Let me start this article by greeting the readers in German language, “Guten Morgen!” meaning in plain and simple English words, “Good morning!” It is October as we all know. And it is the beer month—the month dedicated to all beer lovers around the globe. To the Germans and Bavarians, it is the much-awaited event of the year, the Oktoberfest. It is a 16-day festival celebrating beer wherein people from all over the world attend this festivity to drink different varieties of beer and food. Only beer with 6.0 % alcohol may be served in the occasion. Oktoberfest started in 1810 in the country of Bavaria to celebrate the wedding of their Crown Prince Ludwig later King Ludwig I to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The people of Munich were invited to attend the festivity and horse races were held in front of the royal family to mark the end of the occasion. The decision to repeat the horse races in the following years gave rise to the tradition of Oktoberfest. Since then Oktoberfest became a part of Bavarian culture, until now.
I am a beer drinker, not a lover. I seldom drink beer. I drink it when my mood calls for it. I prefer cocktail drinks. Beer, for me, is made for men. Most Filipinos are beer drinkers because it is much cheaper compared to other alcoholic beverages. So, what’s with beer that people, preferably men, liked so much. Some friends I asked told me that it is not the beer they are after; it is the camaraderie, their relationship with each other that matters; drinking is just a secondary reason.
There are two situations that can guarantee beer drinking sessions: first, when the person is in a joyous state, either he wins the lottery, a new baby, a job, a promotion or a new girlfriend/boyfriend, etc.; second, is when a person feels the wrath of reality, either nursing a broken heart, someone died, a demotion in work or worse being laid off in his/her job. To them, beer is the best company. One night of being drunk is a remedy to forget reality.
Let’s talk about beer. Beer is an alcoholic beverage. According to the reports, it is the third most popular drink after water, tea and coffee. Beer is produced by saccharification of starch and fermentation of the resulting sugar. The starch and sugar are made from malted barley and wheat. Most beers are flavored with Hops. Remember that commercial with three beautiful and sexy ladies? It adds the bitterness and acts as natural preservatives. Brewing is the term used in the preparation of beer.
Beer is considered the world’s oldest prepared beverage. Archaeologists speculated that beer was instrumental in the formation of civilization since wheat farming started in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, known today as Iraq. The earliest known chemical evidence of barley beer dates back to 3500-3100 BC. A fermented beverage using rice and fruit was made in China around 7000 BC. Beer was introduced in Europe in 3000 BC. Their Beer was a combination of starch, fruits, nuts, honey, and, some narcotic herbs, and later added hops for flavoring.
There are different varieties of beer which a drinker can choose depending on his taste:
Pale ale. It is a beer which uses a top fermenting yeast and pale malt. It is one of the major beer styles in the world.
Stout. Stout and porter is a dark beer made from using roasted malts and barley brewed in slow fermenting yeast.
Mild. It has a predominantly malty palate with lighter hue.
Wheat. German-style beer made largely from wheat and barley.
Lager. An English name for cool fermenting beer of Central Europe, the term “lager” comes from the German “lagern” for “ to store” since, during the ancient times, Bavarians stored their beer in caves and cool cellars in summer.
Lambic. A Belgium beer, is naturally fermented with yeast using wild yeast, rather than cultivated.
Beer is commonly served in bottle, however, some drinkers prefer their beers in keg and casks. Draught beer from a pressurized keg is the most common way of dispensing beers in pubs. Other type of beers can be found in smaller kegs called beer balls. In 1980, beer widget was introduced, a nitrogen-pressurized ball inside a can which create a dense, tight head, similar to beer served in nitrogen system.
The main active ingredients of beer is alcoholism, therefore, the health effects of alcohol apply to beer. Moderate consumption of alcohol, including beer intake, is associated with a decreased risk of cardiac disease, stroke and cognitive decline. Heavy and long time drinking can cause alcoholism and liver disease.
A recent study said that beer belly is not solely attributed to drinking beer but of overeating carbohydrates and lack of exercise.
My advice to our dear readers, always drink moderately.
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