Beer is an ancient and beloved drink that has gained the affection of millions of people worldwide, rivaling the popularity of tea and coffee. With several thousand recipes for its creation, it’s no wonder that over a billion people drink beer daily! In addition to its widespread appeal, beer offers a plethora of fascinating facts that may surprise even the most knowledgeable beer enthusiast.
Belgium is the world’s most diverse beer country, with over four hundred officially registered varieties of beer. Tourists flock to Belgium for special “beer tours,” where they can taste dozens of unique and delicious beers. From the weakest beer, brewed in Germany with an alcohol content of just 0.2%, to the strongest “Snake Poison” brewed in Scotland with a staggering 67.5% alcohol content, beer offers a wide range of strengths and flavors.
Even space has been touched by the magic of beer, with the creation of a foamy drink brewed from barley grown in a space station module. While each can of space beer sold for ten thousand Japanese yen (or about four and a half thousand rubles), it’s a unique experience that few will ever get to enjoy.
For those interested in the science of beer, there is a whole field of study called zitology, which focuses on the ingredients and production processes of beer. The first beer advertisement dates back to 4000 BC and featured a clay tablet with an image of a girl holding two glasses of beer, inviting viewers to “Drink beer with a lion’s heart.”
Beer has also played a significant role in history, with the ancient Egyptians worshipping Menket, the goddess of brewing, and workers building the Egyptian pyramids receiving three glasses of beer daily to increase their productivity. Even women dominated the brewing industry until the eighteenth century, with a group of English women brewers known as “Alewives.”
In the USA, the largest beer museum is located in Kentucky, showcasing over a million beer-related artifacts. For those with a fear of an empty beer glass, there’s a term for it – chenosillicaphobia. And for those with an unlimited budget, the Japanese Ginza Tanaka campaign developed a beer glass made of pure gold, aptly named “Summer Cool,” which cost around fifty thousand dollars.
Celebrate International Beer Day on August 5 by enjoying your favorite beer with friends and toasting to the hard work of beer producers and sellers. With so much history, culture, and variety, it’s no wonder that beer has captured the hearts of so many people worldwide.
Types of Beer: An In-Depth Look at the Many Varieties of Brews
Beer is one of the oldest and most beloved alcoholic beverages in the world. With its rich history, complex flavors, and wide variety of styles, beer has become a cultural staple across the globe. In this article, we will dive into the many different types of beer, their unique characteristics, and what sets them apart from one another.
Lagers: The Most Popular Beer Style in the World
Lagers are the most popular style of beer in the world, known for their crisp and refreshing taste. They are brewed using a bottom-fermenting yeast strain and are typically fermented at lower temperatures, resulting in a cleaner and smoother flavor profile. Some of the most well-known lagers include Budweiser, Corona, and Heineken.
Ales: The Broadest Category of Beer
Ales are brewed using a top-fermenting yeast strain and are typically fermented at warmer temperatures than lagers. This results in a more complex flavor profile, with a wider range of aromas and flavors. Ales can range from light and refreshing to rich and full-bodied, depending on the style. Some popular ale styles include Pale Ales, IPAs, and Stouts.
Wheat Beers: The Perfect Summer Brew
Wheat beers are brewed with a high percentage of wheat malt and are typically light and refreshing, making them perfect for hot summer days. They often have a hazy appearance and a slightly sweet flavor, with notes of citrus and spice. Some well-known wheat beers include Blue Moon and Hoegaarden.
Sours: The Tart and Funky Beers
Sours are a relatively new style of beer that have gained popularity in recent years. They are known for their tart and funky flavors, which are created by using wild yeast strains and bacteria during the brewing process. Sours can range from mildly tart to intensely sour, and often have fruit or spice flavors added to them. Some popular sour styles include Gose, Berliner Weisse, and Lambic.
Belgian Beers: The Artisanal Brews
Belgian beers are known for their complex and unique flavor profiles, often featuring fruity, spicy, or herbal notes. They are typically brewed using Belgian yeast strains, which give them their distinctive character. Belgian beers can range from light and refreshing to rich and full-bodied, with a wide variety of styles to choose from. Some popular Belgian styles include Dubbel, Tripel, and Quadrupel.
Porters and Stouts: The Dark and Bold Beers
Porters and Stouts are dark and bold beers that are brewed with roasted malts, giving them their characteristic color and flavor. They often have notes of chocolate, coffee, and caramel, with a rich and full-bodied mouthfeel. Some well-known examples of Porters and Stouts include Guinness, Founders Breakfast Stout, and Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout.
Craft Beers: The Rise of Local and Independent Breweries
In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the popularity of craft beers. Craft beers are typically produced by local and independent breweries, and are known for their unique flavors and styles. They often feature high-quality ingredients, experimental brewing techniques, and a focus on sustainability and community. Some popular craft beer styles include IPAs, Sour Ales, and Barrel-Aged Beers.
Pilsners: The Classic Czech Beer
Pilsners are a type of lager that originated in the Czech Republic in the mid-19th century. They are known for their light color, crisp taste, and floral hop aroma. Pilsners are typically brewed with soft water, which allows the delicate flavors and aromas to shine through. Some well-known examples of Pilsners include Pilsner Urquell, Stella Artois, and Praga Pils.
Fruit Beers: The Sweet and Fruity Brews
Fruit beers are a type of beer that are brewed with fruit, which gives them a sweet and fruity flavor. They can be made with a variety of different fruits, including berries, citrus, and tropical fruits. Fruit beers are often light and refreshing, making them a popular choice during the summer months. Some popular fruit beer styles include Raspberry Wheat Ale, Blood Orange IPA, and Mango Lassi Gose.
Non-Alcoholic Beers: A Sobering Option
Non-alcoholic beers are becoming increasingly popular, as more and more people are choosing to limit their alcohol intake or abstain from alcohol altogether. Non-alcoholic beers are brewed using the same process as regular beer, but with the alcohol content removed. They can range from light and refreshing to full-bodied and flavorful, with a variety of styles to choose from. Some popular non-alcoholic beer brands include Heineken 0.0, Beck’s Blue, and Athletic Brewing Company’s Upside Dawn Golden Ale.
- Ale – Ale is a type of beer that is brewed using a warm fermentation process, which gives it a distinct flavor and aroma. There are many different types of ale, including pale ales, India pale ales (IPAs), and stouts.
- Pale – Pale ale is a type of ale that is brewed using pale malted barley and often features a hoppy flavor profile. It can be light or dark in color, and may have a fruity or floral aroma.
- Root Beer – While not technically a beer, root beer is a popular non-alcoholic beverage that is made from a combination of herbs, spices, and other flavorings. It is typically sweetened with sugar or corn syrup and carbonated.
- Lager – Lager is a type of beer that is brewed using a cold fermentation process, which gives it a crisp, clean taste. It is typically light in color and has a lower alcohol content than many other beer styles.
- Pilsner – Pilsner is a type of lager that is brewed using a specific type of malt and hops. It is typically light in color and has a slightly bitter taste, with a crisp finish.
- Modelo Beer – Modelo is a brand of beer that is brewed in Mexico and known for its crisp, refreshing taste. It is a type of lager that is typically light in color and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
- Blue Moon Beer – Blue Moon is a brand of beer that is brewed in the United States and known for its smooth, citrusy flavor. It is a type of Belgian-style wheat beer that is often served with a slice of orange.
- IPA Beer – IPA, or India Pale Ale, is a type of ale that is characterized by its strong hoppy flavor and high alcohol content. It originated in England in the 19th century and has since become popular around the world.
- Guinness Beer – Guinness is a brand of beer that is brewed in Ireland and known for its dark, rich flavor. It is a type of stout that is typically served with a creamy head and has a slightly sweet, chocolatey taste.
- Heineken Beer – Heineken is a brand of beer that is brewed in the Netherlands and known for its light, crisp taste. It is a type of lager that is often served with a wedge of lime.
- Hefeweizen – Hefeweizen is a type of wheat beer that originated in Germany. It is typically light in color and has a slightly sweet, fruity taste, with a hint of clove or banana.
- Peroni Beer – Peroni is a brand of beer that is brewed in Italy and known for its light, refreshing taste. It is a type of lager that is often served with a wedge of lemon.
- Athletic Brewing – Athletic Brewing is a brand of beer that specializes in non-alcoholic craft beers. Their beers are made using traditional brewing techniques and feature a wide range of styles and flavors.
- Beerfest: A beerfest is a festival that celebrates beer and the brewing industry. These events typically feature a wide variety of beers from different breweries and countries, as well as live music, food, and other entertainment. The most famous beerfest is Oktoberfest, held annually in Munich, Germany, where millions of people come to celebrate beer and Bavarian culture.
- Beer Belly: A beer belly is a term used to describe the excess weight and fat that accumulates around the abdomen as a result of excessive beer consumption. While drinking beer in moderation can be a part of a healthy lifestyle, excessive consumption can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
- Gose: Gose is a type of beer that originated in Germany and is characterized by its sour, salty taste. It is brewed using a combination of malted barley, wheat, and salt, and is often flavored with coriander and citrus. Gose is a refreshing and unique beer that is gaining popularity in the craft beer scene.
- Tsingtao: Tsingtao is a Chinese beer that was first brewed in 1903. It is a pale lager that is known for its crisp, clean taste and refreshing finish. Tsingtao is the most widely exported Chinese beer and can be found in many countries around the world.
- Lagunitas IPA: Lagunitas IPA is a popular American beer that is brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company. It is a hoppy, full-bodied beer that is known for its bold, complex flavor and aroma. Lagunitas IPA is one of the most popular IPAs in the United States and is a favorite among craft beer enthusiasts.
- Kolsch: Kolsch is a type of beer that is brewed in Cologne, Germany. It is a light, refreshing beer that is known for its smooth, crisp taste and golden color. Kolsch is a great beer to enjoy on a warm summer day and is becoming more popular in the craft beer scene.
- Pliny the Elder: Pliny the Elder is a double IPA that is brewed by Russian River Brewing Company in California. It is named after the Roman naturalist, Pliny the Elder, and is known for its intense, hoppy flavor and aroma. Pliny the Elder is a highly sought-after beer and is considered one of the best IPAs in the world.
- Draft Beer: Draft beer is beer that is served directly from a keg or cask rather than from a bottle or can. It is typically fresher and colder than bottled or canned beer, and is often served in bars and restaurants. Draft beer can be found in a variety of different styles, from light lagers to rich stouts.
- Bundaberg Ginger Beer: Bundaberg Ginger Beer is a non-alcoholic ginger beer that is brewed in Australia. It is made using real ginger and is known for its spicy, refreshing taste. Bundaberg Ginger Beer is a great alternative to traditional beer for those who prefer a non-alcoholic option.
Beer nutrition facts
If you’re looking for a lighter beer option, these brews are under 100 calories per 12-ounce serving. While they may not offer significant dietary benefits, they are a better choice than high-calorie beers. See below for the nutrition facts:
- Michelob Ultra (4.2 ABV): 95 calories, 2.6g carbs, 0.6g protein
- Busch Light (4.2 ABV): 95 calories, 11.2g carbs, 1.7g protein
- Beck’s Premier Light (2.3 ABV): 64 calories, 3.9g carbs, 0.7g protein
- Michelob ULTRA Amber (4.0 ABV): 89 calories, 3.2g carbs, 0.9g protein
- Miller Light (96 ABV): 96 calories, 5g carbs, <1g protein
- Amstel Light (96 ABV): 96 calories, 5g carbs, <1g protein
- Beck’s NA Non-Alcoholic (0.05 ABV): 57 calories, 11g carbs, 1.17g protein (12-ounce bottle)
Most 12-ounce beers contain around 150 calories. Below are a few options under that calorie count:
- Coors Light (4.2 ABV): 102 calories, 5g carbs, <1g protein
- Stella Artois (5.0 ABV): 141 calories, 10.9g carbs (11.2oz)
- Bud Light (4.2 ABV): 110 calories, 6.6g carbs, 0.9g protein
- Budweiser (5.0 ABV): 145 calories, 10.6g carbs, 1.3g protein
- Beck’s Dark Pilsner (5.0 ABV): 142 calories, 3.2g carbs, 0.7g protein
- Bud Light Lime (4.2 ABV): 116 calories, 8g carbs, 0.9g protein
- Hoegaarden (4.9 ABV): 44.8 calories, 3.3g carbs (for the small 3-ounce bottle)
- Michelob Light (4.1 ABV): 122 calories, 8.9g carbs, 1.2g protein
- Guinness (4.2 ABV): 125 calories, 10g carbs
- Beck’s (5.0 ABV): 146 calories, 10.4g carbs, 1.8g protein
If you’re indulging in a craft, seasonal or flavored beer, these higher-alcohol options are also higher in calories.
- Michelob Lager (4.8 ABV): 158 calories, 14.4g carbs, 1.9g protein
- Blue Moon Cappuccino Oatmeal Stout beer (5.9 ABV): 196 calories, 19g carbs, 1.6g protein
- Blue Moon Belgian White beer (5.4 ABV): 168 calories, 16.3g carbs, 1.9g protein
- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (5.6 ABV): 175 calories, 14g carbs, 1.5g protein
- Beck’s Octoberfest beer (5.2 ABV): 151 calories, 10.8g carbs, 1.7g protein
- Bass Pale Ale (5.1 ABV): 156 calories, 12.4g carbs, 1.8g protein
- Beck’s Sapphire pilsner (6.0 ABV): 161 calories, 8.9g carbs, 2.4g protein
- Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita (8.0 ABV): 220 calories, 29g carbs (per 8-ounce can)
- Bud Light Lime Raz-Ber-Rita (8.0 ABV): 195 calories, 22.8g carbs (per 8-ounce can)
- Bud Light Lime Water-Melon-Rita (8.0 ABV): 294 calories, 34.8g carbs (per 8-ounce can)
- Johnny Appleseed Hard Apple Cider (5.5 ABV): 210 calories, 26g carbs