Have you ever wondered what “malt” really is, and how you get malt from barley? And what about hops, and why d¬o we need yeast? Barley, water, hops and yeast — brewers combine these four -simple ingredients to make beer. ¬But it’s not just a matter of mixing the right amount of each ingredient and voila!…you have beer. A complex series of biochemical reactions must take place to convert barley to fermentable sugars, and to allow yeast to live and multiply, converting those sugars to alcohol. Commercial breweries use sophisticated equipment and processes to control hundreds of variables so that each batch of beer will taste the same. In this article, we’ll learn how events like Prohibition and World War II in?uenced the taste of the beer we still drink today.
People have been brewing beer for thousands of years. Beer especially became a staple in the Middle Ages, when people began to live in cities where close quarters and poor sanitation made clean water dif?cult to ?nd. The alcohol in beer made it safer to drink than water. In the 1400s in Germany, a type of beer was made that was fermented in the winter with a different type of yeast. This beer was called a lager, and, in part due to Prohibition, a variation of this type of beer is dominant in the United States today. For 13 years, starting in 1920, a constitutional amendment banned the production of alcoholic beverages in the United States. Before Prohibition, America had thousands of breweries producing many different types of beer. But Prohibition forced most brewer-ies out of business. By the time the laws were repealed in 1933, only the largest breweries had survived. These breweries sought to brew a beer with universal appeal so that it could be sold everywhere in the country. And then came World War II. With food in short supply and many of the men overseas, breweries started brewing a lighter style of beer that is very common today. Since the early 1990s, small regional breweries have made a comeback, popping up all over the United States, and variety has increased.
The health benefits of beer Toasting to the holidays? Some studies show that beer consumed in moderation may be bene?cial to your health.
- Beer is more nutritious than other alcoholic drinks. We hear a lot about the abundance of antioxidants in wine, but beer has just as many.
- Beer can help protect your heart. Studies suggest moderate beer drinking* may make you less likely than those who don’t drink to suffer from hearts attacks, strokes or heart disease.. New England Journal of Medicine
- Beer helps prevent kidney stones. Drinking beer could help reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. According to a recent study, men and women who reported drinking a moderate amount* of beer reduced their risk of developing a stone by 41 percent. Beers that contain a lot of hop
- Beer lowers bad cholester-ol. The soluble ?ber in beer can help reduce your LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Increasing your intake of soluble ?ber has numerous health bene?ts, including the promotion of healthy blood-sugar and blood-cholesterol levels.
- Beer strengthens your bones. Due to its high silicon content, beer may help to build stronger bones. Dietary silicon in the soluble form of orthosilicic acid (OSA) may be important for the growth and development of bone and connective tissue and help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease. National Institutes of Health
- Beer helps reduce stress. Researchers found that two glasses of beer a day can reduce work-related stress or anxiety. However, routinely turning to alcohol to help cope with stress may do more harm than good.
- Beer may help improve memory. Hops has a secret ingredient that can help improve cognitive function – Xanthohumol. It’s a ?avonoid that helps slow down the degradation process of memory. The chemical could help protect brain cells from oxidative damage associated with dementia.
- Beer helps cognitive function. In middle-aged subjects, increasing levels of alcohol consumption were associated with better function. These ?ndings do not suggest we encourage increased alcohol consumption, but moderate alcohol consumption* has been proven to increase cognitive function. American Journal of Epidemiology