Beer: A Global History by Gavin D. Smith

By Gavin D. Smith

Pilsners, blonde ales, India light ales, lagers, porters, stouts: the types and types of beer are unending. yet as varied because the drink is, its charm is universal—beer is the most-consumed alcoholic beverage on the planet. From ballparks to eating places, bars to brewpubs, this multihued beverage has made itself a nutritional staple world wide. Celebrating the historical past of those renowned libations during this interesting tome, Gavin D. Smith strains beer from its earliest days to its modern consumption.
whereas exploring the evolution of brewing know-how and the way it mirrors technological adjustments on a much wider financial scale, Smith travels from Mexico to Milwaukee, Beijing, Bruges, and past to offer a legion of beer manufacturers their due. He then delves into the expansion of beer-drinking tradition and food-beer pairings and offers details on beer-related museums, gala's, courses, and internet sites. He additionally offers a variety of recipes that would be greater with the downing of a tumbler or of the amber nectar. Containing a wealth of aspect in its concise, splendidly illustrated pages, Beer will entice connoisseurs and informal enthusiasts alike.

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We shall focus on the specific heritage of some of the globally best-known brands, not to mention indicating some of the best places to read about beer, find out more about its heritage and meet up with like-minded beer drinkers. Beer has made a long journey from its origins in around 10,000 BC to the twenty-first century, but arguably there is now more diversity in, commitment to and passion for the subject than there has been for a very long time, and drinkers have lots of reasons for optimism.

Lambic beers are another Belgian speciality, now copied by craft breweries in a number of countries. Like Trappist beers, lambics are the subject of a strictly defined appellation, which governs production methods and imposes geographical parameters to their place of creation. The defining characteristic of lambics is spontaneous fermentation, and this ancient beer style has traditionally centred on the Pajottenland region of Belgium around the capital, Brussels. Lambics are usually brewed with unmalted wheat and malted barley, with a significant input of hops, but the hops used tend to be two to three years old and less aromatic and bittering than most employed in brewing, as their role is not to influence the flavour but to impart preservative properties to the beer.

Alt is German for ‘old’, the implication being that this is a traditional beer type, pre-dating the fashion for lagers. Altbiers are top-fermented, copper-coloured, malty and bitter in character. Bock beer advertisement, c. 1882. Another indigenous German beer style is kölsch, which is also top-fermented and is produced in Cologne. This refreshing, aromatic, hoppy, golden beer appears in Cologne brewing records as early as 1250 and its ingredients, style and production locale are still rigorously defended by the Cologne Brewers Association, and around a dozen of the city’s breweries continue to produce kölsch beers.

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