Difference between revisions of "Beer"

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'''Beer''' has been a staple of [[Africa]]n, [[Mediterranean]] and [[Europe]]an diets since ancient times.  It was likely discovered in ancient [[Egypt]] or [[Mesopotamia]] and predates written history.  In its simplest form, beer is a cloudy [[alcohol|alcoholic]] beverage made (or "[[brewing|brewed]]") from fermented grain.  Most [[medieval]] and [[modern]] beer includes malt made from [[hops]] to clarify the beer and make it tangy and foamy, although some brands of ''wheat beer'' can give an authentic ancient beer-drinking experience, especially when consumed warm.
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'''Beer''' has been a staple of [[Africa]]n, [[Mediterranean]] and [[Europe]]an diets since ancient times.  It was likely discovered in ancient [[Egypt]] or [[Mesopotamia]] and predates written history.  In its simplest form, beer is a cloudy [[alcohol|alcoholic]] beverage made (or "[[brewing|brewed]]") from fermented grain.  
  
 
==Beer in Period==
 
==Beer in Period==
 
Beer was a staple drink for all social classes.  It was cheap, easy to
 
Beer was a staple drink for all social classes.  It was cheap, easy to
make, and far, far safer than [[water]], since the mild alcoholic content killed the bacteria and [[parasites]] common in the [[medieval]] drinking supply.  Period beer was about four- or five-percent alcohol by volume, at a minimum, although a much milder form known as ''small beer'' was also commonly consumed.  Small beer has
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make, and safer than [[water]], since the alcohol killed the bacteria and [[parasites]] common in water.  Period beer was about four- or five-percent alcohol by volume, at a minimum, although a much weaker form known as ''small beer'' was also commonly consumed.  Small beer has
an alcoholic content of only one- or two-percent, and was a staple beverage for [[children]], the [[infirm]], and the [[elderly]].  To closely mimic a medival beer-drinking experience, go for a dark and flavourful [[Europe]]an beer, served at a few degrees below the ambient room temperature.
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an alcoholic content of only one- or two-percent, and was a staple beverage for both adults and [[children]].   
  
 
==Modern Beer==
 
==Modern Beer==
The alcoholic content of [[modern]] beer varies greatly depending on where it is made: [[Belgium|Belgian]] beer, for example, is regularly seven- or eight-percent alcohol, while [[America]]n beer, at three- or four-percent, is often derided as being ''a little like making love in a canoe'', as the [[Canada|Canadian]] saying goes.  In addition,
 
[[Europe]]an and [[Australia]]n beers tend to be more flavourful than their [[North America]]n equivalents.
 
  
 
Hops are the ubiquitous flavouring, bittering and preserving agent in modern beer.  While hops have been used in some beers since antiquity, cultivation of hops for brewing is generally considered to have become widespread in the [[13th_century]].  Various bittering herbs and plants were used previously for similar results.  (See also: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer#Hops Wikipedia's entry on beer].)
 
Hops are the ubiquitous flavouring, bittering and preserving agent in modern beer.  While hops have been used in some beers since antiquity, cultivation of hops for brewing is generally considered to have become widespread in the [[13th_century]].  Various bittering herbs and plants were used previously for similar results.  (See also: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer#Hops Wikipedia's entry on beer].)
  
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) in Canada defines a single [[drink]] of beer as eight fluid ounces at the standard Canadian strength of five- to six-percent alcohol.
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[[Modern]] beer may include a variety of ingredients in addition to [[malt]] and hops.  These may include additional flavourings, such as spices, orange peel and herbs, adjuncts such as corn, rice, and sugar, and clarifying agents such as isinglass, Irish moss, carageenan, gelatin and egg white.
  
Alcohol contents of modern beer are often driven by excise taxes, rather than traditional style considerations.  For example, [http://www.fosters.com.au/enjoy/beer/victoria_bitter.htm Victoria Bitter ("VB")], was recently reduced from 4.9% to 4.8% alcohol content to save the brewer around A$20 million per year.
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The alcoholic content of [[modern]] beer varies greatly, from as little as 3% for some Enlish mild ales to over 12% for Tripels and other strong ales. 
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The lcohol content of modern beer are often driven by excise taxes, rather than traditional style considerations.  For example, [http://www.fosters.com.au/enjoy/beer/victoria_bitter.htm Victoria Bitter ("VB")], was recently reduced from 4.9% to 4.8% alcohol content to save the brewer around A$20 million per year.
  
 
==See Also==
 
==See Also==

Revision as of 18:38, 8 August 2008

Beer has been a staple of African, Mediterranean and European diets since ancient times. It was likely discovered in ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia and predates written history. In its simplest form, beer is a cloudy alcoholic beverage made (or "brewed") from fermented grain.

Beer in Period

Beer was a staple drink for all social classes. It was cheap, easy to make, and safer than water, since the alcohol killed the bacteria and parasites common in water. Period beer was about four- or five-percent alcohol by volume, at a minimum, although a much weaker form known as small beer was also commonly consumed. Small beer has an alcoholic content of only one- or two-percent, and was a staple beverage for both adults and children.

Modern Beer

Hops are the ubiquitous flavouring, bittering and preserving agent in modern beer. While hops have been used in some beers since antiquity, cultivation of hops for brewing is generally considered to have become widespread in the 13th_century. Various bittering herbs and plants were used previously for similar results. (See also: Wikipedia's entry on beer.)

Modern beer may include a variety of ingredients in addition to malt and hops. These may include additional flavourings, such as spices, orange peel and herbs, adjuncts such as corn, rice, and sugar, and clarifying agents such as isinglass, Irish moss, carageenan, gelatin and egg white.

The alcoholic content of modern beer varies greatly, from as little as 3% for some Enlish mild ales to over 12% for Tripels and other strong ales. The lcohol content of modern beer are often driven by excise taxes, rather than traditional style considerations. For example, Victoria Bitter ("VB"), was recently reduced from 4.9% to 4.8% alcohol content to save the brewer around A$20 million per year.

See Also

External Links