Monday, July 9, 2012

I Like Beer

I like beer. A key component of any good bar is beer. We toast, relax, socialize and even create life with the help beer, even if not purposely. Beer has even helped with some of the great milestones of humanity. I didn't get to a new bar last week because of the holiday. This week I'm writing about something that this blog couldn't exist without, beer.

Beer is a genius combination of unlikely ingredients. First off, you have barely a grain you wouldn't think to make bread out of but it's the key ingredient to fueling our beer. It's brought to germination/sprouting roots and then roasted to create the food for our second and even stranger ingredient. A fungus by the name of yeast eats the sugars/sweetness out of the barley and gives us beer in exchange.

Yeast produces many beer ingredients through it's ingestion of sugar known as fermentation. Alcohol is one of the possible bi-products of yeast. The yeast can also produce different tastes like clove, woody, or fruity. However, the yeast can't eat all sugars which can lead to some beers still having a sweetness to them. The final addition the yeast add to the mix is the fizz. In the big beer brands, the yeast is killed and the beer is carbonated. Live beers last for years and don't become skunky. Figuring out that you could germinate barley, boil it and feed it to fungus wasn't enough for early brew masters, it was missing something. It was missing flowers, hops to be exact, that when boiled with the barley could be used to add new bitter tastes and smells to the beer.

These ingredients allow us to make a number of different types of beer. Ale can be made quicker than lager only needing a week of fermentation. Ale can also come with a number of fruity/flowery tastes and aromas through the yeast's byproduct of esters. Lager requires a lower temperature and a slower fermentation lasting over a month. This long fermentation eats away at the esters leaving the hops to rule taste and scent of the beer. Other beers are just forms of these styles of beer. A pilsner is just a malty light lager. In contrast a stout is just a black and roasty ale. Many of the corporate American beers and asian beer's taste are cleaned by making the beer with rice or corn.

These components along with being able to add almost anything you can imagine to its creation gives us the option of drinking any kind of beer we can imagine. I will try a different beer as I try a different bar each week and I'll let you know how it is. Don't worry, these articles will be less dry in the future.

Normally, I probably won't be letting you know which bar I'm going to next to keep things more real and keep a mob of my adoring fans from filling up the bar. I think 27 people can count as a mob. My next stop for bar #2 is Bobby O's on Wednesday at 7pm Come visit if you have the time. And pick-up a shirt off the site, so you can start checking off your own list of Every Bar in Lakewood.

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