Beer, the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage and probably also the oldest drink has a history that goes back to the Neolithic age. Initially made with barley, fruit and rice it was the drink of celebrations and even an offering to the deities.
Beer types and styles
It is difficult to categorize beer. There are local, national and international types based on taste, flavour, brewing, ingredients etc. Some major ones include-
Richer and full bodied, ales are robust and have a malt or fruity aroma. Their colours range from gold to reddish amber and have a hoppy finish. They are brewed with top fermenting yeast.
Storing it at almost freezing temperatures for months gives it its name and taste. Lager originates from the German word lagern which means ‘to store’. Its colour may vary from pale yellow to black and has a crisp, refreshing taste with an unmistakable bitterness.
Sweeter in flavour with a malty, fruity taste, they are usually dark in colour and are full bodied.
Stouts & Porters
A type of ale, porter is brewed with roasted malt which accounts of its nutty, earthly aroma. Less sweet, stouts feature a rich, creamy head and have the flavour and colour of barley.
Mostly ales, they have a light, fruity flavour and have very little aftertaste.
Straw coloured with a hint of vanilla and citrus they were initially developed in England.
It has a creamy texture and a copper colour and of course a hint of sweetness.
It is soft, light and has a very mild aftertaste. Sometimes it has a spicy flavor.
Originally it was brewed in England with extra hops to endure the journey to British troops stationed in India.
Beer culture in India
In India the beer drinking culture has undergone a metamorphosis with the introduction of several breweries. Recently in the National Capital Territory, the first ever Beer Week was organized. The carnival aimed at expanding the craft beer culture to the local breweries with a variety of tasting sessions, parties and master classes in the art of pouring the perfect beer concoctions throughout the week with a clear focus on showcasing quality craft beer and educating beer enthusiasts.
According to Archit Singhal, CEO and Founder of Beer Week, “Earlier, beer drinking was confined to commercial bottled beer and beer were identified more from the brand rather its type. With the advent of micro breweries across the country, it has been possible to think out of box and create different types of beer for the consumer. With the concept of taster offered by breweries, consumers are now aware of different types of beer and are even appreciating flavoured beer which earlier was believed to be the choice of girls and women.” “There is a shift in the taste and liking of beer drinkers. Earlier the fruity ones were for girls and the hard ones for men. But now the demand for strawberry beer is as much among men as women.” adds Singhal.
– In India wheat beer is among the most sought after choices.
– Snake Venom is said to be the strongest beer.
– According to a study published in American Journal of Epidemiology, beer reduces the chance of kidney stones when taken in moderation.
– Belgium is said to have the largest number of individual beer brands.
– Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.
– The oldest drinkable beer in the world was found in 2010, in an early 19th-century shipwreck discovered near Finland.
-The world’s largest beer festival is Oktoberfest, held annually in Munich, Germany.