Friday, June 29, 2012

History, Chemistry, and Cold Beer

When next you reach for a cold one in the buzzing heat of a summer day, you will probably give no thought to the glorious history, complicated chemistry, and abundant myths associated with what you are drinking.

 That's OK. Just know you are participating on one of humanities oldest and most popular activities. After water and tea, beer is the third most favored drink in the world. It is one of the first by-products of human agriculture. Beer may, in fact, be a reason for civilization.

 The United States is a splendid place to drink beer, said British-born expert Charles Bamforth of the University of California, Davis. The market is huge and diverse, with an enormous variety of the stuff available from breweries large and small. Beer is made of fermented cereal grains. Usually, the grain is barley, but wheat beer is common, sometimes rye, rice, corn, or even sorghum.

 The drink was discovered about 8,000 years ago, historians believe, likely the result of accidents in bakeries.

Click here to read this article from Inside Science News Service