Beer: A Global History by Gavin D. Smith

By Gavin D. Smith

Pilsners, blonde ales, India light ales, lagers, porters, stouts: the kinds and kinds of beer are unending. yet as different because the drink is, its allure is universal—beer is the most-consumed alcoholic beverage on the earth. From ballparks to eating places, bars to brewpubs, this multihued beverage has made itself a nutritional staple around the world. Celebrating the historical past of those well known libations during this interesting tome, Gavin D. Smith lines beer from its earliest days to its modern consumption.
 
whereas exploring the evolution of brewing expertise and the way it mirrors technological adjustments on a much wider fiscal 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 info on beer-related museums, fairs, guides, and internet sites. He additionally offers a variety of recipes that would be greater with the downing of a pitcher or of the amber nectar. Containing a wealth of aspect in its concise, splendidly illustrated pages, Beer will attract connoisseurs and informal lovers alike.

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Flanders brown, sometimes known as ‘sour brown’ or ‘oud bruin’, also features Lactobacillus-type fermentation, and varies in colour from copper to deep brown. Both Flanders red and Flanders brown are usually a blend of older and comparatively youthful beers, with character varying depending on the proportions of each included. Yet another beer style to be associated with Belgium is witbier, or ‘white ale’, though examples are also produced across the border in northern Germany. Witbier is characterized by the use of wheat, sometimes in combination with other grains, most often a small amount of oats.

Officially, the ale-wife had to place a pole with a bush attached in front of her house if she wished to sell surplus ale, so that its quality could be inspected by an official taster or ‘conner’, as they were often known. In many cases the conner would also be female, though most ale sold from domestic premises bypassed this official sanction, meaning that many transactions were illegal. David Teniers the Younger, The Old Beer Drinker, c. 1640–60. While ale-wives were plying their trade in Britain, across the Atlantic the first beer-making efforts of settlers in what was ultimately to become the USA were recorded by Richard Hakluyt, an English adventurer, in 1587.

While many of the processes associated with brewing have not changed fundamentally over the centuries, the equipment being used has developed considerably. S. or German brewery today he would be bewildered by what was happening, but there have certainly been significant changes over the centuries. Early mash tuns were simply small wooden tubs, with handmade hardwood paddles or ‘mash-forks’ (used to stir the mash on a manual basis), while the defining brewing stage took place in iron pots or hand-hammered copper vessels over open fires, where heating control was often erratic, resulting in significant variations from batch to batch.

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