History Of Brewing
Beer has been around as long as people have cultivated grain. The ancient Egyptians and Sumerians discovered the process independently and to this day, Iraqis and Egyptians argue about who invented it. The point is, someone left some barley out it in the rain, it germinated, and the grain started to rot into a bubbly savory beverage, that when drunk, produces feelings of happiness, relaxation, and reduced inhibitions. They gradually got better at it, the idea spread to northern Europe where brewers over the years perfected the process and spread it across the Atlantic.
People may not realize it, but the Pilgrims liked to party because the Mayflower finally dropped anchor at Plymouth Rock, not because they liked the place, but because they ran out of ale. Most of the founding fathers made their own beer and cider, and when Germans started immigrating en masse in the 19th century, most cities had large breweries founded by immigrants.
Except, some horrible people thought it would be a great idea to outlaw the manufacture and sale of alcohol, and prohibition struck America in the 1920’s. This was eventually repealed, but the deathblow to the American brewing industry was long felt, with most breweries not surviving prohibition. The breweries that did survive made gradually blander, and flavorless adjunct lagers.
It wasn’t until homebrewing was made legal in 1979, that the craft beer renaissance happened. Many Americans realized that most beer made in America wasn’t very good and set out making their own. These people got so good at it, they realized they could make money with their beer. Which is why today you can find great beer in most parts of the country.
Beer may not taste the same as the first time a Sumerian forgot some grain in the rain, but the spirit is still the same. Beer is a great, delicious beverage that brings people together, has a long history, and is an important part of many a city’s economy. Plus, people just like it, and it makes them feel better about life.
A Guide to Rare Beer
Maybe you’ve already moved beyond PBR and Mirror Pond pale ale just doesn’t excite you the same way that it used to. Maybe you’re a little adventurous, maybe you’re a little eccentric, maybe you just like being different. Lucky for you, Bend has many different types of beer available that are rare, and just downright weird.
Here’s a few to whet your weird beer whistle:
Berliner Weisse- A rare style from Berlin Germany, Berliner Weisse is a light, refreshing wheat beer that has been introduced with a bacterial culture that gives it a uniquely sour taste.
Where to get it: Bend Brewing Company currently has one on tap called “Desert Rose.” It tastes like cranberries and sourdough bread and is only $2.50 a pint during their Tuesday Local’s night.
Hopless Beer- Hops are considered such an integral part of beer, the Germans wrote a law in 1516 saying that hops needed to be in beer. However, people didn’t always flavor their beer with hops, and many originally flavored their ale with a variety of roots and spices such as yarrow, elderberry, spruce and cardamom.
Where to get it: Deschutes Brewery Pub has an ale called “La Fleur” and is brewed with a variety of flavors, but not hops. It tastes a little sweet and interesting and smells like perfume.
Rauchbier: meaning “smoked beer” in German, Rauchbier is an ancient style, where the malt is roasted over a beechwood fire, that imparts a uniquely smoky flavor to the beer. If you like barbecue, this is a beer for you and it compliments a plate of pulled pork very well.
Where to get it: Alaskan Brewing Company makes a smoked porter that is available in many grocery stores that is smoke over alderwood. If you want the original, try Schlenkerla Rauchbier ur-Bock, from Bamberg, Germany, it’s a strong, malty bock beer with all sorts of smoky flavor.
Flemish Sour Ale- The Belgians put all sorts of odd flavors into their beers, from fruit to spices, and just plain sugar. The variety of flavors and styles found in the little country is astounding, and one could spend a lifetime, and a small fortune, tasting and appreciating all the different beers. One favorite though is a Flemish sour ale, a strong beer that has been inoculated with strains of wild yeast that give it a characteristically sour taste. It’s a hard style to brew right and to find here in the states. But lucky for you, you live in Central Oregon.
Where to get it: The Duchesse de Burgeone is considered a sour ale with training wheels by coniesuers, but don’t let that turn you off, because it is still packs a strong, tasty, sour punch. The Abbey Pub at the bottom of the hill on College Way regularly has the Duchesse on tap and also sells it in bottles with other Belgian sour ales and more rare beers. It also has a 10% discount for students too.
Three Delicious Beers for your Satisfaction
1. Black Butte Porter– Alright, it’s readily available and is one of the most venerable characters in Deschutes Brewery’s stable and might not be the beer nerd’s drink of choice. But it’s so good, dark, chocolaty, hoppy and malty, that I just can’t think of how they could improve it. It’s great to live in a town that makes one of the greatest beers in the planet.
2. HUB Secession Cascadian Dark IPA– I haven’t become a fan of the recent trend to increase the hop content in beer out into oblivion, but I do love the new dark ale style that many northwest breweries have been developing. Alcoholic enough to make me feel good, hoppy enough to taste great, and balanced with some delicious roasted malts, it pretty much equals beervana.
3. Olympia– Alright, so it isn’t made in Washington anymore and I’m too young to remember or care. But it’s cheaper than PBR, and I feel awesome holding a can that looks so old that I stole it off the set of Mad Men. Nothing quite hits the spot on a hot day after doing physical labor like a can of Oly. Or PBR. But you already knew that. And we all have that hole, or holes, in our liver for our favorite cheap beer. I do.
Three Towns that known a Thing or Two about Beer
Bend is a great beer town. But sometimes we find ourselves in other places, and eventually we all have to leave Bend. Although I don’t always drink beer, when I do, I like these towns. They have great breweries, unique style and interesting cultural things to look at when you’re buzzed. You can’t go wrong when abroad.
1. Portland– Ok, so it’s only 3 hours away, and most likely you grew up there or you went there last weekend. But did you know that Portland has the most breweries in the world? Did you know those breweries constantly win awards? Did you know their beer is flippin amazing? Next time you are there, drink some beer or buy some and bring it back. They don’t call Beervana for nothing.
2. Cologne, Germany– Not only does this town have the coolest cathedral I’ve ever seen, but it has its own unique beer style and until Portland usurped it, it had the most breweries in the world. People here love their beer and in the Altstadt, you can find many great breweries that brew the local beer style, Kolsch, that don’t bottle and only sell on the premises. Everyone drinks beer here and you’ll be hard pressed to find a bar where people aren’t drinking Kolsch. Go here and drink something before you go to the cathedral, it’s way cooler buzzed.
3. Asheville, North Carolina– The south does not appreciate its microbrew. Trust me, it’s hard to find good beer there. But in the Appalachin Mountains in western North Carolina, there is a small revolution under way. Not only is the town surrounded by beautiful mountains, Asheville has a thriving bluegrass and microbrewery scene. The town has 5 microbreweries and even if the rest of the region doesn’t care, they really love their beer and have set themselves apart.
How to Pour the Perfect Pint
1. Open the bottle. Be sure not to shake the bottle, as it may result in a beverage that will foam and spill everywhere.
2. Grab a clean glass that is empty of debris and grease.
3. Tilt the glass at a 45 degree angle.
4. Pour the beer slowly into the glass, gradually bringing the glass perpendicular to the ground.
5. Allow the beer to settle and gather head.
6. Prost! Drink the beer, relax and enjoy life!
You may contact Don Iler at firstname.lastname@example.org