Beer – Every day is some kind of ‘National’ day. I thought that this one was worthy of celebration with your own brew of choice. Beer is one of the oldest and most popular beverages in history (personally, second only to coffee). Some breweries date back to as early as 1040. The Weihenstephan brewery in Bavaria has been in continuous operation since then.
There are many varieties, though they all fall into two broad categories – ale or lager. The simplest explanation to differentiate between the two is ale is brewed with top-fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and lager with bottom-fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces uvarum). You can read more here and here. For most, the difference is in how th beer looks, smells and tastes. Ales tend to be more fruity, while lagers are more clean, crisp tasting.
If you are on Facebook, you can follow National Drink Beer Day.
Beer – I just discovered that today is International Beer Day. Per the website “International Beer Day is a global celebration of beer, taking place in pubs, breweries, and backyards all over the world. It’s a day for beer lovers everywhere to raise a toast to our brewers and bartenders and rejoice in the greatness of beer!”
Want to celebrate International Beer Day? Check out these suggested activities. Today marks the 10th annual celebration of International Beer Day. Want a poster to help celebrate? You can find two for download at the website.
As the Czech Proverb says “A fine beer may be judged with only one sip . . . but it’s better to be thoroughly sure.” Today is a great day to be “thoroughly sure” that your favorite brew meets your taste standards.
Beer – I like an occasional beer. I came across the article “7 of the Most Common Myths About Beer, Debunked” and thought the results was interesting. The essence of the article is that many have these common misconceptions about beer:
- Beer gets ‘skunked’ when it gets warm – NO, ‘skunking’ is caused from exposure to light.
- The darker the beer the stronger – NO, color is no indication of strength. The darker color is due to longer roasted grains.
- Beer is best served cold – MAYBE, it depends on the style of the brew. If the beer is too cold, it is often hard to taste. Pilsners and IPAs are best served at 40-44 F. Heavier styles should be served warmer, around 55 F.
- Lagers and pilsners are the same thing – SORT OF, Pilsners are a type of Lager (see below). Pilsners are golden, Lagers can be dark, malty and strong
- Bottles are better than cans – NO, cans are the best packaging since they protect the beer from light and oxygen better
- Craft beers should be aged – MAYBE, while aging helps some high alcohol beers, IPAs should be consumed while fresh
- All beer is basically the same – NO, beer is diverse. Styles range from bitter to sweet to sour. Likewise the alcohol content can vary considerably.
Just FYI, per Wikipedia the styles of beer are:
- Pale ale is a beer which uses a top-fermenting yeast and predominantly pale malt. It is one of the world’s major beer styles.
- Stout and porter are dark beers made using roasted malts or roast barley, and typically brewed with slow fermenting yeast. There are a number of variations including Baltic porter, dry stout, and Imperial stout. The name “porter” was first used in 1721 to describe a dark brown beer popular with the street and river porters of London. This same beer later also became known as stout, though the word stout had been used as early as 1677.
- Mild ale has a predominantly malty palate. It is usually dark coloured with an abv of 3% to 3.6%, although there are lighter hued milds as well as stronger examples reaching 6% abv and higher.
- Wheat beer is brewed with a large proportion of wheat although it often also contains a significant proportion of malted barley. Wheat beers are usually top-fermented (in Germany they have to be by law). The flavour of wheat beers varies considerably, depending upon the specific style.
- Lambic, a beer of Belgium, is naturally fermented using wild yeasts, rather than cultivated. Many of these are not strains of brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and may have significant differences in aroma and sourness.
- Lager is cool fermented beer. Pale lagers are the most commonly consumed beers in the world. The name “lager” comes from the German “lagern” for “to store”, as brewers around Bavaria stored beer in cool cellars and caves during the warm summer months. These brewers noticed that the beers continued to ferment, and to also clear of sediment, when stored in cool conditions. Lager yeast is a cool bottom-fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces pastorianus) and typically undergoes primary fermentation at 7–12 °C (45–54 °F) (the fermentation phase), and then is given a long secondary fermentation at 0–4 °C (32–39 °F) (the lagering phase). During the secondary stage, the lager clears and mellows. The cooler conditions also inhibit the natural production of esters and other byproducts, resulting in a “cleaner”-tasting beer.
2016 Cruise – Day 2 – While we were walking up La Rambla, we came across the Restaurant La Rambla. This really wasn’t too far up the La Rambla from the port. The actual restaurant was quite small as can be seen above, but it, like many of the restaurants along the La Rambla, have an outdoor dining room.
While it looks pretty deserted in the photo above, it did not take long before there was a crowd.
One of the things that I tried to do at each of our stops was to try a local beer. In this case it was Estrella Damm again. It was a good beer. We had a great sampler tray for dinner. All of it was interesting and tasty.
We had a great sampler tray for dinner. All of it was interesting and tasty.We really enjoyed this restaurant and we would certainly visit it again if in Barcelona.
See my other Travel, Food and Location articles
Beer – I saw in the article “HEALTHHEALTH NEWSCan Drinking Beer Actually Boost Your Memory?” today that there has been a study that shows that drinking beer can actually improve memory.
You may not remember things as well after you consume alcohol, but may improve recall of what you experience before consumption. I’m not sure there is anything really practical in this. I wouldn’t recommend downing a beer before going in to an exam at school.
2016 cruise – The last thing we did on the first day of our trip in Barcelona was find a place to have dinner. We came upon an Enrique Tomas Smoked Ham Bar that was very near our hotel. We were not at all familiar with it then, but investigating it as I prepared to write this article, I found that it is a popular and large chain throughout Spain.
Sadly, I did not get a picture of the restaurant, but it was similar to the one above.
We started out with an appetizer tray of cheeses. I tried a local (and very good beer) Estrella Damm. This was an excellent start to our dinner.
Our main course was a very tasty Tapas. Needless to say after our long day of travel, we ate every bite!
There were also displays of various kinds of meats available. Several legs of meat were out and you could pick one to select your purchase from. A very different kind of store to American eyes, but one I would go back to in a heart beat.
If you are in Spain, or elsewhere, and you see one of these shops, I encourage you to give it a try. The food was excellent. I finished up the day with 8,192 steps according to my Apple Watch.
See my other Food and Locations articles
I came across the article “Finally, Scientific Proof That IPAs Are Good For You!” this morning. Apparently there has been some research that suggests that the high hops content of IPAs (India Pale Ales) have less of a damaging affect on the body.
So now when you choose to imbibe, perhaps an IPA is your best choice.