Published on Monday, 17 March 2014 00:00
In the beginning, Man said “let there be beer”, and it was so. Man saw that the beer was good, and he created the very many varieties of awesome beers that range from lagers to ales that will delight everyone's taste buds. And there was happiness throughout the land and beyond.
What will we ever do if beer was not invented? Most of us will probably be like lost souls aimlessly wandering a desolate plain, devoid of cheer and foreign to any semblance of pleasure. Fortunately, we have the privilege of living in a world where there is beer, and we would like to celebrate that simple fact by sharing more facts about beer.
1. The Ancient Babylonians were the First to Brew
In fact, they took their beer so seriously that anyone who brewed a bad batch would receive their punishment by being drowned in it.
2. Beer Mostly Comprises of Water
This is a widely known, boring fact. However, what is interesting is that the water in certain regions were originally better suited to making certain types of beer. Dublin's mineral-rich hard water, for example, was great for making Stouts such as Guinness. Also in the middle ages, sanitary water was often very difficult to find, so many people took to drinking beer instead because the alcohol made it safer than the water they could find.
3. Beer Tsunami
In 1814, a brewery tank containing 3,500 barrels (that is roughly 411,000 liters) of beer ruptured, causing a tidal wave of beer through a London Parish. Two houses were demolished in the beer tsunami and nine people died.
4. Valhalla has Goat Titty Beer
Vikings believe that when they die in combat, half of those who were slain will be chosen by the god Odin himself and they will ascend to Valhalla led by Valkyries. Various mythical creatures reside in Valhalla like the giant goat called Heiðrún whose udders provide an endless supply of beer (more specifically, mead).
5. Beer Promotes Creativity
More and more companies are stocking up on beer for their employees like how they stock up on coffee. This is because while consuming coffee awakens the mind, drinking beer can help maintain a happy office environment, foster creativity in an individual and improve social connections.
6. Categorizing Beer Like a Boss
You don't need to be a beer expert to be able to categorize beer. Beer is so non-pretentious and so accommodating that it is perfectly fine to categorize beer by mouthfeel (how it feels in your mouth). For example, you can even say that the beer you are tasting feels like rainbows, butterflies and an explosion of flowers in your mouth. Of course, do not overdo it like how I just did.
7. How Beer is Made
First, MALTED BARLEY is mixed with hot water, creating the “mash”, mushy oatmeal-like substance. Next, a sugary liquid called WORT is drained off. The HOPS come in after that which are boiled with the wort to add bitterness, flavor and aroma. YEAST is then mixed with the hopped wort and left to ferment. The yeast converts sugar into ethanol (which is what gets you drunk) and carbon dioxide (which gives beer its bubbles). Most beer falls into two categories; Ales (when the yeast ferments at higher temperatures and stays at the surface) and Lagers (when the yeast ferments at a lower temperature and does not float at the surface). Finally, it sits and ferments for a few weeks until it's packaged and VOILA! Awesomeness is created!
8. How You Get Drunk
After having a little bit too much to to drink, the alcohol is absorbed into your stomach and small intestine and eventually enters the bloodstream where it is carried throughout the body. Drinking on an empty stomach makes you get drunk faster because the alcohol is absorbed more quickly. Your body eliminates the alcohol through urination, breathing it out, and by breaking it down in the liver. Your body can break down about one drink an hour, so when you drink faster than your body can process, you get drunk.
9. The Beer Train Through Your Brain
Firstly, the alcohol hits the cerebral cortex which makes you more talkative and less inhibited. When it then reaches the hippocampus of your brain, it causes memory loss and exaggerated emotions. The cerebellum keeps you balanced. When alcohol hits it, you lose coordination. If the alcohol reaches your medula, you're in big trouble. The medula regulates activities which you do not have to think about like regulating your heart beat and breathing. If you think your heart beat is accelerating or you have difficulty breathing, stop binge-drinking immediately and ask for loads of water.
10. A Few Beer Quotes
“You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline – it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.”
- Frank Zappa
“Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.”
- Dave Barry
“All right, brain, I don't like you and you don't like me – so let's just doo this and I'll get back to killing you with beer.”
- Homer Simpson