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What is Beer?

November 29, 2007

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I think Ben Franklin gives us the best definition of what beer is….

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

If you need to know more than that.. read on.

Simple Definitions

According to Webster’s online dictionary, "beer is a fermented alcoholic beverage brewed from malt and hops."  Other definitions have expanded on this slightly by discussing other ingredients (yeast, water, etc.), but the simple definition above is accurate.

Wikipedia (as you would expect) has a more detailed definition that I rather like:

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Is there formaldehyde in beer?

October 19, 2007

33 Comments

This question was recently submitted by a reader, and to tell you the truth I did not know much about the formaldehyde in beer issue.  My initial reaction was "of course there is not formaldehyde in beer", but as I dug deeper into the research I began to grow concerned.

Now when I hear "formaldehyde" I think of preserving corpses… not exactly getting me in the mood for a cold one.  So to start off I figured a definition of formaldehyde was in order:

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What is the Reinheitsgebot (“German Purity Law)

September 12, 2007

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Well, the first step is to learn how to say Reinheitsgebot…. “Rine-Hites-gaBoat” is the best pronunciation I could find.  Of course some native German speaker will probably correct this, but its pretty darn close.  So now that we can pronounce the word, lets get into what its all about.

The Reinheitsgebot, or “German Purity Law” as many call it, literally translates to “purity law” or “cleanliness law”.  An early version of the law was proposed in 1487, but the version most speak of today originated in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt on April 23, 1516.  Introduced by Duke Wilhelm IV, the original intent of the law was three fold:

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What does the “33″ mean on the Rolling Rock Label?

September 7, 2007

31 Comments

This is one of those great beer conversations where everyone has an opinion and there doesn’t seem to be a clear provable conclusion.

There are several different versions of this legend which we have been able to discover.  We have listed these below in reverse order of likelihood (from least likely to most likely) according to our extensive research and our best guess (not quite throwing darts at a list of possibilities, but close).

Rolling Rock “33” Theories

There were exactly 33 steps from the brewmaster’s office to the brewing floor.

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What is the difference between an ale and a lager?

September 4, 2007

22 Comments

In the most basic classification scheme, there are two main types of beer.  No, its not “tastes great” / ”less filling”-  they are ales and lagers.  Ales, the oldest beers in the world, have been around thousands of years longer than lagers.  Looking at the history of beer, civilizations as far back as the Sumerians and Egyptians have been brewing and drinking what would be considered ales.  Lagers, on the other hand, may have only been around since the mid-nineteenth century.  However, many have speculated that “lagering” may have been “discovered” as far back as the Dark Ages, when some European brewers may have stored their beer in ice caves for later consumption. What they found Amazon Imagewas that the beer that was stored and fermented cold had a much clearer and cleaner beer “free from turbidity”.

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