It’s National Beer Day! And we should all be theoretically celebrating by reaching for that lost Cheeto in random bodily crevices. Just kidding, and shame on you for believing that, because beer is clearly important now, and serious, and mustachioed, and all of the above. Truly, it is an incredibly interesting (and almost overwhelming) time to be a beer lover. So in honor of the cup that runneth-frothy-over, a few tidbits about the suds in your mug…
The “rule” of beer has a dope, scary-sounding name. It’s Reinheitsgebot, and we’ll talk about it on its anniversary, but basically it’s a rule that preserves the purity of beer production.
If you love beer (any quality/variety of beer), today you must pay homage to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the basic brewer’s yeast.
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Beer is made from recognizable foodstuffs. OK, so is wine. But beer is made from water, yeast, (generally) malted barley, and (after a while) hops. Which is why beer is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages known to man (basically a loaf of bread left out, some ambient yeast, and time…hiccup).
Beer is one of the only alcoholic beverages recognized for helping you sleep.
Beer is just dope, dude.
Beer can have a variety of flavors, depending on how it’s hopped or what kind of malted and/or unmalted grain is used in the mash bill.
Speaking of, hops are kind of like delicious edible pine cones. OK, so not all hops taste like pine, but some do. They can taste like pine and citrus and florals, etc.
Oh, and hops are definitely a cousin of cannabis. Yep, the piny resin in your bong has a relative in the IPA bottle next to it.
Hopping a beer is kind of like seasoning a sauce, and it’s as essential. (Think of adding a tablespoon as opposed to a pinch of dry oregano to a sauce.) Whether you chuck the hops in “wet” (while the sauce is cooking) or “dry” (after it’s done) will make a significant difference in how much the hops are broken down, how much their essential oils come out, how bitter the sauce is, etc.
There is actually (and god help us) such a thing as Edward 40 Hands.
Speaking of, 40s aren’t quite beer, they’re really the dregs of beer. “Beer-derived mixes,” per Wikipedia, which anyone who’s sipped an Olde English 800, can attest to. Generally made from more adjuncts, and enzymes, to up the alcohol content.
If you are at a bar with “cask ale,” try it. It’s basically a beer treated like a Champagne, allowed to ferment a second time in the cask, not pasteurized, not touched, basically as raw as beer can get.
Not something to love, but to note, about beer. We didn’t get the hang of it until relatively recently, and at one point, it flooded some streets.
Something to love a bit more about beer: it gave rise to a satirical, and then earnest, political reaction to Soviet oppression in Eastern Europe. What have you done with your Coors lately? (Kidding. Chill.)