Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. It would be very difficult to find a person that has never tasted beer. This drink is made from malted barley, though wheat, corn, and rice are also used. During the brewing process, fermentation of the starch sugars in the wort produces ethanol and carbonation in the resulting beer. Most modern beer is brewed with hops, which add bitterness and other flavors. Now it is popular to add some other flavors such as berries, fruit, herbs, or mix it with other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Beer is also one of the oldest drinks and it is mentioned in many historical sources and even in the holy Bible. So, check your knowledge about beer!
There are many similar words in different languages that describes beer. For example, the Swedish term öl, the Danish and Norwegian word øl, the Finnish term olut and the Estonian õlu or the English word ale, is derived from the root of the Indo-European word ‘alu’. The main raw material in the production of beer is malt – sprouted grains, usually barley, but can also be wheat (for wheat beer), or even oats and rye.
Dark beer is made from dark caramel malt, for which germinated barley is dried at a temperature of up to 200 ° C. For ordinary light beer, the barley is dried by gradually raising the temperature from 35 ° C to 50 ° C and from 60 ° C to 80 ° C.
In the past, the quantity of beer was calculated in buckets in many European countries. When people were preparing for some occasions or celebrations, the required amount of beer was calculated in bucket per person. So, it was necessary to make as many buckets of beer as the number of invited people. To be clear, one bucket was approximately 12.3 l. As you can imagine, it was impossible to be sober after any celebration.
The Law of Beer Purity (the Reinheitsgebot) was developed in the Bavarian Land in Germany in 1516 when Prince Wilhelm IV issued a law that strictly defined what ingredients could be used to make beer. The law said that “All brewers may consume only barley malt, hops, and fresh water to make the true beer”. Today, this law is considered the oldest food law in force.
However, the primary purpose of this law of purity was to protect bread but not beer. The restriction of beer ingredients was necessary in order to prohibit to use those cereals that are essentially to make bread such as rye and wheat. Barley was not very suitable for bread, so they were allowed for beer production.
The well-known term “honeymoon” derives from the tradition related with beer. There was a law created in 4000BC in Babylon when a father of a bride had to treat a new son-in-law with a “honey beer” prepared according to a special recipe for a whole month after the marriage.