Drinkable Beerlike Substances

Posted: September 19, 2010 in Nature
Tags: , , ,

A quick post to follow on my last. It might have nothing to do with anarchism, but it’s on the real important topic of beer!

Michael Pollan in his book In Defense of Food referred to “edible foodlike substances.” These are substances that are globbed together from chemically reduced components. These are substances like non-dairy creamer, Fruit Loops, Nogurt.

The Germans passed the Beer Purity Law about 500 years ago to dictate that beer should be brewed from only water, yeast, hops and barley. It is a rather stringent rule; I’ve had a pretty mean pumpkin ale or two in the past. But before this 4-ingredient recipe is abandoned, careful consideration should be given to how “adjuncts” can improve quality. Unfortunately big commercial breweries are not concerned with producing a quality product, and so they substitute cheaper rice or corn for the barley. Part of the savings they then funnel into marketing this rice/corn water, and we are bombarded with the gleeful message that beer should be refreshingly “ice cold.” The industry needs us to drink their horrendous products ice cold because our taste buds virtually cease to work at that temperature. Quality beer is, in fact, drunk at 4C to 15C (40F to 60F).

I, therefore, want to assert that that many big breweries do not craft beers at all but instead manufacture “drinkable beerlike substances.” As this phrase catches on, remember you heard it here first!

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