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A Guide to Understanding Beer and How to Find New Favorites
So either you or your girlfriend has decided it's time to stop ordering something that tastes like a fraternity's keg spout every time you go out for dinner. Avoid switching to diet cran-cocktails by learning how the brewing process works, how those variables affect taste, and how to discover new favorites without blowing $8 on something you don't like.
By Shaun Conway
When out at a bar known for its large beer selection, many people are torn between their desire to pick something interesting and their desire not to pay $10 for a beer they might not like. Without a decent knowledge of your likes and the reasons behind them, you come up short. You go with something safe, never to discover your perfect beer; or you pick something different you ultimately do not like. This has to stop. Beer should never leave you feeling inadequate; that's what team sports are for...
Just to set the record straight, I am a 25-year old woman living in DC and working at a Belgian Restaurant known for its great selection of over 100 Belgian beers. Yes that's right, over a 100 types of beer from a country the size of Maryland. I started my beer studies when I lived abroad in Belgium in college. I've advanced since then by trying craft brews, visiting breweries (Dogfish Head is a favorite) and watching documentaries, like Beer Wars . I love beer and I've learned to try new beers by finding common features that, to me, make a beer "good."
So, let's learn about beer and how to find the beer that's "good" to you.
Pour some sugar on me (and by sugar I mean grains)
Beer consists of four main ingredients: grains, yeast, water, and hops. My beer manager at the restaurant described the beer making process as "yeast eats barley, farts beer." Simple enough. The most commonly used grain is barley. Other beers are made with wheat (Belgian Whites, Witbier, Hefeweizen) or rye (can't say I've ever had one). The mass-marketed beers are largely made with rice and corn (cheap grains that have less flavor). The quality and character of a beer depends on the type of grain used.
But beer cannot grow from grain alone. First the grain is malted, which means it is soaked in water and cooked to different levels that determine dryness and color, etc.. Once malted, grain contains the sugar needed to produce alcohol. But grains don't do it alone.
What's yeast got to do with it?
Yeeeeeeast. Yeast. It's an odd word and an oddly complex organism. But, yeast is the difference between an IPA (Dogfish Head 90 minute) and a Pilsner (Stella Artois). The end product depends on the type of yeast and the temperature at which the yeast is maintained.
- Yeast for Ales is top fermenting and thrives at warmer temperatures, ranging from 61 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. These yeasts are less efficient at consuming sugars, ultimately producing higher alcohol contents. Top-fermenting yeasts are used for brewing ales, porters, stouts, Altbier, Kölsch, and wheat beers .
- Bottom fermenting ...
Wine 'Doggy Bag' Regulations in Arkansas
Arkansas ABC Reg 1.79(27) allows patrons who have purchased wine in conjunction with a meal to remove a partially consumed bottle of wine if the cork is replaced in the bottle. (see note 2)