Beer is widely enjoyed and consumed all over the world. It is arguably one of the most consumed drinks. Beer is made from brewing and fermenting of starches- the most commonly used are malted barley and wheat. Beer can be flavored from a variety of herbs, flowers and fruits. The most popular flavoring is hops, which add bitterness.
Beer can be drunk by itself, paired with foods or used in cooking. Some beers are used to flavor breads, stews, soups and desserts. Studies have shown that moderate consumption of beer, 1 beer per day, has medicinal properties such as smooth digestion and natural preventive of blood clotting, anemia and dementia. It is a natural source of soluble fiber and acts as a diuretic. However, heavy drinking leads to liver damage, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, pancreatic diseases, severe thiamine deficiency and some cancers. Pregnant women, young people under the legal age limit and people with alcoholism or drug addictions should avoid beer drinking. People with chronic disease, diabetes and under medication should seek their doctors’ advice.
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a 12-fl oz (356.4g) regular beer contains 153 calories and is a good source of magnesium (21mg) and potassium (96mg). In comparison, a raw banana of equal weight contains 96mg of magnesium and 1276mg of potassium.
Here's a list of beer types:
Ale: stronger than beer, it is more bitter in flavor because of the hops. Brewed different than beer, where ale is produced from top-fermenting yeast unlike beer’s bottom-fermenting yeast.
Birra: Italian word for beer.
Bitter: an English ale, golden brown in color and bitter in taste.
Bock beer: Full-bodied, slightly sweet flavor. Originally brewed in the fall and aged through the winter and celebrated in the spring at traditional Bavarian bock beer festival. Its brewing is no longer tied to the festival.
Brown ale: slightly hopped, full-bodied, slightly sweet and dark brown in color.
Dortmunder: Originated from the German city Dortmund, it is darker in color and less bitter than pilsener and stronger and paler than münchener. Also known as “Dort”.
Draft beer: also know as draught. Served from the keg by means of a spigot, hence not subjected to the pasteurization process that canned or bottled beers do.
Dry stout: also known as an Irish stout. Hoppier and less malty. Guiness is the most famous of the dry stouts.
Eisbock: German word for “ice beer” that’s lagered at cold temperatures. Has 13% in alcohol concentration.
Fruit beer: mild ales flavored with fruit concentrates.
India pale ale: historically produced in England for export to British soldiers stationed in India. It is more bitter than regular pale ale.
Lager: Originally stored and aged in its cask or vat for a few months until free of sediment and crystal clear, after which carbonation was added and the beer was bottled. Light, golden brew.
Lambic beer: Brussels’ wheat beer that contains 60 to 70% malted barley and 30 to 40% wheat. Younger lambic beers can be sour and cloudy looking, aged ones mellow and lose much of the sourness.
Malt liquor: has 5 to 8% in alcohol concentration.
Münchener: lager-style beer that is dark and malt-flavored.
Oatmeal stout: Sweet stout that is produced from oatmeal. Leaves a silky-smooth mouth feel.
Pale ale: has balanced flavored between hops and malted barley. It has pale to dark amber color, lighter colors compared to porter or stout.
Pilsner, Pilsener: originally a Czech brewed beer. Can refer to any pale, light lager. Mild or bland flavor.
Porter: heavy, dark-brown, strongly flavored beer due to the addition of roasted malt. Historically brewed in a bitter style but can be slightly sweet today. Has higher alcohol content than lager beers.
Russian stout: known as Imperial stout. Produced by Britain for export to Russia. Has a strong flavored and high alcohol content.
Scotch ale: has strong malty and full-bodied flavor. Dark brown color.
Stout: Founded in the British Isles, it is a strong dark beer.
Sweet stout: can be known as milk stout. An English version of Irish stout, but less bitter and lower in alcohol.
Trappist beer: Ales produced by the 8 Trappist abbeys (6 from Belgium, 1 from Netherlands and 1 from Germany). Dark amber to brown in color, stongly flavored and has 6 to 12% in alcohol concentration.
Vienna beer: Amber red, lager-style beer brewed in Vienna. The kilned malt produced the reddish color. Has a malty, lightly hopped flavor.
Wheat beer: Made from malted wheat. Has pale color and subtle lager-like flavor. Since it is top-fermented, can be classified as an ale.
To all my beer-loving friends, let us toast to beer!
“Champagne costs too much,
Whiskey's too rough,
Vodka puts big mouths in gear.
This little refrain
Should help to explain
Why it's better to order a beer!”
~An Old Irish Toast
Perfect Brew Article