Last beer drank: Hooker Munich Style Lager
I wanted to kick off this month with a good local Spring beer. The Munich Style Lager pours out a deep gold color, with a head that pops up and fizzles out like a carbonation bubble. Over all the body is light-medium, in fairly traditional lager fashion. This beer really needs to be smelled vigorously to uncover it's scent, which proves to be a very mild whiff of hops and a hint of clover. At initial taste one gets a mild-moderate taste of dried fruit mixed with a decent amount of carbonation. The taste progresses from here to that mild hop that was first smelled. Finally the flavor terminates with more of that great fruity taste. Overall this beer has an easy-drinking light body, but hides a surprising burst of hops. It's a great Spring beer because the fruit flavor tastes great when it's right from the fridge, but if you sip it outside and it gets warm, the heat just enhances the overall aroma and taste of hops.
It's been a little while since my last blog update, but that's due to a really crazy month (the whole month of May), and spending essentially the whole last week barely hanging on to my schedule by the tips of my fingernails and skin of my teeth. But I've had some good beers, gotten a little bit of sleep, and am now (should be) back!
This blog post centers around a cool documentary that I honestly only caught the last quarter of. It's called "How Beer Saved the World," and it was featured on the Discovery channel (click here for a preview). It was honestly fascinating. The crux of the argument presented was that many of the essential infrastructures and developments of the modern world were created because of beer! The part I saw looked at the current world (as in the last hundred years or so). The film discussed how refrigeration was mainstreamed because beer companies demanded a way for people to have their beverages remained un-spoiled for longer. The show then went on to say that the production line and modern factory processes were not invented by Henry Ford. No, rather they pointed out that it was many years earlier that beer companies, searching for a way to make bottles, put beer in the bottles, and cap the bottles faster, developed the early version of the modern production line. From here they linked to how the medical, engineering, and other fields have benefited from the inventions that beer have made.
All Thanks to Beer?
(Courtesy: ninahale (Flickr))
The very end dealt with beer in space, which was cool, but not really pertinent to this post. So the documentary states that beer saved the world by taking nomadic hunters, and leading them to settle down and become an agrarian society(farmers). From here everyone's favorite adult-beverage (which beer is, according to statistics) led these farmers to develop more and more inventions that would first serve to better beer, and then better their world over all. Hooray, world saved, beer is great. Right?
Ok I love beer. I think that's obvious to anyone reading this. I love beer in the way of finding new, interesting brews to drink, talking to friends about the merits of warm vs. cold beer, and (hopefully sooner rather than later) brewing my own interesting beers, lagers, and stouts. I also love playing devil's advocate to everyone, including myself, my dogs, and random people I meet in passing. So as I was enacting this second past-time I had to ask: has beer REALLY saved the world? I mean really?
(Courtesy: LocalTravelPhotos (Flickr))
After all, how many people cannot enjoy beer in moderation and have caused accidents and tragedy? How many people have become chemically addicted and lose themselves or their family? Besides the obvious alcoholic problems inherent in beer what about the business practices? Tons of people have put life savings into opening a micro-brewery, just to have it crushed by ruthless big business. Yes, beer companies may have brought major modernizations to our world, but how many "little guys" did they have to step on to reach that point?
(Courtesy: Paul Stevenson (Flickr))
I don't think beer is a villain, but I think to paint beer as a perfect hero is a mistake as well. If anything beer is a force of nature that has to be respected and understood before it can really do any good to anybody. It seems to me that in general these days there's a lack of moderation: things are either hot or they're cold. Good or evil. Witbier or stout. To me it's always important to try and look at both sides of a story, no matter what, and even if it's just beer.
Ok I'm not getting political, I swear. And yes, I know that the title of the documentary is tongue-in-cheek, duh. The bottom line is that beer has done great things, but if not handled the right way it has potential to do terrible, tragic things. So know your beer! And, more importantly, know yourself. What do you think? Am I full of it? Is beer the Spider Man to our New York City in peril? Or, is understanding beer generally good practice? Leave your comments!