Put Better Beer in Your Belly

Mmmmmm, better beer for breakfast. Err, something. And yes, I am a beer snob. Thanks for asking.

Beer slide show here, but it made me thirsty, so watch with discretion.

Put Better Beer in Your Belly Today's thirsty beer drinkers demand a higher-caliber brew than the swill served in the past. Forbes.com taps the world's best beers, from microbrews to imports.

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer,” humorist Dave Barry has written. “Oh, I grant you the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.”

As with so many other vital matters, Barry hits the mark on beer. The drink has been delighting, calming and fortifying humans since before the beginning of recorded time. Beer is, in fact, probably older than the wheel. The world's oldest written recipe, inscribed on a clay tablet in about 1,800 B.C., is for beer.
Until the mid-19th century, beer was produced locally on an artisanal scale, and consumed unpasteurized from the barrel. Then came the industrial revolution, which was not an unalloyed blessing. Advances in science made it possible to isolate a strain of yeast that results in a lighter-colored beer with a cleaner, crisper flavor. Lager has a simpler flavor and, when refrigerated, is more refreshing than ale. Developed in the Czech city of Pilsen, lager now accounts for more than 90 percent of the beer made in the world.

The industrial revolution brought other changes -- cheap glass made bottling feasible, pasteurization reduced spoilage and railroads made long-distance transportation affordable. All this led to the beer business consolidating into a large-scale national and, more recently, international industry.

America had 1,600 breweries on the eve of Prohibition, point out Tim Harper and Garrett Oliver in The Good Beer Book. By 1961, that was down to 230. In 2005, according to the trade publication Beer Marketer's Insights, 69 percent of beer consumed in America was produced by just three companies: Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Molson Coors.

Good Beer Book

Good Beer Book

Tags: , /

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on May 3, 2006 8:58 AM.

Captors Become the Captives was the previous entry in this blog.

Ad Agency Sues Blogger for Defamation is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.37