Beer: a bit of history and curiosity

Beer is one of the oldest beverages in the world. The first evidence of beer on hearth has to date back to more than 6000 years ago. The Sumerians used to drink this "liquid bread", called "sikaru", which was one of the first beer ever invented. A few centuries later, the beer also appeared in the "Hammourabi code", which condemned to death those who weren't manufacturing beer according to established criteria.

REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

This amber color deink was also used as a medicine to relieve some types of pain. In support of this theory, according to a study published in the American Joirnal of Clinical Nutrition, the beer would do a very good job to strenghten our bones. Some used to say that beer, drink moderately during and after pregnancy, was helpful for milk breast production, but this is completely false.

Beer is essentially composed of four ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast.

To produce a liter of beer, you'll need roughly 14 liters of water, quite a lot isn't it?

Malt is perhaps the main element of the beer, and is obtained processing some cereals, barley on top of them.

To give the beer a yellowish colour but also to give a balance to the flavor, they're using  hops, a plant. The "lupulin", in fact gives that typical yellowish color to the beer but also the bitter taste.

Last but not least, there are yeasts, directly responsible of beer fermentation. Yeasts helps to transform the sugars into the malt into carbon dioxide, giving the beer its typical carbonation.

Now, if someone ask you who are the most hardened beer drinkers, what would you answer? Probably Germans, or maybe  English ... and you would be wrong. According to a survey done not long ago, taking results per capita the most loyal beer consumers are ... Czechoslovakian! Would you have guessed? Closely followed by Germans.

In the world, some people are so much lucky, to have their own personal beer, and it is the case of President of the United States Barack Obama. The beer is called "White House Honey Ale" and is produced by the chefs who work at the presidential residence. The recipe, as his name indicates, includes the use of the honey produced in the hives located in the White House super garden.

Of "common" beer the world is full, but now I'm going to list some really weird "variety" :

The "De Molen Kopi Coffee Stout Loewak", is a beer brewed in Netherlands using Kopi Loewak coffee beans, the most expensive coffee in the world from 300 to 600 Euro per kilo. Why so expensive? Simple. Civets, small mammals, chew the coffee beans, which once digested (and evacuated) will be processed to produce this beer. Would you give this a try? I'm not sure...

The "Kwispelbier", also produced in  Netherlands, is a non-alcoholic beer flavored with .... beef. This beer was created by the owner of a pet store, who decided to dedicate this drink to dogs and the name means "wagging tail".

"Mamma Mia!" Beer is produced in United States, among its ingredients we can find  garlic, basil, tomato and oregano, which make it a kind of "drinkable pizza".

Finally, the most expensive beer in the world, the "Vieille Bon Secours", sold in London for about 700 euros a bottle, in "Belgo" restaurant, Holborn. The beer has hints of caramel, coffee, licorice and anise.

Always in London, beer was the main protagonist of a real flooding: on October 16th 1814, an enormous tank of beer broke down and almost one and a half million liters of beer invaded the streets smashing everything they met on its way. The factory was not closed, until 1922.


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