CRAFT BEER – THE HISTORY AND HERITAGE
Beer is made up of four main components: hops, grain, yeast, and water; put these things all together, and you have the nectar of the gods…
Although these same four basic ingredients are used to make all beers, better beer is made using better ingredients: more whole hops, all-grain barley malts, unique yeast strains, and fresh, pure water. The varieties and quantities of each ingredient determine the color, flavor, aroma and overall character of the beer being brewed. We welcome all thirsty voyagers to explore the wonderful world of premium beers at Ole.
HOPS (HUMULUS IUPULUS)
Hops provide beer with flavor and aroma, as well as acting as a natural preservative. Hops grow on climbing vines and produce tiny cone-shaped flowers. There are more than 100 hop varieties grown throughout the world.
Malt is the major ingredient in beer and influences color, body, flavor and strength. Malt is actually the term used for grain (usually barley) that has gone through the malting process. As a general rule, the darker the malt the darker the beer; and the more malt used in the brewing, the more flavorful and higher the alcohol content.
Yeast is the catalyst that produces the alcohol and natural carbonation contained in beer. Yeast converts the sugars from the malt into carbon dioxide and alcohol. Different yeasts ferment sugars in different ways, producing unique flavors and defining whether a brew is classified as a lager or an ale.
Since each glass or bottle of beer is made of between 90 and 95% water, water quality does have an effect on the final taste.
- All beer is either ale or lager. The difference is either a top fermentation yeast (ale) or a bottom fermentation yeast (lager).
- Beer is one of the world’s oldest prepared beverages, with chemical evidence of barley beer dating back to 3500-3100 BC.
- At 65 percent alcohol by volume, Armageddon from Brewmaster in Scotland is the world’s strongest beer.
- Beer is easiest on the kidneys among alcoholic beverages because of its high water content.
- The first beer cans were produced in 1935.
- It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago, that for a month after the wedding, a bride’s father would supply his son-in law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the “honey month”, or what we know today as the “honeymoon”.
- In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. It’s where we get the phrase “mind your P’s and Q’s”.