Brewing beer at home is a popular DIY activity and we want to help you learn more about it. Scott Pointon, a home brewing advocate, will lead a program at the library called "You can brew it" next week. We also have some useful resources for learning more about beer and brewing. But first, some interesting facts about beer…
Beer, it's everywhere
Did you know that many ancient cultures brewed beer? In fact, evidence of beer has been found as far back as 6000 B.C. According to our World Book Infofinder article on beer, "The ancient Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Teutons all made beer." To which I say, "Thanks, ancient people!"
According the same article, people in the Czech Republic "consume more beer per capita (per person) than any other country." Luckily for them beer is kind of nutritious (in moderation, of course) since it contains "carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins and minerals." China is the biggest beer producer (which I wouldn't have guessed), followed up by the United States.
Beer, it's a big business
I happen to be a big fan of craft beers brewed by small operations. But the reality is that most beer in America is produced by a handful of players (conglomerates, really). According to a 2013 industry report, "The US beer market is highly concentrated, with the top four players holding 85.2% of the total market volume." And based on the fact that in 2012 the beer market made $79,409.6 million (!) in revenues, those big players aren't doing too badly.
What are those big guys selling to the market? Mostly lagers which "generally have a pale color and subtle, balanced hop and malt flavors". Lagers account for "35.2% of the market's total value" Nearly 1 in 3 beers is a lager!
Beer, it's more than lager
Nothing against lagers, but home brewing and craft brewing have made many types of beer available to us. India pale ales, for instance, have surged in popularity thanks to the aggressive, heavily hopped "West Coast" style. The beauty of doing it at home, of course, is that you can experiment with new flavors and ingredients to suit your tastes.
Our program on November 20th at 7 p.m. Scott will introduce you to the basics of home brewing. Come checkout some of the equipment you'll need and how the brewing process works.
Beer, it's something you can learn
If you'd like to read up on beer or checkout a book about brewing, start with a few of these selections from the library. Happy brewing!
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hartlepool_museum/6004418585/