England when people received less than a pint (0.47 l) of beer for the price of a pint.]]
A beer is any of a variety of alcoholic beverages produced by the fermentation of starchy material derived from grainss or other plant sources. The production of beer and some other alcoholic beverages is often called brewing. Historically, beer was known to the Sumerians, Egyptians, and Mesopotamians, and dates back at least as far as 4,000 BC. Because the ingredients used to make beer differ from place to place, beer characteristics (type, taste, and colour) vary widely.
Because beer is composed mainly of water, the source of the water and its characteristics have an important effect on the character of the beer. Many beer styles were influenced or even determined by the characteristics of the water in the region.
Among malts, barley malt is the most often and widely used owing to its high enzyme content but other malted and unmalted grains are widely used, including wheat, rice, maize, oats, and rye.
Hops are a relatively recent addition to beer, having been introduced only a few hundred years ago. They contribute a bitterness that balances the sweetness of the malt and have a mild antibiotic effect that favours the activity of brewer's yeast over less desirable organisms. Yeast, in a process called fermentation, metabolize the sugars extracted from the grains, producing many compounds including alcohol and carbon dioxide. Dozens of strains of natural or cultured yeasts are used by brewers, roughly sorted into three kinds: ale or top-fermenting, lager or bottom fermenting, and wild yeasts. The scientific name for brewer's yeast is Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an important model organism in molecular and cell biology.
One pint (568 ml) of beer typically contains about two unitss of alcohol, although alcohol content can vary significantly with style and brewer.
Almost any sugar or starch-containing food can naturally undergo fermentation, and so it is likely that beer-like beverages were independently invented in cultures throughout the world. In Mesopotamia, the oldest evidence of beer is on a 6000-year old Sumerian tablet which shows people drinking a beverage through reed straws from a communal bowl. Beer is also mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and a 3900-year old Sumerian poem honoring the brewing goddess Ninkasi contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread.
Beer became vital to all the grain-growing civilizations of classical antiquity, especially in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The BabylonianCode of Hammurabi required that tavern-keepers who diluted or overcharged for beer should be put to death.
Beer was important to early Romans, but during Republican times wine displaced beer as the preferred alcoholic beverage, and beer became considered a beverage fit only for barbarians. Tacitus wrote disparagingly of the beer brewed by the Germanic peoples of his day.
In Slavic languages, beer is called "pivo", from the verb "piti" - to drink. So, "pivo" could be translated to English as "the drink".
The Kalevala, collected in written form in the 19th century but based on oral traditions many centuries old, contains more lines about the origin of brewing than are devoted to the origin of man.
Most beers until relatively recent times were what we would now call ales. Lagers were discovered by accident in the sixteenth century when beer was stored in cool caverns for long periods; they have since largely outpaced ales in volume. (See below for the distinction.) The use of Hops for bittering and preservation is a medieval addition. Hops were cultivated in France as early as the 800s. The oldest surviving written record of the use of hops in beer is in 1067 by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen: "If one intends to make beer from oats, it is prepared with hops." In 15th centuryEngland, an unhopped beer would have been known as an ale, while the use of hops would make it a beer. Hopped beer was imported to England (from the Netherlands) as early as 1400 in Winchester and hops were being planted on the island by 1428. The Brewers Company of London went so far as to state "no hops, herbs, or other like thing be put into any ale or liquore wherof ale shall be made--but only liquor (water), malt, and yeast." However, by the 16th century, "ale" had come to refer to any strong beer, and all ale and beer were hopped.
Methods of brewing changed very little from that time. In 1953, New ZealanderMorton W Coutts developed the technique of continuous fermentation which was the first major change to brewing since the 16th century. Morton patented his process which revolutionised the industry by reducing a four-month long brewing process to less than 24 hours . His process is still used my many of the world’s major breweries today, including Guinness.
Lagers are probably the most common type of beer consumed. They are of Central European / German origin, taking their name from the German lagern ("to store"). Bottom-fermented, they were traditionally stored at a low temperature for weeks or months, clearing, acquiring mellowness, and becoming charged with carbon dioxide. These days, with improved fermentation control, most lager breweries use only short periods of cold storage (1 - 3 weeks).
Although many styles of lager exist, most of the lager produced is light in colour, high in carbonation with a mild hop flavour and an alcohol content of 3-6% by volume. Styles of lager include:
Top-fermented beers, particularly popular in the British Isles, include mild, bitter, pale ale, porter, and stout. Top-fermented beers tend to be more flavoursome, including a variety of grain flavours and fermentation flavours; they have also lower carbonation and are fermented and ideally served at a higher temperature than lager. Stylistic differences among top-fermented beers are decidedly more varied than those found among bottom-fermented beers and many beer styles are difficult to categorize. California Common beer, for example, is produced using a lager yeast at ale temperatures. Wheat beers are often produced using an ale yeast and then lagered, sometimes with a lager yeast). Lambics employ wild yeasts and bacteria, naturally-occurring in the Payottenland region of Belgium. Other examples of ale include stock ale and old ale. Real ale is a term for beers produced using traditional methods, and without pasteurization.
It is a common misconception that Australians drink Foster's Lager. This is untrue - it is a joke among Australians that Fosters was so bad that they decided to export that one and keep the rest. Australians are divided over their beer by their state; Queenslanders love their XXXX; South Australians drink Coopers; in New South Wales they drink Tooheys; Victoriansns prefer a VB; Western Australians drink Swan beer; and Tasmanians are further divided; those in the north drink Boags, and those in the south drink Cascade. Although it is generally quite difficult to tell an Australian that there is any other beer than his home state's beer, other popular brews are Hahn and Crown. Particularly in the trendier areas of the major cities, specialty brews, including a wide variety of ales, some by new divisions of the major brewers and some by new microbreweries, are beginning to become popular, as are some foreign beers.
Having said that, you can pretty much get most of these beers anywhere except the grubbiest most down-market pubs and clubs, which exclusively serve VB, the various varieties of Tooheys, and in NSW Resches.
Like other nationalities, Belgians pride themselves on their rich beer culture. There are over 1500 kinds of Belgian beer (including label beer) among which Stella Artois, Alken Maes, Jupiler, Delirium Tremens (brand), Duvel, Kwak, Leffe and Hoegaarden are some of the best known. It is often said (particularly by Belgians) that the Belgian beers are particularly excellent. Belgium is the only country that has Trappist beer. External link: Beers of Belgium.
Each variety of Belgian beer is served in a specific glass. The shape and size of the glass varies, and functions to enhance the flavor of the particular beer.
One common stereotype of the British (and indeed most residents of the British Isles) concerns their love of "warm beer". In fact, their beer is usually served around 12 degrees Celsius - not as cool as most cold drinks, but still cool enough to be refreshing. Modern-day pubs keep their beer constantly at this temperature, but originally beer would be served at the temperature of the cellar in which it was stored. Proponents of British beer say that it relies on subtler flavours than that of other nations, and these are brought out by serving it at a temperature that would make other beers seem harsh. Where harsher flavours do exist in beer (most notably in those brewed in Yorkshire), these are traditionally mitigated by serving the beer through a hand pump fitted with a sparkler, a device that mixes air with the beer, oxidising it slightly and softening the flavour. Nowadays, only real ale tends to be served via a hand pump, not a typical way for mass-produced beers to be served - it is common to find the latter sold in bottles or drawn from a carbon dioxide-driven tap. Real Ale is championed by the Campaign for Real Ale. With the growing of hops being characteristic of southern counties in particular Kent, traditional southern beers, such as London Pride, south of a line that can been drawn from the Bristol channel to the Wash (on the east coast of England) typically contain more hops than those found north of this line such as Boddingtons.
Bulgaria, while being quite a small country in Eastern Europe, has quite a number of beer brands. The most popular breweries (all producing namesake lagers) are Zagorka (produced mainly in Stara Zagora), AstikA (Produced in city of Haskovo) and Kamenitza. Other remarkable brands are Stolichno (bock beer produced by Zagorka), Shumensko (both lager and red ale, produced in the city of Shumen), Burgasko (produced in the city of Burgas), MM (produced in the city of Varna), Pirinsko (brewed in the city of Blagoevgrad), and Plevensko (produced in the city of Pleven). Most of the Bulgarian breweries are currently owned by foreign breweries, such as Heineken (Zagorka) and Interbrew (AstikA and Kamenitza).
Canada has a long history of beer production as the cold winter climate provided ideal conditions for brewing before artificial refrigeration was invented. It is well known for its two large commercial breweries, Molson and Labatt, and also for its large number of smaller companies brewing premium beers. Among these micro/mini breweries are Vancouver, British Columbia's Granville Island Brewery, Calgary, Alberta based Big Rock Brewery and Guelph, Ontario's Sleeman Brewing and Malting Company. In addition, the popular SCTV characters, Bob & Doug McKenzie;, are famous Canadian characters who are as associated for their love of beer as Cheech and Chong are for marijuana. I Am Canadian is a beer commercial that became a source of national pride.
The Pilsener style of beer originated in the town of Plzen in Bohemia, and the Czechs make many well known and well regarded beers of this style, including the original Budweiser. The Czechs consume the highest per capita amount of beer.
Both of these countries are known for their traditional Sahti, which is a beer made from rye or oat malts that are filtered through straws and juniper twigs. According to beerhunter Michael Jackson, it is by far the oldest continuous living tradition of beer making, representing nothing less than a direct link with Babylonian beer-making methods.
Although the French market is dominated by industrial breweries, the Nord/Pas-de-Calais possesses strong brewing traditions and breweries (Pelforth, for example), which it shares with its Belgian neighbor across the border. Alsace, also has a strong tradition of brewing beer with bottom fermenting yeasts in the German style.
Nowadays, there are more and more micro breweries that are producing "fashion beer", especially in the regions with a strong identity (Brewerie Lancelot in Bretagne, beer Pietra in Corsica,...)
With an extremely strong beer-oriented culture, the German market is a bit sheltered from the rest of the world beer market by the German brewers adherance to the BavarianReinheitsgebot (purity commandment) dating from 1516, according to which the only allowed ingredients of beer are "Wasser (water), Hopfen (Source | Copyright