Common Misconceptions About Beer

When you think of beer, you may have all of these ‘facts’ listed in your brain that come up to list off to your friends. But are all of your facts really true? We have a list of Common Misconceptions About Beer, that will have all of your friends wanting to hear more and believing that you’re a beer enthusiast. 

Beer is Simple

Now, this just isn’t true! There is a lot that comes into play in the brewing process, including the steps, ingredients, and final creation of the product. When the brewery creates the idea of their beer, they decide what types of hops they’re going to use, what flavors they want to incorporate, the type of malt they’re going to use, and even the amount of yeast! 

There’s more than just the color that comes with brewing a refreshing beer. They’ll decide if they’ll be incorporating real ingredients, such as coffee beans, or even notes of different types of fruits! There are several different types of hops to choose from too, because there isn’t just one sole hop that goes into every beer, which can be Hallertau, Apollo, Chinook, and so many more! And don’t get us started on the different types of malt they could use!

Beer is Meant to be Ice Cold

Another myth that is very common to hear. Your beer is actually going to be tasteless if you serve it too cold. Don’t you want to taste your beer? According to Business Insider, “Serving temperature varies by style…Pilsners and IPAs are usually served around 40-44° F, while heavier styles are usually served around 55° F.” 

How do you serve or drink your beer? Are you tasting the true potential of your favorite brew? 

Beer and the Beer Belly

Of course, we’ve all heard this one before! Remember, anything in excess and filled with calories will contribute to weight gain, but as MentalFloss writes, “beer is hardly the most calorie-laden drink you’ll find in a bar. Much of the flack beer gets goes back to the fallacy that beer is heavy.” 

Different beers and their respective styles will be different in calories, and that includes the amount of sugar that goes into each brew’s list of ingredients. This just illustrates that you shouldn’t believe everything you hear, without doing the proper research.

Now that you’ve figured out the real facts, we’ve got you covered with your favorite brews, you can find all of them with our locator here: bsyl.ink/locator

Brewing Vocabulary

Brewing Vocabulary

The world of brewing can be confusing to navigate if you aren’t fluent in the language. With this list of common terminology, you can impress your friends and understand more about the brews you love!

Additive: enzymes, preservatives, and antioxidants added to a brew to make the shelf life longer. 

Alcohol by weight: Amount of alcohol in beer measured in terms of the percentage weight of alcohol per volume of beer. If a beer is 5% alcohol by weight, there are 5 grams of alcohol per 100 centiliters of beer.

Alcohol by volume: The amount of alcohol in terms of percentage of alcohol per volume of beer.

Ale: Beers brewed with top fermenting yeast strains. The top fermenting yeast perform at warmer temperatures than the yeasts used to brew lager beer, and they produce byproducts that alter the taste and aroma of the finished product. Fruitiness and esters are often part of an ale’s character.

All-Malt: A relatively new term that indicates that a beer is made of exclusively barley malt.

Anaerobic: Without the presence of air, an organism is able to metabolize to ferment the alcohol. 

Barrel: A unit of measurement. In Britain, a barrel is 36 imperial gallons or 1.63 hectoliters. In America, a barrel is 31.5 US gallons or 1.17 hectoliters.

Body: Thickness and mouth-filling property of beer.

Bottle Conditioning: In the bottle, a secondary fermentation process takes place creating complex aromas and flavors.

Bung: The stopper in the hole in a keg or cask that allows for filling and emptying. “Real” beer must use a wooden bung. 

Cask: A barrel-shaped container for beer that is closed. Most are made of metal and come in various sizes. 

Conditioning: A time period where beer is allowed to mature with natural carbonation. Warm conditioning develops complex flavors while cold conditioning gives a clear and round taste to the finished product. 

DMS: The taste and smell of sweet corn resulting from malt. It is caused by the short or weak boiling of wort, slow wort chilling, or bacterial infection. 

Dry-Hopping:  The process of adding hops directly to your fermenter or bright tank (keg).  Dry hopping adds aromas and flavors without adding any bitterness.   

Fermentation: conversion of sugar to ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide through yeast.

Hogshead: Cask holding 54 imperial gallons.

Hops: Herb added to boiling wort or fermenting beer to give a bitter aroma and flavor. 

IBU: International Bitterness units. A system of indicating the hop bitterness in finished beer.

Keg: Equal to a half barrel (15.5 US gallons).

Lager: Beers made with bottom-fermenting yeast strains at lower fermentation temperatures than ales. The colder temperatures prevents the natural production of many byproducts producing a crisper taste. 

Pasteurization: Heating beer from 140-174 degrees Fahrenheit to stabilize it microbiologically. This process can be done in as little as 15-60 seconds, or for as long as over 20 minutes.  

Wort: The solution of grain sugars strained from the mash tun. It goes through four stages: “sweet wort,” brewed wort, fermenting wort, and beer. 

This list is far from comprehensive and there are many, MANY more terms to learn. If you still have questions about a term not described here, take a look at this extensive list: https://bsyl.ink/Brewing-Terms. Have fun impressing your friends with your new-found brewer vocabulary!

The History of Abita Brewing Company

 The History of Abita Brewing Company

The Abita Brewing Company was founded in 1986 in the woods of Louisiana. In the first year, only 1,500 barrels were brewed, but it was the start of something unexpectedly monumental. It didn’t take long for demand to exceed the capacity of the original site, so the company upgraded to a larger location up the road in 1994 while keeping the original site as the 100-seat brewpub. From humble beginnings grew a craft beer company that now produces 151,000 barrels of beer and 9,100 barrels of root beer. Abita Brewing is a company with a rich history and unique values worth appreciating.

The Water

The Abita Brewing Company is located in Abita Springs, Louisiana. The water from these springs is so clean and pure that Abita Brewing doesn’t need to chemically treat it before using it in their brewing process. How is the water kept so clean? It is drawn from a deep well in the Southern Hills aquifer system that is filled from deep underground structures dating back around five million years. Being so deep underground for such a long period of time has kept this water-free from man-made contaminants including harsh chemicals and metals. 

The water was originally a treasure belonging to the Choctaw Indians settlement for medicinal healing. Legend tells the story of a young Spaniard who married a Choctaw woman. After they were married, the couple moved to New Orleans where the woman fell ill. She was only cured after returning home to the spring. Word of the water’s healing power spread, and more and more settlers flocked to the site, building houses and railroads along the way. In 1903, the two was officially recognized, and there it remains today.  

 

Green Brewing

Abita Brewing is a proud leader in energy conservation and has been for the past 15 years. The company is the first and only to use the EquiTherm system which uses the heat produced in the brewing process to heat up their water. This amazing system eliminates the need for biogas. 

In addition to their state-of-the-art system, Abita Brewing also operates its own wastewater treatment plant to generate energy through a Bio-Energy Recovery System (BERS). The strength and volume of the wastewater is reduced, and their own “biogas” is created that is used to fuel the company’s boilers. 

   

Charitable Brews

Abita Brewing Company has seven brews dedicated to giving back to the communities that need it most. These brews donate a portion of the profits to various charities in the area including the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, St. Joseph’s Abbey and Seminary College, Abita Springs Tourist Park, the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Employee Relief Fund, the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild, and the Camp Fire Relief Fund to aid those impacted by the Camp Fire. Abita has been dedicated to helping those in need, and its famous brews are helping the company make a difference one bottle at a time. 

If you’re looking for a brewery with historic roots, a dedicated team, and a giving culture look no further than Abita Brewing Company. With over 30 different brews you’ll be sure to find something you love. 

DIY Ideas for Old Beer Cans/Bottles

Recycling is great for the planet but instead of throwing your beer bottles and cans into the recycle bin, why not try out a few DIY crafts instead?

#1 Beer Bottle Vases

We know you definitely have a few bottles lying around after cracking open a good case!Make sure to save them for this DIY tip. Wash out the bottles thoroughly, grab your favorite colored paints, and some painters’ tape! Place the tape around the bottle to create unique designs. Paint around the tape in one solid color. or even try multiple colors in different spots around the bottle! Next time you’re given flowers or you buy for your home, place them in your beautifully crafted Beer Bottle Vases! (No one will even know!)

#2 Beer Can Candles

This one might be a bit more difficult for the beginner DIY crafters but it’s a nifty project that will make for the perfect conversation starter. We recommend finding your favorite scent and picking out a great DIY article specifically for this!

(Or if you’re not ready for this just yet, head over to SpindriftSoapCo’s Etsy Shop where she sells candles made out of Grey Sail Brewing Beer Cans!

#3 Beer Can Succulent Holders

Grab your favorite succulent, plant food, and some rocks to place on the bottom and you’ll have a succulent holder in no time! Just cut off the top of the beer can and sand it down (be careful with this part and make sure you do this with supervision from a friend or family member.) You can even paint the can as well, but there’s no need for it if you want to represent your favorite brewery! Succulents are the new trend lately and with your leftover beer cans, you can start to grow your own!

We love DIY Crafts and Beer, these two things go hand-in-hand with these DIY Tips. Let us know in the comments below what tips you’ll try out and if you’d like to see more of these blog posts in the future! And don’t forget to find your favorite brews using our Locator.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

It’s almost time to celebrate an important man in your life, a true superhero, your father! Father’s Day is just around the corner and we have the perfect gift ideas for you! We’re ‘beery’ excited to share them with you.

#1 Choose Your State Beer Cap Trap

We know that you’re reading this blog because your Dad is definitely a fan of his beer. Well, why let those bottle caps go to waste? Represent his favorite state while also letting him showcase his favorite beers. Place the bottlecaps right in the slots and pick the shape/state you’re looking for! Only $34.95 and we’re sure your Dad will love it!

#2 Beer Shaped Cookies

While he might be expecting a nice cold beer, surprise him with a few cookies to go along with it! Make his favorite cookie recipe and shape them into beer mugs! Just grab some yellow, black and white food coloring and frosting, and start painting on the cookie! We all know what a full beer mug looks like, right?

#3 “Beer” Cake

We know this might sound like an actual cake, but it’s not. Grab a few of his favorite beers by using our locator and stack them in three tiers using a circle shaped piece of cardboard to hold each level! Wrap a few of his favorite snacks in between and what you think he’ll like and voila you have his “Beer” Cake!

#4 Handmade Card

Even though we might not all be very creative, there’s nothing wrong with making a handmade card. Find some funny “Beer” and Father’s Day related puns to write on the card! It’ll be sure to make him laugh and something made just from you, will warm his heart. (Ex: “Hoppy Father’s Day!”)

We hope you enjoyed these ‘Crafty’ tips and gifts to treat your Dad this Father’s Day! Let us know in the comments below, which gift ideas you’ll be trying out!

History of St. Patrick’s Day

When you hear or see the date March 17th, we’re sure your mind immediately goes to St. Patrick’s Day just like ours does!

St. Patrick’s Day is an observance of St. Patrick’s death and is treated as a religious holiday for the Irish. Many celebrate this holiday, even those who don’t have any Irish ancestry. It’s a time of revelry for many and an excuse to drink and celebrate all day.

And did you know, according to History.com “More than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States; New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations.

Even though you may not have Irish ancestry, you’re still welcomed to enjoy and celebrate the popular holiday. Just remember to drink responsibly, in moderation and to never drink and drive.

To truly enjoy the fun celebration that is St. Patrick’s Day, here are some ales we recommend!

Lough Gill Brewing Co., an Irish independent brewery in Sligo, Ireland and their Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Stout.  As well as their Mac Nutty and ‘Round the Clock. Another perfect ale for this holiday is Wachusett Brewing Company Quinn’s, a smooth amber ale named in honor of their founding brewer and favorite Irish-American Peter Quinn.

Which will you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Beer

 

We always hear about the amazing health benefits of wine, but what about beer? Here are five amazing health benefits of beer you may not have known.

Improves Cholesterol

A 2016 study by the American Heart Association revealed moderate consumption of beer slowly decreased cholesterol over time. You may think drinking more would increase those results, but the same study revealed that heavy drinking eliminated this benefit.

Improves Memory

Beer contains vitamin B12, which is essential in maintaining healthy brain cells, concentration, and memory.

Boost Problem-Solving Skills

A study published in the Consciousness and Cognition journal revealed that participants with a blood alcohol level of 0.07 or higher solved 40 percent more problems and took less time to complete than their sober counterparts.

The findings found that participants were in a more flexible mental state which allowed them to be more creative to solve problems compared to those who were sober.

Reduces the Risk of Kidney Stones

Beer acts as a diuretic and increases urination. An increase in urination helps remove toxins and other materials from the body that can result in kidney stones.

Aids in Digestion

Beer is a great source of fiber. It has more fiber than wine which makes it a better option.

Beer may have great health benefits, this does not mean you should increase your alcohol consumption. Remember to always drink beer and other alcoholic beverages in moderation. Do Not Drink and Drive.

The Difference Between Ales and Lagers

The first step in learning about beer is to understand the difference between ales and lagers. Ales and lagers are the two main classifications of the beer family. Ales are considered traditional brews, that are generally more robust as they are rarely filtered while Lagers are usually heavily filtered with much cleaner presentations due to the cold lagering period. The difference has nothing to do with the alcohol content or the color. It all begins with the brewing process.

Yeast

Ales are made with top-fermented yeast. The yeast doesn’t ferment at the top of the tank. It typically rises to the top near the end of fermentation. Ale yeast often produces esters that can impact the flavor of the beer.

Lagering is the process of cold storage, which is widely believed to be how lager yeast came to be and become so prevalent. Lagers slowly came around in the 15th century and became famous in the German and Northern continental regions, before spreading across the world. Lagers are made with bottom-fermented yeast, which is due to the yeast collecting at the bottom of the tank to ferment, they can be reused.

There are some exceptions to the rules as some brewers do use bottom-fermented yeast to make Ales.

Fermentation Temperature

Ales are fermented warm while lagers are fermented cold. Most ales ferment at the 60-75° range with some strains of yeast requiring temperatures as high as 95-100°.  Due to these temperatures, ale yeast tends to ferment faster than lagers. Lagers ferment at temperatures between 46-59°.

Due to the variety of yeast used in beers, these temperatures may vary slightly. Even more so if hybrid strains of yeast are used.

Flavor

Ales are generally more robust, fruity, aromatic, complex in taste and aroma. This is due to ales having a higher amount of hops and malt. Lagers are light-tasting, generally higher in carbonation, smooth, mellow and balanced.

Ultimately, there are great ales and lagers. One style is not better than the other. It’s a matter of personal preference. If you’re interested in trying a pale ale and lager, we recommend Grey Sail Captain’s Daughter, Revival Night Swim’ah and Wormtown’s Be Hoppy!

Common Myths About Beer

There are several common misconceptions about beer, but you shouldn’t believe everything you hear. There’s no doubt you’ve heard about these myths, so let us shine some light on the truth.

Myth: Beer is Best Served Ice Cold

We’ve all seen the commercials advertising drinking beer ice cold or serving the beverage in a frosted mug, but this causes beer to lose its aromatics. Beer served at near frozen temperatures blinds the taste experience because your tastebuds will be more shocked by the frigid temperature of the liquid. Beer is typically dispensed between 38°- 42°. Some more flavorful beers may be served at warmer temperatures to ensure maximum flavor.  

Myth: Drinking Too Much Beer Results in a Beer Belly

We aren’t sure where this saying came from, but it is false. You’re more likely to get a large belly due to consuming unhealthy food and a lack of exercise. Yes, beer has calories, but not as much as a triple cheeseburger, fries, and a milkshake. Enjoying a beer now and again won’t give you a beer belly. Moderation is key.

Myth: Beer Kills Brain Cells

When a person consumes too many beers, they experience slurred speech, lack of physical balance, forgetfulness, and other symptoms. So, what’s going on? High levels of alcohol can interrupt the signals being sent to your brain, but it doesn’t kill your brain cells. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, participants did not experience a decrease in brain cells or cognitive behavior. Nonetheless, it is not proposed that these findings be used to encourage increased alcohol consumption.

Myth: Canned Beer Tastes Cheap

Don’t judge a beer by its can. Canned beer doesn’t indicate the quality of a beer. This idea may stem from a personal preference similar to people assuming a wine bottle with a screwed top is automatically a lower quality than one with a cork.

The best way to preserve beer is to prevent oxygen and light from penetrating the beer. The most effective way to do that is to store it in a can. Oxygen can seep into the tops of beer bottles and dark glass bottles may not always block light. If you don’t want to drink beer from a can, pour it into a glass.

Myth: Dark Beers Have More Alcohol Than Light Beers

Many people think the darker the beer, the more bitter or stronger it will be. Guinness is automatically assumed to have a higher alcohol content due to its color, but it only has 4.2 percent compared to Bud Light Platinum’s six percent.

Regardless of your preference for bottled, canned, light, or dark, enjoy your beverage at the correct temperature and drink in moderation this holiday season.

5 Fun Facts About Beer

With the holidays coming up, we’re quite sure you’ll have a drink or two. If you need something to talk about, drink up these fun facts about beer and sound smarter while you’re waiting for dinner to be served!

7.5 million liters of beer were served at Oktoberfest 2017

Oktoberfest is one of the most popular celebrations for beer consumers. This years event was another success with approximately 6.2 million visitors and 7.5 million liters of beer consumed. That number is up from 7.3 million liters at Oktoberfest 2015.

Doctors prescribed “medical beer”

During prohibition, brewers, physicians, and imbibers attempted to persuade U.S. Congress that beer was vital medicine. In March 1921, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer declared “doctors to prescribe beer at any time, under any circumstances and in any amount they saw fit.” Doctors prescribed “medical beer” from March 1921 to November 1921 until Congress banned it.

New Hampshire consumes the most beer

You would think Nevada would have been number one, but New Hampshire takes the top spot in beer consumption with 41.7 gallons annually per capita. Montana was second with 39.1 gallons of beer and South Dakota rounded out the top three with 38.6 gallons of beer.

Fried beer won Most Creative Food at the 2010 Texas State Fair

State fairs have become synonymous with unique fried treats. At the 2010 Texas State Fair, deep-fried beer-filled pretzel pockets were entered into the Big Tex Choice Awards and won for Most Creative Food.

Mars has a crater named Beer

Beer is a crater located in the Margaritifer Sinus region of the planet Mars named after the German astronomer Wilhelm Beer. The next time you’re drinking beer under the stars, raise your glass and say, “Cheers to Beer.”