Thursday, April 27, 2006
The beer buzz: Facts about beer and brewing
- The world's largest resource of organic homebrewing ingredients and recipes is Seven Bridges Cooperative Homebrew Supply in Santa Cruz.
- July is American Beer Month.
- Nearly 30,000 people attended the 2005 Great American Beer Festival, an event held each fall in Denver. Dubbed "the Napa Valley of beer" by beer experts, Denver also hosts the World Beer Cup.
- The oldest known beer recipe written on a Sumerian clay tablet dates from 4000 B.C.
- Women were the first brewers and continued as the primary brewers in Europe until the 1700s, with the Industrial Revolution and the rise of commercial brewing.
- In ancient Babylon, special priestesses brewed beer as a drink for royalty — both for this life and to be left with their bodies as an afterlife refreshment.
- Beer was originally considered food; the Egyptian hieroglyph for "food" combined the symbols for "beer" and "bread."
- Early cultures drank beer through a straw to filter out bits of residue; royalty used straws made of gold.
- Bad beer smells: a wet newspaper odor indicates oxidation and "skunkiness" can result from sunlight damage hence brown bottles to protect beer.
More Fun Facts at Santa Cruz Style
Home brew "hobby" grows up
Those were the sounds at one local working farm as its owners prepared for this weekend's Piedmont Farm Tour.
In what sounded like spitting tobacco from between your teeth, the drip irrigation system spurted water onto young roots. A tractor mowed an area that would become a play area for young visitors, and insects did their necessary song and dance routine for Mother Nature.
And Andy Zeman, who owns Benjamin Vineyards & Winery with his wife, Nancy, was busy Monday morning putting up a tent in preparation for the tour.
Harnessing the power of barley
It might seem an unlikely partnership. But together, Rahr Malting Co. of Shakopee and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community hope to cure their fossil fuel headaches, and help the environment while they're at it.
Rahr and the tribe have announced plans for an eco-friendly, $40 million power plant that would generate 15 megawatts of electricity and 125 million BTU of heat per hour -- enough heat and electricity to run Rahr's malting operation, and then some.
More at the Star-Tribune