"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Five Things I (and maybe you) Didn’t Know About Beer

by Julie on February 10, 2012

in BHC Beer

Ocktoberfest girl

We loves beer!

Like many beer drinking women, I got the taste from my Dad. When I was a little girl he would always give me a sip or two from his Mickey’s Big Mouth (which I understand now is a malt liquor, but never mind), and as I got older I found the taste of Coors in a can refreshing. Give me some credit at least for never finding Bud Light at all satisfying.

But like with all food and drink I grew up ignorant of the larger potential. Over the years I’ve been slowly learning about the wide-variety of styles out there, letting my taste evolve from Coors to Heineken to Sam Adams to stouts and various IPAs and bocks (of the many Friday Bock nights I’ve had at my house, I remember so few) and am now venturing into craft brews in strange little bottles and cans. I can’t wait to try Arrogant Bastard Ale (but it’s true I’m not worthy. Yet.)

So many beers. So much to learn.

I recently spoke with Dave Forrest, head brewer at the CraftHaus Brewery in Las Vegas and his wife Wyndee for a little blog assignment, which I basically took because I’m interested in the topic. I got three times the material I needed because I kept asking questions. That night I dreamt I worked in a brewpub, and searched the whole evening for the delicious bottle of beer I’d had one sip of but then put down…somewhere…

I’ve culled some of the more fascinating bits of knowledge I gleaned from that interview for you here.

Here are five things I didn’t know about beer. Maybe you did. If so please keep it to yourself and don’t harsh my blogpost.

1. Make sure you’re getting enough beer. Craft brewers are getting behind the “true pint” movement. There’s a 12-ounce glass that we think of as a pint, or at least I always have, being bad with measurements and not prone to notice details.  But a real pint is 16-ounces. When you go to a brewpub or a restaurant, make sure you’re getting an actual pint and not paying $5 for four-ounces less beer than you should be getting.

2. Another reason chicks like beer: We invented it. The Sumerians had a goddess of brewing and brewers. All Hail Ninkasi! The earliest depictions of brewers are women, who brewed the stuff at home until things got commercial and men took over.

3. No frosted mugs. Seems a low temperature will ruin the aroma and flavor of the beer you’re drinking. In general, this is ok with some pilsners that are light, bright and meant to be drunk very cold. Otherwise, you’re doing your beer a disservice. Malt and hops like it warmer. And I always thought a glass in the freezer was the height of beer sophistication. “It’s not a rule,” says Wyndee. “It’s just a suggestion.” But she laughed when she said it, so…

4. You can’t tell a beer by its color. I would have thought darker meant more alcohol but not so! Guinness Stout, known affectionately as “the black stuff” is only 4% alcohol. A barley wine is much lighter in color, but runs up into the double digits in terms of alcohol content.

5. Drink American. The Great American Beer, Budweiser, isn’t even an American company anymore. It’s owned by a multinational conglomerate known as InBev, which is headquartered in Belgium. Apparently it was a hostile takeover in 2008, when nobody was paying attention. These mega-brewers spend a lot of money trying to convince you that what you’re drinking is actually a small “craft” beer. The popular Blue Moon witbier, for example? The one served with an orange? That’s actually owned by MillerCoors.  The best solution to corporate beer is to find and drink your local craft-brew.

I’ll do my part by reviewing a beer every now and then. Any suggestions for my first one?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce February 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Bud Light? No, seriously, how about Pork Slap? Goes well with barbecue and takeout Mexican.


julie February 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Pork Slap. I knew I could count on you, Bruce.


Haylo February 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Interesting five things and yay for an additional 4 ounces. I can get behind that.
I recently tried a Cains Dark Mild and a hops and grain Alt-eration Ale. Good stuff! Hmm beer…


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