Aug 24, 2011

Beer Myths....

As you can probably imagine, over the past few years, I have had more than a few discussions that have focused around beer. It is one of my favorite topics. I love discussing all topics around beer. Most of the discussions start with questions for me, a few of which I have discussed on this blog (i.e. “what is the best beer you’ve ever had?”)

However, on some occasions, these discussions start off with someone commenting on some aspect of beer or beer culture. There is one thing these comments normally have in common, and that is that they are more often than not, incorrect, or at the very least, misleading or just opinion presented as fact. There are so many “facts” regarding beer that we all seem to “know” when the fact of the matter is that there is no real basis for them in truth. So, I figure I would spend some time discussing these tad bit.

Myth #1 Guinness tastes better/different in Ireland.

This isn’t really true. While Guinness my in fact seem to taste better when in Ireland, it is the same beer we get here in the states. There are some things to consider however when looking at this myth. First off, the Guinness in Ireland is slightly fresher then what we get here; it takes about two weeks for a keg to reach the states on average, thus affecting the taste somewhat. Chances are, the bar tender in Dublin serves a lot more Guinness then one in Omaha, so there for, is much more proficient at tapping and pouring Guinness, which anyone that has tried will tell you, there is an art to pouring a perfect Guinness. Lastly, Guinness probably tastes better in Ireland, for the same reason a Mia Tia tastes better when you drink it on a tropical beach, then when sitting at Applebee’s. You are drinking that drink “in context” so to speak.

Myth #2 Dark beer is stronger than light beer.

The World's Strongest beer, just over 32% ABV
Truth is, the color of the beer has very little, if nothing at all to do with the strength of the beer. Case in point; pour a glass of Westmalle Triple, or La Fin de Monde, next to a glass of an aforementioned Guinness. Guinness has an ABV of 4.2% (exact same as Bud Light), while Westmalle has an ABV of 9.5%, and Fin De Monde is 9%, both of which have a very pale (cloudy) yellow/straw color, compared to Guinness’s near black appearance. Dark beers get their color from roasting some or all of the grains the go in them. In fact, the longer the roast, the darker the beer will be. If there is an effect on the strength of the brew it is because roasting can effect the grains ability to render alcohol in the fermentation process, making that beer “weaker”.

120 Minute IPA
Myth #3 Imported Beers are stronger the domestics

Not even sure why people think/believe this. This to me is like saying foreign cars go faster than American cars. While, this may be the case with some brands, I hardly think a Mini Cooper of Fiat 500 is going to beat many Mustangs or Corvettes off the mark. You simply just can’t make generalizations like this. Again, let’s look at Guinness, imported from Ireland at 4.2% ABV. Dogfish Head in Delaware brews 120 Minute which steps into the ring at around 20% ABV (that’s 40 proof beer people!).

Myth #4 Beer should be served ice cold, in an ice cold frosty mug.

to cold????
This may be how some people enjoy their beer in many cases, but saying that is like saying all hot dogs should be served with catsup, or all steak should be served medium well. It is mostly a matter of preference. However, many people think the colder the beer, the more flavor, when, in fact, the exact opposite is true. Flavor components have an ideal temperature range. In fact, cold temperature will suppress many of the flavor components in beer. Cold will also dissipate CO2 quicker, making the beer more flat and less flavorful. So, if you really want to “taste” the beer, most beers have an ideal temperature range of about 40 to 50 degrees. Ice cold beer, will however, be more thirst quenching and refreshing.

My wife with a fine beer!

Myth # 5 Woman don’t like good beer

Many people will often ask me “why don’t woman like a good beer as much as men?” All I have to say to this is, have you met my wife????

This are just a few of the many myths I have come across. I will explore more at a later date. In the mean time, if you have a myth you would like to see on here, or if you have questions about beers, or even if you disagree or see something you feel is inaccurate list above, by all means, let me know, and I would love to discuss it with you. Just keep in mind, if you disagree with something above, say, you enjoy ice cold beer in a frosty mug, I’m not saying you are wrong to enjoy you beer in that matter, I am just presenting an opposing view point.

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