Tag: beers

10 myths about beer

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Drinking beer makes you fat… There are many myths around that don’t do justice to that great drink called beer. In the following we will share the most common ones with you and give you the reason why they are false.

  1. Drinking beer is bad for your health. Beer is low in calories, 42 Kcal per 100 ml. It does not contain any fat or sugar, but carbohydrates, vitamins and proteins. Hops is a sedative and stimulates the appetite. Malt contains organic acids and vitamins.
  2. Beer makes you fat. Following a study with 891 men and 1.098 women between 25 and 64 years in the Czech Republic there is no relation between how much beer you consume and the size of your belly.
  3. The darker the beer the more alcohol it contains. Wrong. The color of the beer is in no way related to the alcohol level. The dark tone of some beers is a consequence of roasting the malt.
  4. Light beer has less alcohol than lager. The difference between light and lager is the amount of calories while the alcohol level depends directly on the process of fermentation.
  5. Craft beer is better than commercial one. Both varieties of beer are brewed the same way. The difference lies in the shelf life: craft beer has a shelf life of 90 days while commercial beer keeps for 250 days. The formula is the same, what makes the difference here is the packaging. That is also the reason why draught beer appears to us more fresh, it is not packed.
  6. Green glass bottles mean better beer. This myth originates from the end of World War II when there was a shortage of amber colored and transparent glass in Europe. Seeing the imported beer always being bottled in green glass, the rumor went round that it was a sign of quality.
  7. “Ale” is dark and “Lager” is of golden color. The color of the beer depends on the kind of malt they are brewed of. Malt varieties differ in the grade of roasting from a Pilsner malt used for a Lager Pilsner style to a chocolaty malt used to brew an Ale porter or stout style.
  8. Beer and food don’t go well together. You can combine beer with food just as well as wine. In Belgium there are Restaurants specialized in “beer cuisine”, where you can find dishes cooked with beer, while others offer beer recommendations for each meal in the menu.
  9. Alcohol-free beer has no calories. ‘Alcohol-free’ beer in Spain by law has an alcohol level  below 1% and very few hydrocarbonates, between 2 to 5 grams per 100 cc. One beer contains between 40 to 80 calories. The difference between a ‘normal’ and ‘alcohol free’ beer is thus around 50 calories.
  10. American beer is very poor and does not taste like anything. Beer in the US has changed. Today there exist more than 1.000 little breweries in this country. Besides the typical beers brewed with wheat and not with malt, there can be found others with a strong and delicious taste.

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Traquair Jacobite Ale

 

 

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Hobgoblin 50cl

 

 

How to pair craft beer

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In recent years, craft beers are living sweet moments while exploring a thousand flavours at once. Toasted, with bitter or a bit spicy flavours, pale or brown… Anyway craft beer must be paired correctly, and this isn’t always easy, especially for those beers we make at home.

For typical Arab or spicy foods, very strong, in which protagonists are vinegar or spices, are required pale and smooth beers, since we seeks to reduce this flavour force with the beer, fresher and rather traditional. For example, for these meals, the best pairing are beer such as pilsner or pale ale, many of which are German and Belgians.

While craft lager beers go well with Mediterranean flavours based on fish or seafood. Toasted and brown beers, which in their most traditional process offer much stronger and lasting flavours on the palate, can also be combined with some meats or stews. Dark pale ales are included here, among others.

Craft beers with bitter taste, among which we find from brown to toasted, and some pale ones, go well with smoked foods, chocolates, tasty desserts, cheese and some meats. A clear example is the Indian pale ale, increasingly known, of which we have already given some reference.

On the other hand, manchego cheese, for example, goes well with a triple fermentation Belgian craft beer. And some fish dishes are paired with smoked German beers. A type of craft beer that is also consumed with seafood, other European cheeses and sausages.

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Brewdog Dogma

 

 

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Brewdog 5 A.M. Saint

 

 

Images: KittyKaht and Uvinum

Do all beers taste the same?

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Following an investigation performed to reveal drinkers’ preferences regarding beer taste, it was unveiled that most people who enjoy beer do not differentiate between the best seller beer brands in the market.

The study, conducted by Johan Almenberg and Anna Dreber was based on a blind taste test in which 138 volunteers, 21 to 70 years old, were used.

Each volunteer received three samples of beer, of which two samples were the same product and one was a different brand, and each volunteer was invited to taste the three samples and select the beer of different brand. The task was much more complicated than expected for them, which surprised the researchers.

Using lagers of big European brands, the researchers gave the volunteers blind samples of Budvar (also known as Czechvar), Heineken and Stella Artois, but found that volunteers could not find the difference.

?Our results suggest that brand loyalty in this market is likely to be driven largely by marketing and packaging, not by the underlying sensory properties of competitive products as initially thought. The volunteers can not distinguish between the three main beer brands competing in the market?, concludes the report.

“I think that basically what we are seeing is a commodity industry, with the conclusion that they are interchangeable products?, said Goldstein in an interview.

?It also means that beer industry has perfected the pale lager beer, which is my favorite beer style. They have a good product and a good manufacturing method that can be sold at a good price?, said Goldstein.

So when going to a bar they don’t have your favorite beer and you get served another brand, you probably can not tell the difference so easily, according to this study.

Pale lager beer is a favorite of market, and leading and best selling brands around the world always have loyal fans that give them their favorite position, but we never thought that loyalty could go wrong with an unlabelled blind tasting this way.

Do you like beer? Do you think you could differentiate your favorite brand in a blind tasting? Today we recommend:

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Alhambra Reserva 1925

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Blonde Du Mont Blanc 75cl

How to became a good wine taster

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For a good wine tasting (or gin tonics, so fashionable lately, or beers), the taster should possess qualities and characteristics that make it special to appreciate tastes, smells and tastes like no other.

In addition to theoretical studies, the taster must have a sensory sensitivity, so that there are many people who don?t have a long experience in taste but, however, easily learn by the power of their senses.

Moreover, the experience is always a question of degree. The taster tested and different wines or beers throughout his life in order to compare and distinguish flavours in one drink. The taster is curious, he moves the investigation. Constantly try to discover new flavours and sensations.

The taster must be guided by what he knows and what he has learned when analyzing a wine. Here personal tastes are not worth having but the important thing to analyze is what will transmit the ingredients of each wine, leaving behind most personal experiences. He has to try many wines, especially doing blind tastings because, often, the brand determines what you are tasting, both for good and for bad.

The eternal question is whether you were born taster or made taster. Professionals are a combination of both. Some studies have shown that the ability to taste a wine would be genetic, with differences in great sensitivity to bitter tastes perceived preferably by the wine professionals.

The good taster has contact with the world of wine or food he tastes. He visits wineries, makes winemakers consultation with professionals, attends trade shows and industry conferences, and is aware of the developments that are emerging in both products and trends.

Want to taste 2 great wines? Today we recommend: 

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Mare Nostrum Vino de Aguja Rosado 2013

 

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Etchart Privado Malbec Rosé 2012

 

 

 

Drinks for a summer dinner

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During summer, we go out more, go to the beach, we move more and lunches and dinners are usually outside. All these celebrations are accompanied by soft drinks, very popular in summer.

Among them, especially for a good summer dinner, white wine is the king. It goes well with almost everything, especially salads, paella, rice, fish and seafood, which are generally the preferred dishes these months. Fresh white wine brings sweetness to any dish, and many young flavors of grapes, flowers and fruits. Rosé wine can also accompany these dinners.

The beers are special. They are made with great care by professionals and beer lovers, and are currently very popular. One summer evening is the perfect time to try some of these lagers, especially if they are served very fresh. We also have premium beers and special editions that can be purchased in Uvinum.

If we are a group and we want the meal to turn into party, we will choose some cocktails. The caipirinha is the queen of summer. The cocktail with rum, lime, sugar and lots of ice can be prepared at home. But if we are tired of staying in the kitchen, we can always choose to buy creams and liqueurs of capirinha already prepared … They are really good and your guests will love it!

The sangria is also the queen of this season. In general, many people like it, so that your success is assured. Its advantage lies in its freshness. The mixture of red wine and fruit makes it easy and simple to prepare. Surprise your guests with another variant of sangria such as cava sangria.

Want to surprise your friends with a big party? We recommend you the refresh:

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Real Sangría 1.5L

 

 

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Taras Boulba

 

The top 10 odd ingredients to make beer with

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Beer is one of the most storied alcoholic beverages worldwide, and is traditionally is elaborated from barley (or other grain), water, yeast and hops, although sometimes we can find varieties which, prior to fermentation, they add other products, such as fruits, syrups or juices, and even hops is replaced by other herbs or spices, which give their distinctive aroma and flavor to the resulting product. 

Currently, there are brewers that in addition to the traditional production, are dedicated to experiment with ingredients sometimes surprising, sometimes directly shocking. Here we present a ‘Top 10’ with the most incredible aromas applied to brewing. We would like to try some of them, no doubt; we’ll leave the others for the more daring: 

In tenth place we find the Sprecher Mbege Ale, made with bananas, something apparently common in East Africa. At number nine, a relatively well-known variety, the Cannabia, a traditional Pilsner with organic hemp added, which does not pose any health hazard (provided you drink in moderation, as all beers). 

At the eighth place in the ranking is the Browerij Smisje Wostyntje Mustard Ale, a Belgian beer with mustard seeds; the seventh, for another spicy variety, but this time with aromas of Indian curry, the Barley tikka vindaloo; and at the sixth, and starting with impossible flavors, the Mamma Mia’s Pizza Beer, literally created introducing in the mix during fermentation a pizza margarita

At number five, we find the Oyster Stout, elaborated with fresh oysters and, according to experts, very balanced and smooth. The one which ranks fourth (Lost Abbey’s Gift of the Magi) probably should be included in any Epiphany celebration menu, because it is made with gold, frankincense and myrrh

On the podium of honor we find three beers suitable only for adventurous palates: a beer from Rogue Ales Brewery Company elaborated with yeast from the beard of one of their technicians (they say it is a first class beer); another, manufactured by Danish brewer Mikkeler, whose main ingredient are coffee beans passed through the digestive system of a kind of civet from Asia; and occupying the number one, the American Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, made -no kidding!- with bull testicles. A delight. 

Are you a bold beer taster? Or would you rather buy beer more “traditional”? Today we recommend two:

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Salitos Tequila

 

 

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Chimay Red