:: Beer
 

A little bit of history

To establish when the first beer was produced is not an easy task; however, it is known the fermentation process already existed about 10.000 years ago. The general assumption is that Sumerians discovered beer by accident just after the appearance of bread. Presumably they noticed that when wet the kneaded dough fermented forming a kind of primitive beer. The process, many times repeated and improved, originated a beverage considered so “divine” that it soon became an offering to their gods in religious rituals.

In the second millennium B.C., following the downfall of the Sumerian Empire, the Babylonians arouse in Mesopotamia, today Iraq. A new civilization descending from Sumerians, however more advanced culturally and technologically which considerably contributed to evolve the brewage process. Being a brewer became a very admired and respected profession, but interestingly enough for women only.

Nevertheless, only in the Middle Ages, in Belgium, thanks to hop, a new ingredient added by Trappist monks to the recipe, beer gained its characteristic flavor we now appreciate. Though it was made for their consumption, the monks used to offer the beverage as a reinvigorating, refreshing, and relaxing food supplement to the travelers lodging in their monasteries; a tradition they keep until now. After that, by selling the excess production they caused beer to spread.

In 1808, the Portuguese royal family introduced beer in Brazil. Consumption grew slowly, and in 1836 a newspaper announced that the first Brazilian brewery had opened in Rio de Janeiro; it was the “Cervejaria Brazileira”.

Tasting

Each beer has its own personality, a story to tell, and perfumes to reveal. The “Nose of Beer” collection teaches how to appreciate and describe the characteristics and aromas of all kinds of beer, as well as the terminology and body language of the experts among other curiosities.

Beer tasting criteria is similar to that of wine. Brightness; color; clouding; foam; fragrances and flavor are evaluated. The harmony between beer and food depends on the characteristics of both. For instance, the low-fermented Pilsner has some aromatic notes of barley, hop and fruits, is golden-colored, light and refreshing therefore harmonizes with goat cheese; squid; oriental dishes; appetizers, and smoke-dried foods. Like wines, beers have traditional methods of preparation and modern technology of brewing; nevertheless, unlike wines, beers must be consumed when still young since brewing does not take place inside bottles, except in some few cases.

How to serve

Beer cannot be served rapidly. First incline the glass well, so the liquid will lean against its internal wall; pour the beer slowly then reduce the glass inclination, and pour the drink vigorously to fill the last centimeters forming the white foam thermic layer called collaret; a very fine and pleasing mousse which must be about three fingers thick. The glass choice is quite important in tasting beer. For Larger beers it has to be conic; for denser and more complex beers such as the Ales kind, it can be straight or like a cognac goblet; for wheat made beers, quite aromatic and carbonated, the glass should have an upper bulge as it best contains the collaret.

Temperature

Temperature is fundamental in tasting beers.

Proper temperatures for tasting:

Degrees

Types of beer

13º

Dark (stout)

Dark

Red

Golden

Light Colored

 

Below 6° the beer loses most of its aromas.