Ah, beer. The nectar of the gods, the fuel of the people, the liquid that can turn a bad day into a great one. It's been around for thousands of years, and it's still going strong today. So let's crack open a cold one and dive into the history and origins of beer, how it's made, and the different types of beer out there.
The Origins of Beer
No one knows for sure when beer was first created, but it's safe to say that it's been around for a very, very long time. Some historians believe that beer was invented by accident when grains were left to soak in water and began to ferment. Others think that beer was deliberately created as a way to preserve grains and make them more digestible.
Whatever the case may be, beer has been around for at least 5,000 years. The ancient Sumerians, who lived in what is now Iraq, were brewing beer as early as 4000 BCE. The Egyptians were also big fans of beer, and it was an important part of their daily diet. In fact, beer was so important to the ancient Egyptians that they even had a goddess of beer, named Ninkasi.
How Beer is Made
Making beer is a lot like making soup, but with more alcohol. It all starts with the grains, which are usually barley but can also be wheat, rye, or oats. The grains are soaked in water and then heated up to release the sugars, which will later be turned into alcohol.
Next, hops are added to the mixture. Hops are a type of flower that give beer its bitterness and flavor. Depending on the type of beer being made, other ingredients like fruit, spices, or even chocolate can be added at this stage.
Once all the ingredients have been added, the mixture is boiled for about an hour to sterilize it and extract the flavors. Then, it's time to cool the mixture down and add the yeast. The yeast eats the sugars in the mixture and produces alcohol as a byproduct.
After a few weeks of fermentation, the beer is ready to be bottled or put into kegs. And that's it! Making beer is a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun.
Types of Beer
There are hundreds of different types of beer out there, each with its own unique flavor and characteristics. Here are just a few of the most popular types:
Lager: This is probably the most popular type of beer in the world. It's light and refreshing, with a crisp, clean flavor. Think Budweiser or Heineken.
Ale: Ales are darker and richer than lagers, with a more complex flavor. They're often fruity or spicy, with a hint of bitterness. Think Guinness or Sierra Nevada.
IPA: IPA stands for India Pale Ale, and it's a type of beer that's become very popular in recent years. IPAs are very hoppy and bitter, with a strong citrusy flavor. Think Dogfish Head or Stone.
Stout: Stouts are dark and heavy, with a creamy texture and a lot of flavor. They're often made with chocolate or coffee, and they're perfect for sipping on a cold winter night. Think Guinness or Samuel Smith.
Wheat beer: Wheat beers are light and refreshing, with a cloudy appearance and a slightly sweet flavor. They're often served with a slice of lemon. Think Blue Moon or Hoegaarden.
There you have it, folks: the history and origins of beer, how it's made, and the different types of beer out there. So the next time you crack open a cold one, raise a glass to the ancient Sumerians and the goddess Ninkasi. They knew what they were doing. We would be remiss if we didn't include a beer cocktail!
Dark Temptations by Alexi Fisher
1.5 oz. Pimm's
1 oz. Herbacous Gin
1/2 Fresh squeezed lemon
3-4 oz. Kiito's Brewing Blackberry Sour
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT for the blackberry sour intoa cocktail glass.
Stir for a couple seconds to mix thorughly
Fill the glass 3/4 full with pebble ice and top with Kiito's Brewing Blackberry Sour
Garnish with dehydrated lemon