5 August is International Beer Day, commemorating the elixir that makes our life oh-so-bearable. Ideally 6 August should’ve been International Hangover Day so that we could celebrate this religious holiday to the best of our capabilities, but oh well, at least it is the weekend (which is basically, nature’s way of telling you to beer up till you tear up).
Coming back to beers, there’s nothing as refreshing as a pint after a long day. But how much do we really know about our brews? With microbreweries popping up all over the country, it’s time we paid a little more attention to our lagers and ales.
Let’s begin with 5 ridiculous things people say about beer.
What makes a beer?
It has four main ingredients – grain, hops, yeast, and water. But it isn’t as simple as a 4-step recipe. There are dozens of types of grain, about 80 varieties of hops, and hundreds of strains of yeast.
Sometimes there’s even fruits or spices thrown in. Finding the perfect mix is the brewer’s job, and it isn’t an easy one. Break away from the familiar lagers, and you’ll realise there’s a whole complex and delicious world of beer out there as intriguing as wine or single malt.
Sure beer has carbs, but no more than in a slice of whole wheat bread. Even a glass of wine is comparable in its calorie count. So if you’re looking for an excuse for that paunch, think up another one. Bad eating habits, or pure laziness are better bets.
And let’s be honest in the end, if you had to choose between beer or a sandwich, we know which one we’d pick.
Well, not necessarily. Many beer styles aren’t filtered and instead bottled with a little yeast like the German hefeweizen. You’ll be able to tell from the cloudiness. Typically, this adds more complexity and flavour to the brew.
The yeast particles settles at the bottom of the bottle and you can either choose to pour it out into your glass, or leave it behind in the bottle. Sending back your pint because there are ‘brown bits’ at the bottom is like sending a steak back because it’s pink (and that’s just stupid.)
Completely untrue! The thing that gives dark beers like stouts and porters their colour is the roasted malt. This can range from a light roast giving you a caramel-amberish brew, or a heavy toasting which will give you a black stout. In fact the famous Guinness Stout has just 4.2% alcohol. Heineken, Kingfisher Premium and most other Indian lagers are stronger than that.
There’s been a lot of talk of addition of glycerine in Indian beer and that it is harmful. I did some digging and here’s the low-down. First of all, after carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol, glycerine is the third most significant by-product of all fermentation, which means it is naturally present in all beers and wines. Don’t be alarmed though, because glycerine is used in the food industry as a preservative, sweetener, and thickener. And in such small amounts it isn’t harmful.
As for those videos that claim there’s glycerine oozing out of a pint when turned upside down in water, don’t let them get to you. Remember: beauty is in the eye of the beer holder!
Video Producer: Esha Paul
Cameraperson: Sanjoy Deb
Video Editor: Kunal Mehra