale Ales, IPAs, Blonde or Golden Ales, Bitters, Wheat Beers, Saison, Scottish Ales, Belgians, Porters, and Stouts- just to name a few.

Pale Ale

A lower alcohol version of the IPA brewed for the British public. Pale Ales are generally medium bodied with a nice malt and hop balance with a lot of hop aroma and flavor.

IPA (India Pale Ale)

Originally brewed stronger and hoppier than other styles to survive the boat ride from Britain to India. Intensely hoppy and bitter.

Blonde or Golden Ale

Traditionally brewed with pale malt this beer is golden in color with a lighter body and good hop characteristics.

Bitter

Heavy handed hoppy beer that is light bodied with varying degrees of alcohol content.

Wheat Beer

Malted barley and wheat are used in the brewing process to create a crisp, spicy and light bodied ale.

Scottish Ale

Less hop and more big malt flavors are present with this style. Full-bodied and sweet with a roasty malted flavor.

Porter

A little lighter in body and color than a stout. Porters are light bodied dark ales with roasted coffee and toffee flavors.

Stout

Dark brown to black in color with a medium to full-bodied mouth feel. Lightly hopped with roasted coffee and chocolate flavors.

Cask-conditioned Beer

Cask beer is beer that is carbonated, or “conditioned” in the cask or keg.  This is done by adding a small amount of fermenting gyle, or new beer, to a keg of still beer. Cask beer is pulled by a hand pump-a device called a beer engine-that draws the beer from the keg into the pint glass- as opposed to other draught beer that is pushed from the keg to the glass by CO2 or a blended beer gas. Cask conditioned beer is not carbonated as other draught beers are. In the UK, cask ale is served at cellar temperature 52-54 degrees Fahrenheit . It is served a little warmer than our other beers to help let the best flavors of the ale come out.

Beer Fun Facts

“A quart of ale is a dish for a king.”-Shakespeare

The oldest known written recipe is for beer.

The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, not because it was their intended destination (they were on course to sail well south), but they settled on the destination up north simply because they ran out of beer.

FDR was elected President in 1932 because of his platform promise to end Prohibition.

In England, Ale used to be served only in Pints and Quarts. When the patrons became unruly, the publican would settle the rowdy patrons down by telling them to “mind their Pints & Quarts.” That is where the saying “mind your P’s & Q’s” originated.

Years ago in the UK, drinking vessels had a whistle baked into the rim of the glass. When a patron wanted additional ale, they would blow the whistle to summon the barkeep over to refill the glass. “Wet your whistle” is a phrase that evolved from that long gone act.

Beer is the 3rd most consumed beverage in the world behind water and tea.