By Jonathan Goodall
From 'Hops' and 'Barley', to 'Pale Ales' and 'Belgian Beer', The Bluffer's advisor to Beer includes every little thing you must hold a degree head at your neighborhood watering gap.
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Extra resources for The bluffer's guide to beer
E Anheuser & Co launches Budweiser in the USA. 1883 Pasteur crosses the ball; Emil Christian Hansen heads it in. A scientist and part-time novelist working for Carlsberg in Copenhagen, Hansen discovers how to isolate and cultivate a single, pure strain of yeast – in this case, Saccharomyces carlsbergensis. This breakthrough allows brewers to cultivate and store their own specific yeast strains, consigning the ‘suck-it-and-see’ approach to the history books. 1892 William Painter of Baltimore, USA, patents the ‘crown cork’ (bottle cap), and a machine capable of sealing 100 bottles per minute.
The basis of brewing is to turn barley into malt, extract its sugars in a watery solution, boil it with hops and ferment it with yeast. The process starts with the three ‘M’s : malting, milling and mashing. It’s easy to remember thanks to the alliteration; or just think ‘Mmm, beer’, like Homer Simpson. , sprout) by steeping it in water. The grain converts its starch into sugars to fuel this process. Germination is stopped by heating the grains in a kiln, with the degree of roasting affecting the style of the finished beer.
If hops are the defining characteristic of your beer, describe it as ‘hop forward’, then cast around for specific hop aromas. Is it floral, grassy or earthy? Can you smell geranium, nettles, pine resin or citrus fruit? And if citrus fruit is to the fore, is it orange, lemon or grapefruit? If you need a steer, many British pubs have adopted the Cyclops system for describing their real ales. Launched in 2006 by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and a host of participating breweries, it’s called Cyclops after its logo depicting a nose (for smell), mouth (taste) and a single eye (sight).
The bluffer's guide to beer by Jonathan Goodall