I know, I know – There’s NO denying it! I love BEER! – always have and probably always will!
From the times when my Dad would give me a sip from his glass when I was a kid (only while Mum wasn’t looking!), to those times as a 16yo when I would rub a bit of dirt on my face, dress up a bit (or down) and try to get in to the local pub with a few mates, to right now, several years down the track, but still very partial to an ale or 3!
Love the stuff! And if I pause to think about it, the rich, ancient history behind the amber drop is pretty interesting too.
It’s the most popular drop worldwide as far as alcoholic beverages are concerned, and is the 3rd most popular drink after water (D’uh!), and Tea surprisingly!
It also comes in a surprisingly large variety too: lager, bitter, pale ale, golden ale, brown ale and Stout to name just a few of the more common ones!
The word beer comes from old Germanic languages, and is believed to have been imported into the British Isles by tribes such as the Saxons. Many other languages have borrowed the Dutch/German word, such as French bière, Italian birra, Romanian “bere” and Turkish bira.
The strength of beer is usually around 4% to 6% alcohol by volume (abv), although it may vary between 0.5% and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% abv and above.
It’s also the oldest prepared drink, dating back to early Neolithic times – that’s around 12,000 years ago, proving that our long lost ancestors liked to nip down to the local (cave) for a few after work too!
In 1516, William IV, Duke of Bavaria, even adopted the Reinheitsgebot (purity law), perhaps the oldest food-quality regulation still in use in the 21st century, according to which the only allowed ingredients of beer are water, hops and barley-malt.
Of course, the Beer industry is a global business these days, with several dominant multinational companies, plus many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional and local breweries and micro-breweries.
Once almost exclusively the domain of the men, over the last several years, the girls have embraced the amber fluid, and it’s now socially acceptable for both sexes to enjoy a brew whenever the mood takes them.
. . . and in the words of one very famous lover of beer:
Ah, beer, my one weakness. My Achilles’ heel, if you will!
Remember tho – ALWAYS drink responsibly!