Author Topic: The Beer Thread  (Read 2917 times)


  • Sakellarios
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Re: The Beer Thread
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2020, 07:51:28 PM »
In the distant future, I am told that barbarians beyond the upper sea began putting a plant called hops into ale, creating a drink called beer which could be stored for months or even years in wooden jars called barrels and tuns and shipped by boat rather than being made by any woman looking to earn some money and drunk immediately.  But stories from distant lands are unreliable.
Hmm. My structure is a bit different:
- beer is a drink made by extracting sugars and other contents from grain (usually malted grain) into hot water, and then fermenting the resulting solution. Hops are almost always added - originally (from maybe 1200 CE onwards) as a preservative, nowadays for the familiar flavour.
- ale is any type of beer fermented with yeast that works best at around room temperature. Usually this means the yeast floats on top of the beer while it's fermenting, so they can also be called "top-fermented", but not always. All the traditional beer styles of the UK are ales.
- lager is any type of beer fermented with yeast that works best at low temperatures, typically 5C or lower. It's from the German, meaning "store", because the low temperature means the fermentation process takes much longer than for ales, and so the beer is "stored" while this happens. Low-temperature yeasts tend to sink to the bottom of the fermentation vessel, so lagers are often described as "bottom-fermented", but again I think not always.

The confusion is not helped by English (as so often) having multiple words from different language families for what were originally the same thing: "ale" from Norse languages and "beer" from Germanic ones, judging by where the cognate words are now. I suspect that "beer" and "ale" were pretty much synonymous for centuries, and it was only when the lagering process was perfecting in the nineteenth century that the need for different words emerged.

I thought Strongbow has hops in it, it is not sweet like Kootenay cider or Stibitzer or Somersby.
I could be wrong, but I thought the spectrum with cider is sweet - dry, in the same way as wine, with sweet ciders having a lot of the original sugar left, and dry ciders having it mostly fermented out, or starting from less sweet apples. Hops produce bitterness and a distinctive flavour that I suspect would sit rather oddly with cider.

The Bavarians escape the chains of the Reinheitzgesetz by visiting Tirol and drinking craft beer.
That's a bit disappointing: you ought to be able to do a lot of interesting things even within the constraints of the Reinheitsgebot - I'd have thought most British ales would qualify, for example, and there's an amazing variety there. And it's not like the Reinheitsgebot is actually a legal restriction any more - I suspect it's just that none of the breweries are willing to test the market by putting out something where they couldn't have the magic words on the label.


  • Sebastokrator
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Re: The Beer Thread
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2020, 06:45:42 AM »
If I'm wanting to treat myself to a nice beer, then I am partial IPA and APA's that are quite easy to get in shops these days. If I had to pick on then I'll go with Neck Oil, which has the benefit of being tasty and session (<4.5%)

If I am in a pub I do like a nice nut brown ale from time to time as well.
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