Not to say that we’re falling behind in other areas, but Europeans are tuned-into America’s lead when it comes to downsizing their palates in favor of niche, funky, unusual and quirky suds. The Big Beer folks on the other side of the Atlantic are feeling a little nervous. Shaky because mass-made lagers are no longer the end-all for guzzlers in other western countries.
Taking a hit are the producers of Stella Artois and Heineken. Why do you think that the green bottle people have co-opted 007 in the latest Bond flick?
With craft brews soaring over 10% here in the States, exports have shot-up around 50% for our European mates. And there’s a lot of room to grow in 2013 considering that “small, independent and traditional” breweries only shipped a little less than 6-million barrels.
If you are curious about the difference between lager vs. ale at some point or the other, then perhaps now is the time to get the facts right. Read on to learn more about this fundamental difference in the way your favorite beers are brewed…
Many beer drinkers often wonder what is the distinction between lager and ale, and the answer to this simply lies in the method in which they are both fermented. Though they both qualify as beer, there are major differences in the fermentation process, and this results in the characteristics in appearance and taste as well. If you wish to get to know your beer better, you should educate yourself of the diversity of both types of beers.
The word “beer” is often used as a generic noun used to describe a cold refreshing beverage. For example, “Hiya Mike, let’s go for a beer.” However, beer lovers around the world will heartily agree that there’s nothing generic about beer.
When it comes to types of beer, there are many, many options to choose from. It’s impossible to say which type is best, because they all have very different characteristics. You’d be surprised at how a pilsner can differ from a porter, or how a stout stands out from a cider.
Wheat beers are beers that are brewed with both malted barley and malted wheat, rather than using just barley. The addition of wheat will lend wheat beers a lighter flavor and somewhat paler color than most all barley ales and beers. Wheat beer is normally top fermented, which is fermentation with ale yeast.
All types of wheat beers have become very popular in the last several years, especially in warm weather. In earlier centuries, the brewing of wheat beer was illegal in many places, simply because wheat was too important as both bread and cereal to waste it with brewing beers.
The Germans are renowned for a lot of things; one of them is beer. Beer is an important part of their tradition and heritage, with more than thirteen-hundred different breweries spread across the land. As far as per capita beer drinking, the Germans are only below the Czechs and the Irish.
The history of German beer goes back to the beginnings of the nation when monks began to experiment with brewing around 1000 A.D. Eventually, brewing started to become really profitable for the monks and the nation’s leaders started to regulate the manufacturing of the brew. The most well-known and significant factor to influence German brewing came about in 1516 with the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot, or the purity requirement.
Lagering, as a process, was discovered around 200 years ago in Bavaria. Here, it was found that beers experiencing secondary fermentation in casks stored in the caves of the Alps would produce beers with different characteristics than ales.
The process of lagering became very popular in areas where fermentating with cool temperatures could be maintained, although it wasn’t until the invention of the refrigerator that lagers really spread around the world.
Many social traditions and activities are very associated with drinking beer, such as playing cards, darts, or other games. The consumption of beer in isolation and excess may be associated with people drinking away their troubles, while drinking in excess with company may be associated with binge drinking.
Around the world
English pale ale The style of English pale ale was originated by producers in Burton during the 1800’s. The high levels of calcium found in the water compliment this style quite well, by making a more efficient extraction of bitter resins from the hops.
Prohibitionists and other conservatives have long viewed beer as the devil’s brew. Beer itself isn’t so bad; it’s people that have given it a bad rap. When used in a controlled, social setting, beer is nothing more than a cold, refreshing break time treat.
There is evidence that beer has been around almost along as history itself. Pre-historic man is said to have created beer before learning that grains could also be used to produce another dietary staple called “bread”. Noah is said to have stocked his ark with beer. Ancient Babylonian clay tables revealing recipes for beer date back to 4300 BC.