Irish Scientists Invent New Technology to Keep Bubbles in Beer

SABMiller has partnered with the nanoscience institute in Dublin to increase the shelf life of beer

Nothing can bring a party down like a warm, flat beer; fortunately, Ireland's best scientists are on track to preserve your beer's bubbles and the shelf life of your beer — and your party.

Scientists have built a new material, thanks to nanoscience, that will help extend the shelf life of a beer in a plastic bottle. The biggest problem with plastic bottles is that the beer inside goes bad fast, as oxygen and carbon dioxide can easily infiltrate the plastic and sour the beer. The scientists' solution: nano-sheets of boron nitride, "each with a thickness of about 50,000 times thinner than one human hair," Silican Republic reports. This teeny-tiny sheet has a big job to do: once the nano-sheets are mixed with plastic, the nano-sheets will make the plastic "impervious," so that oxygen can't enter and carbon dioxide can't escape. That means your beer will keep its flavor longer.

This technological breakthrough isn't just a big deal to the scientists at CRANN, the nanoscience institute at Trinity College Dublin, but also to a major beer player: SABMiller. Silicon Republic reports that SABMiller will invest in the project over two years. The beer producer will no doubt be very happy with the results.

CO2 Recovery System Saves Brewers Money, Puts Bubbles into Beer

Building on work he and his companies did with Johnson Space Center’s In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) team, Robert Zubrin has developed and commercialized technologies that could prove revolutionary in their Earth applications, such as a system that could extract millions of barrels of oil from defunct oil wells around the world and another that can harness all the natural gas currently burned off as waste at many oil drilling rigs (Spinoff 2015).

But when he’s not working to change this world or colonize others, the president of Pioneer Astronautics, Pioneer Energy, and the Mars Society enjoys a good microbrew. Now, he’s applied some of that same technology to cut costs for craft breweries that produce anywhere between 3,000 and 300,000 barrels per year.

Beginning in the mid-1990s, as a NASA contractor and then as founder of Pioneer Aeronautics, Zubrin worked with Johnson’s ISRU team to develop technology that could break down elements that are abundant on Mars and turn them into essential resources for exploration missions. Early work devised means to capture the carbon dioxide (CO2) that comprises more than 95 percent of the thin Martian atmosphere and turn it into oxygen and fuel. He built systems that could, for example, collect and separate CO2 from other gases, raise its pressure by two orders of magnitude, combine it with hydrogen to make methane and water, break the water down into oxygen and hydrogen, and remove water vapor from the resulting oxygen before it was stored.

Some of this technology, such as systems that manipulate temperature and pressure to liquefy and store gases or to strip water from a gas, as well as the technology that allows such systems to run autonomously, has found its way into Lakewood, Colorado-based Pioneer Energy’s latest creation, the CO2 Craft Brewery Recovery System.

Technology Transfer

“When you ferment beer, the process that produces alcohol also produces carbon dioxide,” Zubrin explains, noting that CO2 is also necessary later, to carbonate the beverage.

Major breweries typically have systems that capture the carbon dioxide produced during fermentation for use in carbonation and other functions, such as purging process tanks. These are high-capacity, multimillion-dollar systems, however, and don’t make sense for a small craft brewery. “They don’t have the capacity to liquefy the carbon dioxide that comes off their fermenters to put it into the beer,” Zubrin says. Instead, microbreweries are left to release the gas from fermentation and buy carbon dioxide from an outside vendor.

Pioneer’s CO2 recovery system fills that gap. “We made a system that would produce about five tons of carbon dioxide per month,” Zubrin says, adding that this is enough for a brewery that generates up to about 60,000 barrels per year, and units can essentially be stacked to increase that capacity. “Two of my key engineers, Andy Young and Matt Lewis, saw the need, and together with the rest of the team, created a flexible system that works like a charm.”

“We’ve taken our general technology acumen, which we developed under NASA, and applied it here,” Zubrin says. “If you want to get CO2 from the Martian atmosphere, you want to compress it, and you want to liquefy it.” With some modifications, the same technology can put the bubbles into beer.

On Mars, carbon dioxide would more likely be frozen, at least initially, rather than liquefied, says Gerald Sanders, chief ISRU engineer at Johnson. But the products made from it would be stored as liquids. “The types of technologies Bob is talking about to liquefy carbon dioxide are similar to technologies we would use to liquefy and store any oxygen or methane we produced on Mars,” he says. “It’s a similar process. It requires things like mechanical compressors and cryocoolers.”

Liquid CO2 could also come in handy on the Red Planet, as some NASA researchers are looking into the possibility of using it for washing clothes during a Mars mission, Sanders says. “What Bob has done could fall into that realm if we decide to go that route.”

Another commonality is the use of devices like desiccant beds, which Sanders says would be used on Mars to remove any remaining water molecules from final products before storing them. “Before you liquefy oxygen or methane, you have to strip water out of it.”

“The fermenters in breweries have water in them, and you’ve got to keep it out of the carbon dioxide, or it will freeze in the lines and block them,” says Zubrin, noting that this is where desiccant beds enter into Pioneer’s CO2 recovery system.

“None of this is really new physics, although we do use our own blend of refrigerants, which is new,” he continues.

Any system for mixing and matching molecules on Mars would also have to be fully automated using techniques Zubrin worked out during his years of ISRU work. “Typically, for the missions to Mars we’ve been considering, we would send the return vehicle 26 months before the crew even leaves,” Sanders says, noting that systems on the vehicle would produce resources for both the mission and the journeybefore the astronauts arrive. And they couldn’t even be controlled remotely in real time, as there is a communication delay of around 4 to 24 minutes each way, depending how far apart Mars and Earth are at the time.

In the case of a brewery CO2 recovery system, while the device may save a couple thousand dollars a month, it wouldn’t be economical to hire an employee to run it, Zubrin says. “On a smaller scale, this thing’s got to be totally automated, too. The robotic control you would need for a system on Mars is key to this.”

“Even if it’s not 100 percent something we would use on Mars directly, there’s a lot of synergy between what he’s done in the past and what he’s doing here,” Sanders says.

Carbon dioxide typically runs about $200 to $300 a ton, although costs can be much higher depending on the distance from a source, Zubrin says, noting that, while the price is currently around $300 in Denver, breweries in Durango 300 miles away are paying $600 a ton. A typical brewery producing 60,000 barrels a year and paying $300 a ton for CO2 would save around $15,000 a year by using Pioneer’s recovery system, he says. The units are priced to pay for themselves within two years or so.

Quality is another advantage the system offers. The carbon dioxide brewers buy is typically a byproduct from ammonia and urea plants and may not be entirely pure, Zubrin says. “Here, you’re getting it pure from the fermenter, so it’s high-quality CO2, without even the slightest trace of industrial contaminants. We have tested it, and it is free from air contamination as well.”

And, of course, the technology allows reuse of a greenhouse gas that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

By June 2015, the company had taken at least a dozen orders, and the system went into production late last year. Pioneer also has a unit that it brings around the country for demonstrations. Zubrin says the technology has already received a lot of interest. He notes that microbreweries have proliferated over the last decade, a trend that continues today. “Within the United States, there are several thousand breweries that would be targets for this, and probably 20,000 worldwide.”

He credits his NASA work with the money and greenhouse gas emissions he plans to save breweries around the world.

“The intellectual capital being developed in NASA’s research and development programs is playing out across the economy, and this is just a small example,” Zubrin says. “The intellectual capital is the big spinoff.”

Pioneer Energy’s CO2 Craft Brewery Recovery System can recapture about five tons of carbon dioxide per month, enough for a brewery that generates up to about 60,000 barrels per year, and units can be stacked to increase that capacity.

While major breweries have long had systems to capture the carbon dioxide generated during fermentation for reuse in carbonation and other functions, the technology has not been available on a smaller scale, forcing the more experimental microbreweries to buy carbon dioxide. This is the niche Pioneer Energy aims to fill.. Image courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski, CC BY-SA 4.0

Is Corned Beef Really Irish?

It’s hard to think of St. Patrick’s Day without glittered shamrocks, green beer, leprechauns, and of course, corned beef and cabbage. Yet, if you went to Ireland on St. Paddy’s Day, you would not find any of these things except maybe the glittered shamrocks. To begin with, leprechauns are not jolly, friendly cereal box characters, but mischievous nasty little fellows. And, just as much as the Irish would not pollute their beer with green dye, they would not eat corned beef, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. So why around the world, especially in the US, is corned beef and cabbage synonymous with St. Paddy’s Day?

The unpopularity of corned beef in Ireland comes from its relationship with beef in general. From early on, cattle in Ireland were not used for their meat but for their strength in the fields, for their milk and for the dairy products produced. In Gaelic Ireland, cows were a symbol of wealth and a sacred animal. Because of their sacred association, they were only killed for their meat if the cows were too old to work or produce milk. So, beef was not even a part of the diet for the majority of the population. Only the wealthy few were able to eat the meat on a celebration or festival. During these early times, the beef was “salted” to be preserved. The first salted beef in Ireland was actually not made with salt but with sea ash, the product of burning seaweed. The 12th century poem Aislinge Meic Con Glinne shows that salted beef was eaten by the kings. This poem is one of the greatest parodies in the Irish language and pokes fun at the diet of King Cathal mac Finguine, an early Irish King who has a demon of gluttony stuck in his throat.

Wheatlet, son of Milklet,
Son of juicy Bacon,
Is mine own name.
Honeyed Butter-roll
Is the man’s
That bears my bag.
Haunch of Mutton
Is my dog’s name,
Of lovely leaps.
Lard my wife,
Sweetly smiles
Across the kale-top
Cheese-curds, my daughter,
Goes around the spit,
Fair is her fame.
Corned Beef, my son,
Whose mantle shines
Over a big tail.

As the poem mentions, juicy bacon or pork was also eaten. Pigs were the most prevalent animal bred only to be eaten fom ancient times to today, it earned the reputation as the most eaten meat in Ireland.

Irish cow near Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland (Photo by author)

The Irish diet and way of life stayed pretty much the same for centuries until England conquered most of the country. The British were the ones who changed the sacred cow into a commodity, fueled beef production, and introduced the potato. The British had been a beef eating culture since the invasion of the Roman armies. England had to outsource to Ireland, Scotland and eventually North America to satisfy the growing palate of their people. As Jeremy Rifkin writes in his book, Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture, “so beef-driven was England that it became the first nation in the world to identify with a beef symbol. From the outset of the colonial era, the “roast beef” became synonymous with the well-fed British aristocracy and middle class.”

Herds of cattle were exported by the tens of thousands each year from Ireland to England. But, the Cattle Acts of 1663 and 1667 were what fueled the Irish corned beef industry. These acts prohibited the export of live cattle to England, which drastically flooded the Irish market and lowered the cost of meat available for salted beef production. The British invented the term “corned beef” in the 17th century to describe the size of the salt crystals used to cure the meat, the size of corn kernels. After the Cattle Acts, salt was the main reason Ireland became the hub for corned beef. Ireland’s salt tax was almost 1/10 that of England’s and could import the highest quality at an inexpensive price. With the large quantities of cattle and high quality of salt, Irish corned beef was the best on the market. It didn’t take long for Ireland to be supplying Europe and the Americas with its wares. But, this corned beef was much different than what we call corned beef today. With the meat being cured with salt the size of corn kernels, the taste was much more salt than beef.

Irish corned beef had a stranglehold on the transtlantic trade routes, supplying the French and British navies and the American and French colonies. It was at such a demand that even at war with France, England allowed French ships to stop in Ireland to purchase the corned beef. From a report published by the Dublin Institute of Technology’s School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology:

Anglo-Irish landlords saw exports to France, despite the fact that England and France were at war, as a means of profiting from the Cattle Acts…During the 18th century, wars played a significant role in the growth of exports of Irish beef. These wars were mainly fought at sea and navies had a high demand for Irish salted beef for two reasons, firstly its longevity at sea and secondly its competitive price.

Ironically, the ones producing the corned beef, the Irish people, could not afford beef or corned beef for themselves. When England conquered Ireland, oppressive laws against the native Irish Catholic population began. Their land was confiscated and feudal like plantations were set up. If the Irish could afford any meat at all, salted pork or bacon was consumed. But, what the Irish really relied on was the potato.

By the end of the 18th century, the demand for Irish corned beef began to decline as the North American colonies began producing their own. Over the next 5o years, the glory days of Irish corned beef were over. By 1845, a potato blight broke out in Ireland completely destroying the food source for most of the Irish population, and The Great Famine began. Without help from the British government, the Irish people were forced to work to death, starve or immigrate. About a million people died and another million immigrated on “coffin ships” to the US. To this day, the Irish population is still less than it was before The Great Famine.

Western Ireland was hit the hardest by the famine. The westernmost region of Ireland, Aran Islands, Co. Galway. (Photo by author)

In America, the Irish were once again faced with the challenges of prejudice. To make it easier, they settled together in mainly urban areas with the largest numbers in New York City. However, they were making more money then they had in Ireland under British rule. Which brings us back to corned beef. With more money for food, the Irish could afford meat for the first time. But instead of their beloved bacon, the Irish began eating beef. And, the beef they could afford just happened to be corned beef, the thing their great grandparents were famous for.

Yet, the corned beef the Irish immigrants ate was much different than that produced in Ireland 200 years prior. The Irish immigrants almost solely bought their meat from kosher butchers. And what we think of today as Irish corned beef is actually Jewish corned beef thrown into a pot with cabbage and potatoes. The Jewish population in New York City at the time were relatively new immigrants from Eastern and Central Europe. The corned beef they made was from brisket, a kosher cut of meat from the front of the cow. Since brisket is a tougher cut, the salting and cooking processes transformed the meat into the extremely tender, flavorful corned beef we know of today.

The Irish may have been drawn to settling near Jewish neighborhoods and shopping at Jewish butchers because their cultures had many parallels. Both groups were scattered across the globe to escape oppression, had a sacred lost homeland, discriminated against in the US, and had a love for the arts. There was an understanding between the two groups, which was a comfort to the newly arriving immigrants. This relationship can be seen in Irish, Irish-American and Jewish-American folklore. It is not a coincidence that James Joyce made the main character of his masterpiece Ulysses, Leopold Bloom, a man born to Jewish and Irish parents. And, as the two Tin Pan Alley songwriters, William Jerome and Jean Schwartz write in their 1912 song, If It Wasn’t for the Irish and the Jews,

On St. Patrick’s Day, Rosinsky pins a shamrock on his coat
There’s a sympathetic feeling between the Blooms and MacAdoos.

The infamous St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. (Photo courtesy of flickr user jeffreyw)

The Irish Americans transformed St.Patrick’s Day from a religious feast day to a celebration of their heritage and homeland. With the celebration, came a celebratory meal. In honor of their culture, the immigrants splurged on their neighbor’s flavorful corned beef, which was accompanied by their beloved potato and the most affordable vegetable, cabbage. It didn’t take long for corned beef and cabbage to become associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe it was on Lincoln’s mind when he chose the menu for his first Inaugural Luncheon March 4, 1861, which was corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.

The popularity of corned beef and cabbage never crossed the Atlantic to the homeland. Instead of corned beef and cabbage, the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal eaten in Ireland is lamb or bacon. In fact, many of what we consider St. Patrick’s Day celebrations didn’t make it there until recently. St. Patrick’s Day parades and festivals began in the US. And, until 1970, pubs were closed by law in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. It was originally a day about religion and family. Today in Ireland, thanks to Irish tourism and Guinness, you will find many of the Irish American traditions.

Beam in Guinness Storehouse in Dublin (Wikimedia Commons)

Lastly, if you are looking for a connection to the home country this holiday, there are many other ways to be authentic. For starters, know that the holiday is either St. Patrick’s Day or St. Paddy’s Day and not "St. Patty's Day". (Paddy is the proper nickname for Patrick, while Patty is a girl's name in Ireland.)

Editor's note, March 17, 2021: The last paragraph of this story has been edited to better reflect the proper nomenclature for celebrating St. Paddy's Day.

About Shaylyn Esposito

Shaylyn Esposito is the lead digital designer and creative strategist for the Smithsonian online publishing group.

Kitchen Anthropology

As both a paleontologist and home brewer, I could not help but be attracted by the media coverage of the reproduction of an ancient Sumarian beer. The beer, called Ninkasi after the Sumarian goddess of beer, was produced by the Anchor Brewing Company (San Francisco, California), based on a hymn inscribed on a clay tablet. Dr. Solomon Katz of the University of Pennsylvania and Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing worked to decipher the brewing clues contained within the hymn to reproduce the beverage so revered by the ancient Sumarians.

Apart from the sense of accomplishment in reproducing a piece of the ancient past, Katz and Maytag&rsquos work also added new information to an old debate. Anthropologists have long argued over whether beer or bread was the primary reason for the origins of agriculture. Katz and Maytag proceeded on the premise that an understanding of beer production methods of 4000 years ago could be used as a stepping stone from which to view the origins and evolution of beer. This, in turn, would provide a glimpse into the lives and cultures of the first nomadic tribes to settle into agrarian civilizations.

I decided to borrow their stepping stone and have a look into the past for myself. We know barley has been cultivated for at least 9000 years. I wondered what a beer of that era would have been like, a beer that is more than twice as old as the recipe reproduced from the Sumarian hymn. I decided to try some simple qualitative experiments in my kitchen. I managed not only to produce a beer that could have been made over 9000 years ago, but also to explore the intimate link between beer and bread. These experiments led me to the conclusion that the argument over the primacy of bread vs. beer is as academic as that of the chicken vs. egg.

Fruits of labor. Sprouted grains are pounded into paste and baked into a malt bread. Grains and malt bread are mashed together, then fermented with wild yeast to make beer. The yeast and grains left behind in the fermentor are combined with stone-ground flour to make a leavened bread.


To set the stage for the origins of beer, consider the other uses of grain. Undoubtedly the first use of grain, before either bread or beer, was to make gruel. Bread is effectively a cooked dense gruel and comes in three basic types. Unleavened bread, such as the tortilla, is the simplest form. It requires pulverized grain (flour) and water and is baked on a hot stone. It has a small volume and requires little in terms of ingredients. Leavened bread, with which we are most familiar, requires a large volume of flour, water, a source of sugars, and yeast. A third and less well known, bread is made from sprouted grains. The grains are sprouted, ground to paste, and baked in a loaf. The resultant loaf is very dense, sweet and cakelike, and is in effect a kilned malt.

One could argue endlessly on the basis of parsimony, culture, and archaeological evidence over the order of appearance of breads and beer. Whether sprouted bread was a derivative of sprouted gruel or unleavened bread may never be known. What we can be certain of is that people 10,000 years ago experimented with ways to consume grain. Somewhere in these experiments they discovered beer.

The question of how beer was discovered becomes academic. Beer may have been discovered through stewing sprouted bread, heating sprouted gruel, or unintentionally cooking grains that were stored in a damp place. Fermentation was most likely due to airborne microorganisms but may have been aided by the addition of fruit, raw grains, or other ingredients bearing surface yeast and bacteria. The serendipitous &ldquoaccident&rdquo of making beer probably happened not once, but several times before the right blend of microorganisms produced a palatable beverage. I have no doubt, however, that once a pleasant tasting broth with euphoric effects was produced, word traveled fast.


How was the beer made and what was it like? This question can be broken down into an examination of technology, ingredients, and procedures. The technology at the time of the origin of beer was not well developed but sufficient to make fire, tools of wood and stone, and a container of some sort. These are all it takes to make beer.

The main ingredient in beer is malt, which is a sprouted grain. Many grains can be and are used, including millet, corn, rice, wheat, spelt, and barley. We know from archaeological records that barley and wheat have been cultivated for at least 9000 years. Barley makes a poor bread because of its low gluten content, so we may safely assume that if people were brewing, they likely used barley and may have used wheat and other grains as well. The malt may have taken any of a number of forms. Dry malt may have been made for storage by either drying the sprouted grains in the sun, or baking sprouted loaves until hard. The very earliest beers may well have been made from raw sprouted grains that had undergone no drying or kilning.

The process for making the original beers was undoubtedly abbreviated compared with modern beers, which undergo separate mashing, boiling, and fermentation steps. The first beers likely underwent a continuous mash and fermentation. Sprouted grains were ground and mixed with water in a vessel of wood or even in skin bags. This vessel was heated either by fire, by dropping in heated rocks, or by setting it out in the hot sun. Fermenting flora would have been introduced from both the grains and the air. The fermented gruel could then be consumed, or the liquid could be drawn off as beer and the remaining grains and yeast mixed with wheat flour to make a leavened bread.

The fermentation of ancient beers would have involved many different yeasts and bacteria. The trick would have been to keep the pH down low enough to inhibit noxious bacteria. A &ldquosour mash&rdquo process, in which the warm mash is inoculated with Lactobacillus from the grain husks, can grow some truly foul aerobic organisms if exposed to air. Presumably the &ldquosour mash&rdquo portion of the fermentation was brief, or some acidity was built up during the sprouting process.

With the invention of ceramics, the process could be much more refined. The mash could be cooked over a fire, and the liquid could be drawn off and fermented separately. Eventually, techniques would have evolved to preferentially select certain strains of microflora by the addition of fruit, which bear yeast on the surface, or by using a &ldquomagic stick&rdquo to stir the wort and transmit yeasts between batches.


To experience part of the ancient past, I wanted to reproduce an early beer. I decided to start with beer that could have been made with a mash cooked in clay pots. The idea was to sprout grains of barley and wheat, use some of the sprouted grains to make sprouted loaves, cook up a mash of sprouted grains and sprouted bread, and transfer the liquid and ferment it. To round out the experiment, I decided to collect the yeast sediment and any grains from the bottom of the fermentor and mix these with stone-ground whole wheat flour to make leavened bread.

Ingredients: I picked up the grains from a health food store. In addition to barley, I decided to include wheat and spelt for variety. Unfortunately, the barley was hulled. I knew the hulled barley could lead to problems but decided to take my chances for this first attempt.

To make the malt, I sprouted the grains in mason jars with perforated lids (these can be purchased at a health food store or made at home). I placed 200-250 g of grain in each 1-L jar and filled the jars with cold water, rotating them to ensure even wetting. I left the grains to soak in water for 24 h I then inverted the jars and left them on a dish rack to drain. I rinsed the grains every 12 h and again left them to drain. After every rinsing I examined the grains for signs of germination. Germination was uneven, so the termination point was somewhat arbitrary I stopped the sprouting when many of the acrospires had reached grain length and not too many had grown much longer. The wheat and spelt grains were ready in two to three days, whereas the barley took seven or more days to sprout sufficiently. By the time the barley was ready for use, the moist grains emitted a vinegary aroma, perhaps from the activity of bacteria in the grain bed.

I gave the grains a final rinse, drained them, and dumped those destined to become sprouted bread into a food processor for grinding (I could not find a mortar and pestle large enough). I emptied the resulting thick starchy paste of whole and partial grains onto a flat ceramic baking pan and formed it into &ldquobiscuits,&rdquo 15-18 cm in diameter and 2-3 cm thick. These biscuits were then baked at various temperatures and times to observe the different results. I opted for flat biscuits rather than domed loaves because the flat shape would dry more thoroughly for better storage the dome-shaped store-bought sprouted bread must be kept frozen to prevent mold from growing on the moist, sweet loaf.

I baked the biscuits at 120-175 °F (50-80 °C) for 8-18 h. Those baked at 150 °F (65 °C) for about 10 h seemed to be the most pleasant tasting. Those baked at lower temperatures (120 °F [50 °C]) remained sticky and pasty even after 12 h and required flipping and a further 6 h of baking. Those baked in a stepwise manner (130 °F [55 °C] for 1 h, 150-160 °F [65-70 °C] for 2 h, and 175 °F [80 °C] for 8 h) came out darkened to the color of dark Munich malt or British brown (porter) malt, depending on the original moisture content. The flavor of the wheat and spelt biscuits was better than that of the barley biscuits, though they all tasted of malt.

Recipe design: With biscuits and sprouting barleycorns, I set about trying to design a recipe that could be produced by people of 10,000 years ago and that could be reproduced easily and reliably. Ancient cultures undoubtedly experimented until they achieved desirable results. I chose not to reproduce all of these experiments, but rather to shortcut that process by calling on more modern knowledge of brewing science. I had to remind myself, though, that the experiment was to reproduce a fermented beverage of the ancients, and not to brew a competition beer from which I expected perfect extraction or crystal clarity.

Mashing: The mashing technique I finally settled on was a sort of decoction. The technique has the advantage of producing the desired temperatures without actually having to measure those temperatures with a thermometer. A half and half mixture of boiling mash and room temperature mash would give a temperature of approximately 140 °F (60 °C). If this resulting mash were slowly heated, it would pass through the starch conversion temperature range, through mash-out temperatures, and on to boiling. The extracted wort would be boiled, cooled slowly, and fermented.

Fermentation: Fermentation was another dilemma. I was not about to expose this wort to the microorganisms in my kitchen, which have been responsible for more than one spoiled batch of beer. And I did not wish to use commercially available Iambic cultures, because I was not producing a Iambic-style beer. Some have suggested that ancient beers were fermented with a combination of Saccharomyces and Schizosaccharomyces, but I had no local source of the latter. Instead, I recalled a portion of Katz and Maytag&rsquos interpretation of the Hymn to Ninkasi wherein they supposed that fruits, such as grapes (or raisins) or dates, may have been added, not as a flavoring but as a source of wild yeasts which normally live on the skins of these fruits.

I decided against using grapes to supply the yeast because fresh fruit is not readily available in Halifax in late fall. What is available has been shipped long distances and likely contains both pesticides and fruit fly eggs. I could have used a mix of pure wine and beer cultures to simulate wild yeasts, but instead I chose to culture the yeast from a batch of fresh unpasteurized sweet apple cider. This technique provided an inoculation with microorganisms known to produce fermentation without actually controlling the numbers or strains of those organisms. The beer was intended to be consumed young, so I was not overly concerned about spoilage or long-term storage. The recipe and procedure I settled on is shown in the accompanying box.

Recipe for an Ancient Beer

500 g (dry weight) pulverized sprouted barley gruel

200 g dry weight) sprouted wheat or spelt bread

2 L of the last barley rinse water

200 g cracked winter wheat

250 g dry weight) sprouted barley bread

100 g unsprouted barley, crushed

200 g unsprouted spelt, crushed

Thoroughly break up the biscuits and allow them to soak. While the first pot soaks at room temperature, slowly heat the second pot to boiling. Once it has reached boiling, mix the contents of the two pots, and slowly bring the temperature back to boiling. With a wooden spoon, push the mash to one side of the pot and collect the liquid (plus any grain that happens to be floating around) with a cup and transfer it to another pot. Add 1 L of boiling water to the mash, stir, and repeat the pressing procedure. Repeat this until you have collected several liters of brown, gravy-like liquid, along with some grains. Bring the wort to a boil to sterilize it, cool, and pitch with your favorite wild yeast.

I confess that in the mash I did resort to a small addition of commercial malted barley to compensate for the lack of husks on the barley I had used.

For those interested in specific numbers, the original gravity was 1.071 (much of it from dissolved starches). The final gravity was quite high as well &mdash 1.033. As it fermented, the starch in suspension formed a pellicle on top of the kraeüsen. As the foam fell, the starchy skin remained its integrity was such that bubbles would collect underneath it, bursting only when they had grown to several centimeters in width. Much of the brown color of the liquid settled with the yeast as a starchy sediment as fermentation slowed, leaving a surprisingly pale liquor.


After racking the beer into bottles, I performed the other half of the experiment. I removed a quantity (roughly 500 mL) of the yeast&ndashstarch&ndashgrain slurry from the bottom of the primary, warmed it slightly to rouse the yeast, and added stone-ground whole wheat flour to make a dough (about 1.5 L [6 cups]). After the dough was thoroughly mixed to a dense elastic texture, I left it to rise for 1 h in a warm place over the oven. I kneaded it, rolled it into a ball, placed it on a ceramic baking pan, and baked it at 350 °F (175 °C) for 55 min. The resulting loaf was dark and heavy and initially had a strong aroma of alcohol. The bread was hearty, though slightly bland from lack of sugar, oil, and salt. It was not unpleasant, and though not the best choice for a peanut butter sandwich, it would make an excellent vehicle for a ripe brie.

The beer was more of a surprise. My expectation was of a sour, yeasty, starchy brew, drinkable but not particularly enjoyable. Not so. The beer was quite pale and contained suspended starch, giving it the appearance of a Belgian White beer, though a degree or two darker. The level of carbonation was almost nil, though when poured with vigor a slight sparkling could be produced. Without carbonation it produced no head, so head retention was not an issue. The aroma was bready, yeasty, and cidery, with a hint of wheat. The cidery component was not like that of a beer made with too much sucrose, nor was it the acetaldehyde tang of a certain commercial American pilsner. The perception of yeastiness in the aroma faded after the first few sips. The flavor was soft and had a dry finish. No strong estery or phenolic notes were present, but a slight spiciness was detectable in the background. The high wheat content provided a bready character and may have contributed to the spicy note. The alcohol was noticeable, but not foremost. Despite the high original gravity, the beer was remarkably clean tasting. One taster compared it to Jade, a pale Flanders-style ale from the north of France, though I have never sampled this particular beer. It was good enough to warrant a second glass.

From this simple experiment we get a glimpse into the origins of beer and leavened bread. What was wholly unexpected in my results was that ancient beers may have been quite good, even by modern standards. The vagaries of wild fermentation would have precluded any form of quality control, and yet spontaneous fermentation with wild yeasts likely produced a pleasant end product often enough to keep the ancient brewers at their craft.

As a postscript to this experiment, buoyed by the success of my first attempt I decided to take one step further back: I wanted to reproduce the oldest beer. For this I would sprout barley in water, pound it into gruel, set it in the sun to mash, leave it open to the night air for inoculation, and see what happened. With any luck the sprouting grain and mash would be acidic enough to keep some of the bacteria at bay, and with even more luck I might pick up some interesting and inoffensive wild yeasts.

This idea, however, was misguided. I soaked whole feed barley in water, hoping that mold could be kept away by keeping the water level above the level of the grain. Within 36 h the concoction was churning and bubbling and dead weevils floated on the surface. After another 24 h, white mold was growing on the surface, and bacterial and yeast activity in the grain continued at a furious pace. I decided to discontinue the experiment. Between the putrid aroma and the fear of toxic molds, I decided perhaps I didn&rsquot want to taste this beer after all.

This test was not a complete waste, however. Though it should perhaps be repeated in a warmer climate, it indicated that the earliest beer was not likely produced by the simple accident of grain being soaked by rainwater. The earliest beers likely did not appear until some process for mashing or malting was developed, either in the form of a gruel or a sprouted bread.


I would like to thank M. Snow and J. Pinhey for their comments on the ancient beer and T. Kavanagh for discussion and information.

All contents copyright 2021 by MoreFlavor Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this document or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher.

New Beer Tap Turns Barrel-Aged Brews into Nitro Pours

Barrel-aged beer meets nitro carbonation in the latest brewing innovation from the Dogfish Head Brewery.

This is the Rack AeriAle system, a new beer-serving technology that can pull a pint from a wooden barrel, chill it, inject nitrogen, and fill your glass within seconds. Yes, we're talking about the same bubbles that give Guinness its thick head and creamy feel, which was invented by the iconic Irish brewery. But Dogfish Head's Rack AeriAle brings nitrogenation to brews aged in wine and spirits barrels.

Dogfish Head designed the Rack AeriAle in partnership with draft beer specialists AC Beverage, the company that built Dogfish Head's first tap system in 1995 in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. But for this new beer-spewing contraption, the biggest hurdle they faced was creating a way to pull beer directly from a wooden barrel and into a tap line. Normally, when a brewer decides a batch of barrel-aged beer is ready, it's transferred to a stainless steel keg which is pressurized and carbonated with CO2. No existing tap system could serve beer directly from a barrel, much less cool and carbonate it in the tap line.

The most exciting aspect of the Rack AeriAle is that the balance of nitrogen and CO2 can now be customized for each beer.

So the duo began outfitting a stainless steel swan neck hose with a gasket around the top. The swan neck, regularly used by brewers and winemakers to move liquid from a barrel, reaches the bottom of the barrel and draws beer out. Meanwhile, the gasket attached around the bunghole to create a seal that keeps out oxygen (an enemy of fresh beer) also creates the pressure to push beer out of the barrel and into the tap line.

Out of the barrel, the beer runs through a heat exchange, which drops the beer down to a pleasant serving temperature. Next, it hits an in-line nitrogenator which injects a mixture of nitrogen and CO2. (That same nitrogenator also keep the barrel's empty space filled with gas to prevent oxidation.) Finally, the beer hits a standard nitro tap where it runs through a restrictor plate at the end of the line, where the beer's essential shoved through six tiny holes. This pulls the gas out of the solution, creating that mesmerizing cascading bubbles effect nitro beers are known for.

The most exciting aspect of the Rack AeriAle, says Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione, is that the balance of nitrogen and CO2 (normally a 3-to-1 ratio) can now be customized for each beer.

"If we're serving a beautiful imperial stout. and want to emphasize the soft, creamy notes, we'd bump up the nitrogen," he explains. "But if you're serving a lambic style sour and want that bite of carbonation to interweave with acidic notes, you'd bump up the CO2."

Calagione is unveiling the Rack AeriAle in conjunction with Boston's Extreme Beer Festival this weekend. And the first system will be installed in Eataly Boston's Terra Restaurant, with a barrel rack sculpture holding 15 barrels with three goosenecks. The design is meant to hold five wood barrels each of three different beers, with one barrel of each beer tapped while four of its siblings wait and age.

Dogfish Head plans to install a smaller Rack AeriAle this spring at its Milton, Delaware tasting room. Calagione says it'll hold six barrels with two goosenecks and feature beers like the 12-percent ABV Palo Santo its 18 percent World Wide Stout. "You need beefy, flavorful beers that can hold up with the complex aromas and flavors of wood."

Coincidentally, Guinness announced plans earlier this week to open an experimental brewery and tasting room in Baltimore. Maybe someday we can taste the world's first nitro beer served through the latest nitro technology.

8 Easy-Drinking Gadgets for the Beer Enthusiast

The growler is a great way to bring some keg-fresh brew home. But if you don't finish the beer, it could be stale and flat by the next day. The Growler Saver is a cap that screws on top of a growler like a normal cap, but this one has two openings. One is a nozzle for injecting some CO2, which prevents the gas in the beer from traveling to the top of the bottle by forcing it to remain in the beer. Basically, it keeps the bubbles in your brew. When you want to open your growler, hit the release valve, which allows some of the gas to escape, remove the cap, and pour a fresh pint.

Price $200 for the Bluetooth version, October ship $225 for Wi-Fi, available at the end of the year

Fermentation is a serious matter for home brewers, and the BeerBug aims to make it easier. The BeerBug is a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi-enabled hydrometer that measures temperature, alcohol content, and gravity during home-brewing fermentation and relays that info to your smart device so you can track fermentation as it happens. The BeerBug will set the Original Gravity (the density of the must or wort compared with water) and it will also establish the Final Gravity, or you can do it yourself&mdasheither way, you'll know when your beer is ready to drink.

You've got the baby in one hand and a fresh, unopened bottle of beer in the other&mdashwhat to do? The GrabOpener solves the age-old problem of needing two hands to start drinking. Stick your index finger in the opening of the GrabOpener, use your middle finger for leverage, and place your thumb against the bottle. Give it a squeeze and you've got an open beer. Also useful for pull-top beer cans. Good for lefties, righties, and amputees comes in 5 colors and is made in the USA.

Price $29.95 for two

Chillsner is a stainless-steel tube filled with cooling gel that, after 45 minutes in the freezer, fits into a standard beer bottle to keep it nice and frosty. Open a fresh bottle, take a swig to make some room, insert the frozen Chillsner, and press on its top to create a seal. The vents built into the Chillsner's lid means you don't even need to remove it to drink your beer.

Another solution to the problem of keeping a large amount beer fresh, the Braüler is like a Klean Kanteen for beer. The Bräuler's website says it is "hydro-dynamically designed by chemical engineers for controlled foam, easy fill, and easy pour." In other words, it keeps bubbles, withstands pressure, and takes up to 2 liters of your favorite brew from your favorite local brewery to go. Comes with a BräulerSkin, an insulated zip-up sleeve with a handy carry strap.

Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada brewing companies worked together to create a new beer glass just for hoppy IPAs, one that would enhance the aromas, foam, and taste. The ridges at the narrow bottom section are for aeration. The large top section magnifies the nose and lets drinkers get a good whiff pre-quaff. The 19-ounce glass is from Germany's Spiegelau glassworks, which has been making glasses since about 1521.

Price $39.95 for the starter kit

Born from the frustration of trying to enjoy a cold one in the wilderness, the Portable Carbonator by Pat's Backcountry Beverages is a bottle that contains technology that carbonates any beverage, and that beverage can be beer. Fill the bottle with water, add Pat's secret ingredient eco2ACTIVATOR, pour in your beverage concentrate of choice, attach the cap, shake, and start the fizz. Don't want to lug a six-pack on the trail? Pat's is debuting a beer concentrate later this fall. Instead of removing the water from beer to make their concentrate, it's made with minimal water in the first place.


Arthur Guinness started brewing ales in 1759 at the St. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin. On 31 December 1759, he signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery. [6] [7] [8] Ten years later, on 19 May 1769, Guinness first exported his ale: he shipped six-and-a-half barrels to Great Britain.

Arthur Guinness started selling the dark beer porter in 1778. [9] The first Guinness beers to use the term were Single Stout and Double Stout in the 1840s. [10] Throughout the bulk of its history, Guinness produced only three variations of a single beer type: porter or single stout, double or extra and foreign stout for export. [11] "Stout" originally referred to a beer's strength, but eventually shifted meaning toward body and colour. [12] Porter was also referred to as "plain", as mentioned in the famous refrain of Flann O'Brien's poem "The Workman's Friend": "A pint of plain is your only man." [13]

Already one of the top-three British and Irish brewers, Guinness's sales soared from 350,000 barrels in 1868 to 779,000 barrels in 1876. [11] In October 1886 Guinness became a public company, and was averaging sales of 1.138 million barrels a year. This was despite the brewery's refusal to either advertise or offer its beer at a discount. [11] Even though Guinness owned no public houses, the company was valued at £6 million and shares were 20 times oversubscribed, with share prices rising to a 60 per cent premium on the first day of trading. [11]

The breweries pioneered several quality control efforts. The brewery hired the statistician William Sealy Gosset in 1899, who achieved lasting fame under the pseudonym "Student" for techniques developed for Guinness, particularly Student's t-distribution and the even more commonly known Student's t-test.

By 1900 the brewery was operating unparalleled welfare schemes for its 5,000 employees. [11] By 1907 the welfare schemes were costing the brewery £40,000 a year, which was one-fifth of the total wages bill. [11] The improvements were suggested and supervised by Sir John Lumsden. By 1914, Guinness was producing 2.652 million barrels of beer a year, which was more than double that of its nearest competitor Bass, and was supplying more than 10 per cent of the total UK beer market. [11]

Before 1939, if a Guinness brewer wished to marry a Catholic, his resignation was requested. [14] According to Thomas Molloy, writing in the Irish Independent, "It had no qualms about selling drink to Catholics but it did everything it could to avoid employing them until the 1960s." [15]

Guinness thought they brewed their last porter in 1973. [12] In the 1970s, following declining sales, the decision was taken to make Guinness Extra Stout more "drinkable". The gravity was subsequently reduced, and the brand was relaunched in 1981. [16] Pale malt was used for the first time, and isomerised hop extract began to be used. [16] In 2014, two new porters were introduced: West Indies Porter and Dublin Porter. [17]

Guinness acquired the Distillers Company in 1986. [18] This led to a scandal and criminal trial concerning the artificial inflation of the Guinness share price during the takeover bid engineered by the chairman, Ernest Saunders. [19] A subsequent £5.2 million success fee paid to an American lawyer and Guinness director, Tom Ward, was the subject of the case Guinness plc v Saunders, in which the House of Lords declared that the payment had been invalid. [20]

In the 1980s, as the IRA's bombing campaign spread to London and the rest of Britain, Guinness considered scrapping the Harp as its logo. [15]

The company merged with Grand Metropolitan in 1997 to form Diageo. [21] Due to controversy over the merger, the company was maintained as a separate entity within Diageo and has retained the rights to the product and all associated trademarks of Guinness.

The Guinness brewery in Park Royal, London closed in 2005. The production of all Guinness sold in the UK and Ireland was moved to St. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin. [22]

Guinness has also been referred to as "that black stuff". [23] Guinness had a fleet of ships, barges and yachts. [24] The Irish Sunday Independent newspaper reported on 17 June 2007 that Diageo intended to close the historic St James's Gate plant in Dublin and move to a greenfield site on the outskirts of the city. [25] This news caused some controversy when it was announced.

Initially, Diageo said that talk of a move was pure speculation but in the face of mounting speculation in the wake of the Sunday Independent article, the company confirmed that it is undertaking a "significant review of its operations". This review was largely due to the efforts of the company's ongoing drive to reduce the environmental impact of brewing at the St James's Gate plant. [26]

On 23 November 2007, an article appeared in the Evening Herald, a Dublin newspaper, stating that the Dublin City Council, in the best interests of the city of Dublin, had put forward a motion to prevent planning permission ever being granted for development of the site, thus making it very difficult for Diageo to sell off the site for residential development.

On 9 May 2008, Diageo announced that the St James's Gate brewery will remain open and undergo renovations, but that breweries in Kilkenny and Dundalk will be closed by 2013 when a new larger brewery is opened near Dublin. The result will be a loss of roughly 250 jobs across the entire Diageo/Guinness workforce in Ireland. [27] Two days later, the Sunday Independent again reported that Diageo chiefs had met with Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, the deputy leader of the Government of Ireland, about moving operations to Ireland from the UK to benefit from its lower corporation tax rates. Several UK firms have made the move in order to pay Ireland's 12.5 per cent rate rather than the UK's 28 per cent rate. [28] Diageo released a statement to the London stock exchange denying the report. [29] Despite the merger that created Diageo plc in 1997, Guinness has retained its right to the Guinness brand and associated trademarks and thus continues to trade under the traditional Guinness name despite trading under the corporation name Diageo for a brief period in 1997.

In 2017 Diageo made their beer suitable for consumption by vegetarians and vegans by introducing a new filtration process that avoided the use of isinglass from fish bladders to filter out yeast particles. [30] [31] [32]

Guinness stout is made from water, barley, roast malt extract, hops, and brewer's yeast. A portion of the barley is roasted to give Guinness its dark colour and characteristic taste. It is pasteurised and filtered. [33]

Until the late 1950s Guinness was still racked into wooden casks. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Guinness ceased brewing cask-conditioned beers and developed a keg brewing system with aluminium kegs replacing the wooden casks these were nicknamed "iron lungs". [34] Until 2016 the production of Guinness, as with many beers, involved the use of isinglass made from fish. Isinglass was used as a fining agent for settling out suspended matter in the vat. The isinglass was retained in the floor of the vat but it was possible that minute quantities might be carried over into the beer. [35] [36] [37] [38] Diageo announced in February 2018 that the use of isinglass in draught Guinness was to be discontinued and an alternative clarification agent would be used instead. This has made draught Guinness acceptable to vegans and vegetarians.

Arguably its biggest change to date, in 1959 Guinness began using nitrogen, which changed the fundamental texture and flavour of the Guinness of the past as nitrogen bubbles are much smaller than CO2, [ citation needed ] giving a "creamier" and "smoother" consistency over a sharper and traditional CO2 taste. [ citation needed ] This step was taken after Michael Ash—a mathematician turned brewer—discovered the mechanism to make this possible. [ citation needed ]

Nitrogen is less soluble than carbon dioxide, which allows the beer to be put under high pressure without making it fizzy. [ citation needed ] High pressure of the dissolved gas is required to enable very small bubbles to be formed by forcing the draught beer through fine holes in a plate in the tap, which causes the characteristic "surge" (the widget in cans and bottles achieves the same effect). [ citation needed ] This "widget" is a small plastic ball containing the nitrogen. The perceived smoothness of draught Guinness is due to its low level of carbon dioxide and the creaminess of the head caused by the very fine bubbles that arise from the use of nitrogen and the dispensing method described above. "Foreign Extra Stout" contains more carbon dioxide, [5] causing a more acidic taste.

Contemporary Guinness Draught and Extra Stout are weaker than they were in the 19th century, when they had an original gravity of over 1.070. Foreign Extra Stout and Special Export Stout, with ABV of 7.5% and 9% respectively, are perhaps closest to the original in character. [39]

Although Guinness may appear to be black, it is "officially" a very dark shade of ruby. [40]

The most recent change in alcohol content from the Import Stout to the Extra Stout was due to a change in distribution through North American market. Consumer complaints influenced subsequent distribution and bottle changes. [41]

Studies claim that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers found that "'antioxidant compounds' in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for the health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls." [42] [43]

Guinness ran an advertising campaign in the 1920s which stemmed from market research – when people told the company that they felt good after their pint, the slogan, created by Dorothy L. Sayers [44] [45] –"Guinness is Good for You". Advertising for alcoholic drinks that implies improved physical performance or enhanced personal qualities is now prohibited in Ireland. [46] Diageo, the company that now manufactures Guinness, says: "We never make any medical claims for our drinks." [47]

Guinness stout is available in a number of variants and strengths, which include:

  • Guinness Draught, the standard draught beer sold in kegs (but exist also a texture-like version in widget cans and bottles): 4.1 to 4.3% alcohol by volume (ABV) the Extra Cold is served through a super cooler at 3.5 °C (38.3 °F). [48]
  • Guinness Original/Extra Stout: 4.2 to 5.6% in the United States. 5% in Canada, and most of Europe 4.2 or 4.3% ABV in Ireland and some European countries, 4.1% in Germany, 4.8% in Namibia and South Africa, and 6% in Australia and Japan. [citation needed]
  • Guinness Foreign Extra Stout: 7.5% ABV version sold in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, and the United States. The basis is an unfermented but hopped Guinness wort extract shipped from Dublin, which is added to local ingredients and fermented locally. The strength can vary, for example, it is sold at 5% ABV in China, 6.5% ABV in Jamaica and East Africa, 6.8% in Malaysia, 7.5% in the United States, and 8% ABV in Singapore. [49][50] In Nigeria a proportion of sorghum is used. Foreign Extra Stout is blended with a small amount of intentionally soured beer. Formerly, it was blended with beer that soured naturally as a result of fermenting in ancient oak tuns with a Brettanomyces population it is now made with pasteurised beer that has been soured bacterially. [51] It was previously known as West Indies Porter, then Extra Stout and finally Foreign Extra Stout. [14] It was first made available in the UK in 1990. [14]
  • Guinness Special Export Stout, Commissioned by John Martin of Belgium in 1912. [52] The first variety of Guinness to be pasteurised, in 1930. [53] 8% ABV.
  • Guinness Bitter, an English-style bitter beer: 4.4% ABV.
  • Guinness Extra Smooth, a smoother stout sold in Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria: 5.5% ABV.
  • Malta Guinness, a non-alcoholic sweet drink, produced in Nigeria and exported to the UK, East Africa, and Malaysia.
  • Guinness Zero ABV, a non-alcoholic beverage sold in Indonesia. [54]
  • Guinness Mid-Strength, a low-alcohol stout test-marketed in Limerick, Ireland in March 2006 [55] and Dublin from May 2007: [56] 2.8% ABV.
  • Guinness Red, brewed in exactly the same way as Guinness except that the barley is only lightly roasted so that it produces a lighter, slightly fruitier red ale test-marketed in Britain in February 2007: 4% ABV. [57]
  • 250 Anniversary Stout, released in the U.S., Australia and Singapore on 24 April 2009 [58] 5% ABV.
  • Guinness West Indies, a Porter which imitates the 1801 variety with notes of toffee and chocolate: 6% ABV.

In October 2005, Guinness announced the Brewhouse Series, a limited-edition collection of draught stouts available for roughly six months each. There were three beers in the series.

  • Brew 39 was sold in Dublin from late 2005 until early 2006. It had the same alcohol content (ABV) as Guinness Draught, used the same gas mix and settled in the same way, but had a slightly different taste. Many found it to be lighter in taste, somewhat closer to Beamish stout than standard Irish Guinness. [59] The Beamish & Crawford Brewery was established in 1792 in the City of Cork, and was bought by Guinness in 1833. [60]
  • Toucan Brew was introduced in May 2006. It was named after the cartoon toucan used in many Guinness advertisements. This beer had a crisper taste with a slightly sweet aftertaste due to its triple-hopped brewing process.
  • North Star was introduced in October 2006 and sold into late 2007. Three million pints of North Star were sold in the latter half of 2007. [61]

Despite an announcement in June 2007 that the fourth Brewhouse stout would be launched in October that year, [62] no new beer appeared and, at the end of 2007, the Brewhouse series appeared to have been quietly cancelled.

From early 2006, Guinness marketed a "surger" unit in Britain. [63] This surger device, marketed for use with cans consumed at home, is "said to activate the gases in the canned beer" by sending an "ultra-sonic pulse through the pint glass" sitting upon the device. [64] Surgers are also in use in other countries. [ citation needed ] The surger for the US market was announced in November 2007. [65]

Withdrawn Guinness variants include Guinness's Brite Lager, Guinness's Brite Ale, Guinness Light, Guinness XXX Extra Strong Stout, Guinness Cream Stout, Guinness Gold, Guinness Pilsner, Guinness Breó (a slightly citrusy wheat beer), Guinness Shandy, and Guinness Special Light. [66]

Breó (meaning 'glow' in Irish) [67] was a wheat beer it cost around IR£5 million to develop. [ citation needed ]

A brewing byproduct of Guinness, Guinness Yeast Extract (GYE), was produced until the 1950s. In the UK, a HP Guinness Sauce was manufactured by Heinz and available as of 2013. [68] Kraft also licenses the name for its barbecue sauce product, Bull's-Eye Barbecue Sauce.

In March 2010, Guinness began test marketing Guinness Black Lager, a new black lager, in Northern Ireland and Malaysia. [69] As of September 2010, Guinness Black Lager is no longer readily available in Malaysia. In October 2010, Guinness began selling Foreign Extra Stout in 4 packs of bottles in the United States. [70]

In 2014, Guinness released Guinness Blonde, a lager brewed in Latrobe, Pennsylvania using a combination of Guinness yeast and American ingredients. [71]

Guinness released a lager in 2015 called Hop House 13. [72] [73] It was withdrawn from sale in the UK in May 2021, following poor sales, but remains on sale in Ireland. [74]

In 2020, Guinness announced the introduction of a zero alcohol canned stout, Guinness 0.0. [75] It was withdrawn from sale almost immediately after launch, due to contamination. [76]

Before the 1960s, when Guinness adopted the current system of delivery using a nitrogen/carbon dioxide gas mixture, all beer leaving the brewery was cask-conditioned. Casks newly delivered to many small pubs were often nearly unmanageably frothy, but cellar space and rapid turnover demanded that they be put into use before they could sit for long enough to settle down. As a result, a glass would be part filled with the fresh, frothy beer, allowed to stand a minute, and then topped up with beer from a cask that had been pouring longer and had calmed down a bit. [77] With the move to nitrogen gas dispense in the 1960s, it was felt important to keep the two-stage pour ritual in order to bring better consumer acceptance of the modern nitrogen-based delivery. As Guinness has not been cask-conditioned for decades, the two-stage pour has been labeled a marketing ploy that does not actually affect the beer's taste. [78]

What Diageo calls the "perfect pint" of Draught Guinness is the product of a "double pour", which according to the company should take 119.53 seconds. [79] [80] [81] [82] Guinness has promoted this wait with advertising campaigns such as "good things come to those who wait".

The brewer recommends that draught Guinness should be served at 6 °C (42.8 °F), [83] while Extra Cold Guinness should be served at 3.5 °C (38.6 °F). [84] Prior to the 21st century it was popular to serve Guinness at cellar temperature (about 13 °C) and some drinkers preferred it at room temperature (about 20 °C). [85]

According to Esquire Magazine, a pint of Guinness should be served in a slightly tulip shaped pint glass [86] (as opposed to the taller European tulip glass or 'Nonic' glass, which contains a ridge approx 3/4 of the way up the glass). To begin the pour, the server holds the glass at a 45° angle below the tap and fills the glass 3/4 full. [86] On the way out of the tap, the beer is forced at high speed through a five-hole disc restrictor plate in the end of the tap, [86] creating friction and forcing the creation of small nitrogen bubbles [86] which form a creamy head. After allowing the initial pour to settle, the server fills the remainder of the glass until the head forms a slight dome over the top of the glass (or "just proud of the rim"). [86]

In April 2010, Guinness redesigned the Guinness pint glass for the first time in a decade. The new glass is taller and narrower than the previous one and features a bevel design. The new glasses are planned to gradually replace the old ones. [87]

When Guinness is poured, the gas bubbles appear to travel downwards in the glass. [88] The effect is attributed to drag bubbles that touch the walls of a glass are slowed in their travel upwards. Bubbles in the centre of the glass are, however, free to rise to the surface, and thus form a rising column of bubbles. The rising bubbles create a current by the entrainment of the surrounding fluid. As beer rises in the centre, the beer near the outside of the glass falls. This downward flow pushes the bubbles near the glass towards the bottom. Although the effect occurs in any liquid, it is particularly noticeable in any dark nitrogen stout, as the drink combines dark-coloured liquid and light-coloured bubbles. [89] [90]

A study published in 2012 revealed that the effect is due to the particular shape of the glass coupled with the small bubble size found in stout beers. [91] [92] [93] [94] [95] If the vessel widens with height, then bubbles will sink along the walls – this is the case for the standard pint glass. Conversely, in an anti-pint (i.e. if the vessel narrows with height) bubbles will rise along the walls. [96]

Guinness is frequently used as an ingredient in recipes, often to add a seemingly authentic Irish element to the menus of Irish-themed pubs [97] in the United States, where it is stirred into everything from french toast to beef stew. [98]

A popular, authentic, Irish course featuring Guinness is the "Guinness and Steak Pie". The recipe includes many common Irish herbs, as well as beef brisket, cheeses, and a can of Guinness. [99]

The Guinness harp motif is modelled on the Trinity College Harp. It was adopted in 1862 by the incumbent proprietor, Benjamin Lee Guinness. Harps have been a symbol of Ireland at least since the reign of Henry VIII. Guinness registered their harp as a trademark shortly after the passing of the Trade Marks Registration Act of 1875. It faces right instead of left, and so can be distinguished from the Irish coat of arms. [100]

Since the 1930s, in the face of falling sales, Guinness has had a long history of marketing campaigns, from television advertisements to beer mats and posters. Before then, Guinness had almost no advertising, instead allowing word of mouth to sell the product. [101]

The most notable and recognisable series of advertisements was created by S.H. Benson's advertising, primarily drawn by the artist John Gilroy, in the 1930s and 1940s. [101] Benson created posters that included phrases such as "Guinness for Strength", "Lovely Day for a Guinness", "Guinness Makes You Strong", "My Goodness My Guinness" (or, alternatively, "My Goodness, My Christmas, It's Guinness!"), and most famously, "Guinness is Good For You". [101] The posters featured Gilroy's distinctive artwork and more often than not featured animals such as a kangaroo, ostrich, seal, lion and notably a toucan, which has become as much a symbol of Guinness as the harp. [101] (An advertisement from the 1940s ran with the following jingle: "Toucans in their nests agree/Guinness is good for you/Try some today and see/What one or toucan do.") Dorothy L. Sayers and Bobby Bevan copywriters at Benson's also worked on the campaign a biography of Sayers notes that she created a sketch of the toucan and wrote several of the adverts in question. Guinness advertising paraphernalia, notably the pastiche booklets illustrated by Ronald Ferns, attract high prices on the collectible market. [102] [ page needed ]

Many of the best known Guinness television commercials of the 1970s and 1980s were created by British director, Len Fulford. [104]

In 1983, a conscious marketing decision was made to turn Guinness into a "cult" beer in the UK, amidst declining sales. [105] The move halted the sales decline. The Guardian described the management of the brand:

"they've spent years now building a brand that's in complete opposition to cheap lagers, session drinking and crowds of young men boozing in bars. They've worked very hard to help Guinness drinkers picture themselves as twinkly-eyed, Byronic bar-room intellectuals, sitting quietly with a pint and dreaming of poetry and impossibly lovely redheads running barefoot across the peat. You have a pint or two of Guinness with a slim volume of Yeats, not eight mates and a 19 pint bender which ends in tattoos, A&E [the ED] and herpes from a hen party." [106]

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, in the UK, there was a series of "darkly" humorous adverts, featuring actor Rutger Hauer, with the theme "Pure Genius", extolling its qualities in brewing and target market. [ citation needed ]

The 1994–1995 Anticipation campaign, featuring actor Joe McKinney dancing to "Guaglione" by Perez Prado while his pint settled, became a legend in Ireland and put the song to number one in the charts for several weeks. The advertisement was also popular in the UK where the song reached number two. [ citation needed ]

From 1999 to 2006, the Michael Power advertising character was the cornerstone of a major marketing campaign to promote Guinness products in Africa. The character, played by Cleveland Mitchell, was portrayed to have been born in Jamaica and raised in Great Britain. [107] By 2003, it became one of the best-known alcohol advertising campaigns in Africa. Jo Foster of the BBC referred to Power as "Africa's very own 'James Bond'". [108]

In 2000, Guinness's 1999 advertisement "Surfer" was named the best television commercial of all time, in a UK poll conducted by The Sunday Times and Channel 4. This advertisement is inspired by the famous 1980s Guinness TV and cinema ad, "Big Wave", centred on a surfer riding a wave while a bikini-clad sun bather takes photographs. The 1980s advertisement not only remained a popular iconic image in its own right it also entered the Irish cultural memory through inspiring a well known line in Christy Moore's song "Delirium Tremens" (1985). "Surfer" was produced by the advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO the advertisement can be downloaded from their website. [109]

Guinness won the 2001 Clio Award as the Advertiser of the Year, citing the work of five separate ad agencies around the world. [110]

In 2002, Guinness applied the Michael Power formula to Asia with the character Adam King. [111] The campaign featured such tag lines as: "Everyday someone, somewhere achieves something new. Sometimes on a grand, dramatic scale. Sometimes on a more personal scale." As of 2004, Guinness ranked among the top three beer labels in Singapore and Malaysia, with a 20 per cent marketshare across Southeast Asia. Malaysia was the brand's third largest market in the region and sixth largest market worldwide. [112]

In 2003, the Guinness TV campaign featuring Tom Crean won the gold Shark Award at the International Advertising Festival of Ireland, [113] while in 2005 their Irish Christmas campaign won a silver Shark. [114] This TV ad has been run every Christmas since its debut in December 2004 and features pictures of snow falling in places around Ireland, evoking the James Joyce story "The Dead", finishing at St. James's Gate Brewery with the line: "Even at the home of the black stuff they dream of a white one". [115] [116]

Their UK commercial "noitulovE", first broadcast in October 2005, was the most-awarded commercial worldwide in 2006. [117] In it, three men drink a pint of Guinness, then begin to both walk and evolve backward. Their "reverse evolution" passes through an ancient Homo sapiens, a monkey, a flying lemur, a pangolin, an ichthyosaur, and a velociraptor, until finally settling on a mud skipper drinking dirty water, which then expresses its disgust at the taste of the stuff, followed by the line: "Good Things Come To Those Who Wait". This was later modified to have a different endings to advertise Guinness Extra Cold, often shown as "break bumpers" at the beginning and end of commercial breaks. The second endings show either the Homo sapiens being suddenly frozen in a block of ice, the ichthyasaurs being frozen while swimming, or the pool of muddy water freezing over as the mud skipper takes a sip, freezing his tongue to the surface. [ citation needed ]

Two further advertisements in 2006 and early 2007, "Hands" and "St. Patrick's Hands", were created by animator Michael Schlingmann for Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. They feature a pair of hands, animated in stop motion under a rostrum camera. "Hands" focuses on the 119.53 seconds it takes to pour a pint, and "St. Patrick's Hands is a spoof of Riverdance, with the animated hands doing the dancing. [ citation needed ]

In 2006, Diageo, owner of the Guinness brand, replaced the Michael Power campaign with the "Guinness Greatness" campaign, which they claim emphasises the "drop of greatness" in everyone, in contrast to the high-tension heroics of the Power character. [111]

Guinness' 2007 advertisement, directed by Nicolai Fuglsig and filmed in Argentina, is entitled "Tipping Point". It involves a large-scale domino chain reaction and, with a budget of £10 million, was the most expensive advertisement by the company at that point. [118]

The 2000s also saw a series of television advertisements, entitled "Brilliant!" in which two crudely animated Guinness brewmasters would discuss the beer, particularly the ability to drink it straight from the bottle. The two would almost always react to their discoveries with the catchphrase "Brilliant!", hence the campaign's title.

In 2009, the "To Arthur" advertisement, which started with two friends realising the company's long history, hail each other by lifting up their glasses and saying: "to Arthur!". The hailing slowing spread throughout the bar to the streets outside, and finally around the world. The advertisement ends with the voiceover: "Join the worldwide celebration, of a man named Arthur". [119]

This gave rise to the event now known as Arthur's Day. "Arthur's Day is a series of events and celebrations taking place around the world to celebrate the life and legacy of Arthur Guinness and the much-loved Guinness beer which Arthur brought to the world." [120]

Starting in 2011, the Guinness brand issued a series of Ireland-wide advertisements featuring everyday Irish people as part of their "Guinness is Good For Us" campaign referencing the iconic "Guinness is Good For You" campaign of the 1920s to 1960s. [ citation needed ]

In 2006, sales of Guinness in Ireland and the United Kingdom declined 7 per cent. [121] Despite this, Guinness still accounts for more than a quarter of all beer sold in Ireland. [122] By 2015, sales were on the rise in Ireland but flat globally. [123]

Guinness began retailing in India in 2007. [124] [125]

Guinness has a significant share of the African beer market, where it has been sold since 1827. About 40 per cent of worldwide total Guinness volume is brewed and sold in Africa, with Foreign Extra Stout the most popular variant. Three of the five Guinness-owned breweries worldwide are located in Africa. [126] The Michael Power advertising campaign was a critical success for Guinness in Africa, running for nearly a decade before being replaced in 2006 with "Guinness Greatness". [ citation needed ]

The beer is brewed under licence internationally in several countries, including Nigeria, [127] [128] the Bahamas, Canada, [129] Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, South Korea, Namibia, and Indonesia. [130] The unfermented but hopped Guinness wort extract is shipped from Dublin and blended with beer brewed locally. [ citation needed ]

In 2017 Guinness teamed up with AB InBev to distribute Guinness in mainland China. China is the single biggest worldwide alcohol market, especially for imported craft beers like Guinness. [131]

The UK is the only sovereign state to consume more Guinness than Ireland. The third-largest Guinness drinking nation is Nigeria, followed by the USA [132] the United States consumed more than 950,000 hectolitres of Guinness in 2010. [122]

The Guinness Storehouse at St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin is the most popular tourist attraction in Ireland (attracting over 1.7 million visitors in 2017) where a self-guided tour includes an account of the ingredients used to make the stout and a description of how it is made. [133] Visitors can sample the smells of each Guinness ingredient in the Tasting Rooms, which are coloured with a unique lighting design that emits Guinness's gold and black branding. [134]

The Guinness Book of Records started as a Guinness marketing giveaway, based on an idea of its then Managing Director, Sir Hugh Beaver. Its holding company, Guinness World Records Ltd, was owned by Guinness plc, subsequently Diageo, until 2001.


As almost any cereal containing certain sugars can undergo spontaneous fermentation due to wild yeasts in the air, it is possible that beer-like drinks were independently developed throughout the world soon after a tribe or culture had domesticated cereal. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced about 3,500 BC in what is today Iran, and was one of the first-known biological engineering tasks where the biological process of fermentation is used. Also, archaeological findings show that Chinese villagers were brewing fermented alcoholic drinks as far back as 7000 BC on small and individual scale, with the production process and methods similar to that of ancient Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia. [14]

The earliest archaeological evidence of fermentation consists of 13,000-year-old residues of a beer with the consistency of gruel, used by the semi-nomadic Natufians for ritual feasting, at the Raqefet Cave in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa in Israel. [15] [16]

In Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq), early evidence of beer is a 3,900-year-old Sumerian poem honoring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, which contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread. [17] Approximately 5,000 years ago, workers in the city of Uruk were paid by their employers in beer. [18]

"Ninkasi, you are the one who pours out the filtered beer of the collector vat"

"It is [like] the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates." [19]

Beer is also mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, in which the 'wild man' Enkidu is given beer to drink. ". he ate until he was full, drank seven pitchers of beer, his heart grew light, his face glowed and he sang out with joy."

In February 2019, archaeologists from Mola Headland Infrastructure and experts from Highways England found evidence of first Iron Age beer dated back over 2,000 years during road works in Cambridgeshire. [20] [21] [22] [23] In February 2021, archaeologists found a 5,000-old beer factory in Abydos, Egypt, dating back to the reign of King Narmer, Early Dynastic Period. [24]

“It’s a well-known fact that ancient populations used the beer-making process to purify water and create a safe source of hydration, but this is potentially the earliest physical evidence of that process taking place in the UK”, said archaeologist Steve Sherlock.

Confirmed written evidence of ancient beer production in Armenia can be obtained from Xenophon in his work Anabasis (5th century BC) when he was in one of the ancient Armenian villages in which he wrote:

There were stores within of wheat and barley and vegetables, and wine made from barley in great big bowls the grains of barley malt lay floating in the beverage up to the lip of the vessel, and reeds lay in them, some longer, some shorter, without joints when you were thirsty you must take one of these into your mouth, and suck. The beverage without admixture of water was very strong, and of a delicious flavour to certain palates, but the taste must be acquired. [25] [26]

Beer became vital to all the grain-growing civilizations of Eurasian and North African antiquity, including Egypt—so much so that in 1868 James Death put forward a theory in The Beer of the Bible that the manna from heaven that God gave the Israelites was a bread-based, porridge-like beer called wusa. [ citation needed ]

These beers were often thick, more of a gruel than a drink, and drinking straws were used by the Sumerians to avoid the bitter solids left over from fermentation. Though beer was drunk in Ancient Rome, it was replaced in popularity by wine. [27] Tacitus wrote disparagingly of the beer brewed by the Germanic peoples of his day. Thracians were also known to consume beer made from rye, even since the 5th century BC, as the ancient Greek logographer Hellanicus of Lesbos says. Their name for beer was brutos, or brytos. The Romans called their brew cerevisia, from the Celtic word for it. Beer was apparently enjoyed by some Roman legionaries. For instance, among the Vindolanda tablets (from Vindolanda in Roman Britain, dated c. 97–103 AD), the cavalry decurion Masculus wrote a letter to prefect Flavius Cerialis inquiring about the exact instructions for his men for the following day. This included a polite request for beer to be sent to the garrison (which had entirely consumed its previous stock of beer). [28]

Ancient Nubians had used beer as an antibiotic medicine. [29]

In ancient Mesopotamia, clay tablets indicate that the majority of brewers were probably women, and that brewing was a fairly well respected occupation during the time, being the only profession in Mesopotamia which derived social sanction and divine protection from female deities/goddesses, specifically: Ninkasi, who covered the production of beer, Siris, who was used in a metonymic way to refer to beer, and Siduri, who covered the enjoyment of beer. [30] [31] Mesopotamian brewing appears to have incorporated the usage of a twice-baked barley bread called bappir, which was exclusively used for brewing beer. [32] It was discovered early that reusing the same container for fermenting the mash would produce more reliable results brewers on the move carried their tubs with them. [33]

The Ebla tablets, discovered in 1974 in Ebla, Syria, show that beer was produced in the city in 2500 BC. [34] Early traces of beer and the brewing process have been found in ancient Babylonia as well. At the time, brewers were women as well, but also priestesses. Some types of beers were used especially in religious ceremonies. In 2100 BC, the Babylonian king Hammurabi included regulations governing tavern keepers in his law code for the kingdom. [35]

In Ancient India, the Vedas and Ramayana mention a beer-like drink called sura consumed during the Vedic Period (c. 1500 – c. 500 BCE). [36] It was the favourite of the god Indra. [37] [38] Kautilya has also mentioned two intoxicating beverages made from rice called Medaka and Prasanna. [38]

Beer was part of the daily diet of Egyptian pharaohs over 5,000 years ago. Then, it was made from baked barley bread, and was also used in religious practices. [39] During the building of the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt, each worker got a daily ration of four to five liters of beer, which served as both nutrition and refreshment that was crucial to the pyramids' construction. [40]

The Greek writer Sophocles (450 BCE) discussed the concept of moderation when it came to consuming beer in Greek culture, and believed that the best diet for Greeks consisted of bread, meats, various types of vegetables, and beer [ citation needed ] or "ζῦθος" (zythos) as they called it. [41] The ancient Greeks also made barleywine (Greek: "κρίθινος οἶνος" – krithinos oinos, "barley wine" [42] [43] ) mentioned by Greek historian Polybius in his work The Histories, where he states that Phaeacians kept barleywine in silver and golden kraters. [44]

During the £1.5bn upgrade of the A14 in Cambridgeshire evidence beer brewed in the UK, dating back more than 2,000 years was found. Steve Sherlock, the Highways England archaeology lead for the A14 project said, “It’s a well-known fact that ancient populations used the beer-making process to purify water and create a safe source of hydration, but this is potentially the earliest physical evidence of that process taking place in the UK.” Roger Protz, the former editor of the Campaign for Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide, said, "When the Romans invaded Britain they found the local tribes brewing a type of beer called curmi." [45]

In Europe during the Middle Ages, a brewers' guild might adopt a patron saint of brewing. Arnulf of Metz (c. 582–640) and Arnulf of Oudenburg (c. 1040–1087) were recognized by some French and Flemish brewers. [46] Belgian brewers, too, venerated Arnulf of Oudenburg (aka Arnold of Soissons), [47] who is also recognized as the patron saint of hop-pickers. Christian monks built breweries, to provide food, drink, and shelter to travelers and pilgrims. [39]

Charlemagne, Frankish king and ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the 8th century, considered beer to be an important part of living, and is often thought to have trained some brewers himself. [35]

Beer was one of the most common drinks during the Middle Ages. It was consumed daily by all social classes in the northern and eastern parts of Europe where grape cultivation was difficult or impossible. [ citation needed ] Though wine of varying qualities was the most common drink in the south, beer was still popular among the lower classes. The idea that beer was consumed more commonly than water during medieval times is a myth. [48] Water was cheaper than beer, and towns/villages were built close to sources of fresh water such as rivers, springs, and wells to facilitate easy access to the resource. [49] Though probably one of the most popular drinks in Europe, beer was frequently disdained as being unhealthy, possibly because ancient Greek and more contemporary Arab physicians had little or no experience with the drink. In 1256, the Aldobrandino of Siena described the nature of beer in the following way:

But from whichever it is made, whether from oats, barley or wheat, it harms the head and the stomach, it causes bad breath and ruins the teeth, it fills the stomach with bad fumes, and as a result anyone who drinks it along with wine becomes drunk quickly but it does have the property of facilitating urination and makes one's flesh white and smooth. [50]

The use of hops in beer was written of in 822 by the Carolingian Abbot Adalard of Corbie. [51] Flavoring beer with hops was known at least since the 9th century, but was only gradually adopted because of difficulties in establishing the right proportions of ingredients. Before that, gruit, a mix of various herbs, had been used, but did not have the same preserving properties as hops. Beer flavored without it was often spoiled soon after preparation and could not be exported. The only other alternative was to increase the alcohol content, which was rather expensive. Hopped beer was perfected in the medieval towns of Bohemia by the 13th century. German towns pioneered a new scale of operation with standardized barrel sizes that allowed for large-scale export. Previously beer had been brewed at home, but the production was now successfully replaced by medium-sized operations of about eight to ten people. This type of production spread to Holland in the 14th century and later to Flanders and Brabant, and reached England by the late 15th century. [52]

English ale and beer brewing were carried out separately, no brewer being allowed to produce both. The Brewers Company of London stated "no hops, herbs, or other like thing be put into any ale or liquore wherof ale shall be made – but only liquor (water), malt, and yeast." This comment is sometimes misquoted as a prohibition on hopped beer. [ citation needed ] However, hopped beer was opposed by some:

Ale is made of malte and water and they the which do put any other thynge to ale than is rehersed, except yest, barme, or goddesgood [three words for yeast], doth sophysticat there ale. Ale for an Englysshe man is a naturall drinke. Ale muste haue these properties, it muste be fresshe and cleare, it muste not be ropy, nor smoky, nor it must haue no wefte nor tayle. Ale shulde not be dronke vnder .v. dayes olde …. Barly malte maketh better ale than Oten malte or any other corne doth … Beere is made of malte, of hoppes, and water it is a naturall drynke for a doche [Dutch] man, and nowe of late dayes it is moche vsed in Englande to the detryment of many Englysshe men … for the drynke is a colde drynke. Yet it doth make a man fatte, and doth inflate the bely, as it doth appere by the doche mennes faces and belyes. [53]

In Europe, beer brewing largely remained a home activity in medieval times. By the 14th and 15th centuries, beermaking was gradually changing from a family-oriented activity to an artisan one, with pubs and monasteries brewing their own beer for mass consumption.

In the late Middle Ages, the brewing industry in northern Europe changed from a small-scale domestic industry to a large-scale export industry. The key innovation was the introduction of hops, which began in northern Germany in the 13th century. Hops sharply improved both the brewing process and the quality of beer. Other innovations from German lands involved larger kettle sizes and more frequent brewing. Consumption went up, while brewing became more concentrated because it was a capital-intensive industry. Thus in Hamburg per capita consumption increased from an average of 300 liters per year in the 15th century to about 700 in the 17th century. [54]

The use of hops spread to the Netherlands and then to England. In 15th century England, an unhopped beer would have been known as an ale, while the use of hops would make it a beer. Hopped beer was imported to England from the Netherlands as early as 1400 in Winchester, and hops were being planted on the island by 1428. The popularity of hops was at first mixed—the Brewers Company of London went so far as to state "no hops, herbs, or other like thing be put into any ale or liquore wherof ale shall be made—but only liquor (water), malt, and yeast." However, by the 16th century, ale had come to refer to any strong beer, and all ales and beers were hopped, giving rise to the verse noted by the antiquary John Aubrey:

the year, according to Aubrey, being the fifteenth of Henry VIII (1524). [55]

In 1516, William IV, Duke of Bavaria, adopted the Reinheitsgebot (purity law), perhaps the oldest food regulation still in use through the 20th century (the Reinheitsgebot passed formally from German law in 1987). The Gebot ordered that the ingredients of beer be restricted to water, barley, and hops yeast was added to the list after Louis Pasteur's discovery in 1857. The Bavarian law was applied throughout Germany as part of the 1871 German unification as the German Empire under Otto von Bismarck, and has since been updated to reflect modern trends in beer brewing. To this day, the Gebot is considered a mark of purity in beers, although this is controversial.

Most beers until relatively recent times were top-fermented. Bottom-fermented beers were discovered by accident in the 16th century after beer was stored in cool caverns for long periods they have since largely outpaced top-fermented beers in terms of volume. For further discussion of bottom-fermented beers, see Pilsner and Lager.

China Edit

Documented evidence and recently excavated tombs indicate that the Chinese brewed alcoholic drinks from both malted grain and grain converted by mold from prehistoric times, but that the malt conversion process was largely considered inefficient in comparison with the use of molds specially cultivated on rice carrier (the resulting molded rice being called 酒麴 (Jiǔ qū) in Chinese and Koji in Japanese) to convert cooked rice into fermentable sugars, both in the amount of resulting fermentable sugars and the residual by products (the Chinese use the dregs left after fermenting the rice, called 酒糟 (Jiǔzāo), as a cooking ingredient in many dishes, frequently as an ingredient to sauces where Western dishes would use wine), because the rice undergoes starch conversion after being hulled and cooked, rather than whole and in husks like barley malt. Furthermore, the hop plant being unknown in East Asia, malt-based alcoholic drinks did not preserve well over time, and the use of malt in the production of alcoholic drinks gradually fell out of favor in China until disappearing from Chinese history by the end of the Tang Dynasty. The use of rice became dominant, such that wines from fruits of any type were historically all but unknown except as imports in China.

The production of alcoholic drink from cooked rice converted by microbes continues to this day, and some classify the different varieties of Chinese 米酒 (Mǐjiǔ) and Japanese sake as beer since they are made from converted starch rather than fruit sugars. However, this is a debatable point, and such drinks are generally referred to as "rice wine" or "sake" which is really the generic Chinese and Japanese word for all alcoholic drinks.

The earliest evidence of beer-making in China is from around 5,000 years ago at the Mijiaya site. [56]

Other Edit

Some Pacific island cultures ferment starch that has been converted to fermentable sugars by human saliva, similar to the chicha of South America. This practice is also used by many other tribes around the world, who either chew the grain and then spit it into the fermentation vessel or spit into a fermentation vessel containing cooked grain, which is then sealed up for the fermentation. Enzymes in the spittle convert the starch into fermentable sugars, which are fermented by wild yeast. Whether or not the resulting product can be called beer is sometimes disputed, since:

  1. As with Asian rice-based liquors, it does not involve malting.
  2. This method is often used with starches derived from sources other than grain, such as yams, taro, or other such root vegetables.

Some Taiwanese tribes have taken the process a step further by distilling the resulting alcoholic drink, resulting in a clear liquor. However, as none of the Taiwanese tribes are known to have developed systems of writing, there is no way to document how far back this practice goes, or if the technique was brought from Mainland China by Han Chinese immigrants. Judging by the fact that this technique is usually found in tribes using millet (a grain native to northern China) as the ingredient, the latter seems much more likely.

Asia's first brewery was incorporated in 1855 (although it was established earlier) by Edward Dyer at Kasauli in the Himalayan Mountains in India under the name Dyer Breweries. The company still exists and is known as Mohan Meakin, today comprising a large group of companies across many industries.

Following significant improvements in the efficiency of the steam engine in 1765, industrialization of beer became a reality. Further innovations in the brewing process came about with the introduction of the thermometer in 1760 and hydrometer in 1770, which allowed brewers to increase efficiency and attenuation.

Prior to the late 18th century, malt was primarily dried over fires made from wood, charcoal, or straw, and after 1600, from coke.

In general, none of these early malts would have been well shielded from the smoke involved in the kilning process, and consequently, early beers would have had a smoky component to their flavors evidence indicates that maltsters and brewers constantly tried to minimize the smokiness of the finished beer.

Writers of the period describe the distinctive taste derived from wood-smoked malts, and the almost universal revulsion it engendered. The smoked beers and ales of the West Country were famous for being undrinkable – locals and the desperate excepted. This is from "Directions for Brewing Malt Liquors" (1700):

In most parts of the West, their malt is so stenched with the Smoak of the Wood, with which 'tis dryed, that no Stranger can endure it, though the inhabitants, who are familiarized to it, can swallow it as the Hollanders do their thick Black Beer Brewed with Buck Wheat.

An even earlier reference to such malt was recorded by William Harrison, in his "Description of England", 1577:

In some places it [malt] is dried at leisure with wood alone, or straw alone, in other with wood and straw together, but, of all, the straw-dried is the most excellent. For the wood-dried malt, when it is brewed, beside that the drink is higher of colour, it doth hurt and annoy the head of him that is not used thereto, because of the smoke. Such also as use both indifferently do bark, cleave, and dry their wood in an oven, thereby to remove all moisture that should procure the fume .

"London and Country Brewer" (1736) specified the varieties of "brown malt" popular in the city:

Brown Malts are dryed with Straw, Wood and Fern, etc. The straw-dryed is the best, but the wood sort has a most unnatural Taste, that few can bear with, but the necessitous, and those that are accustomed to its strong smoaky tang yet it is much used in some of the Western Parts of England, and many thousand Quarters of this malt has been formerly used in London for brewing the Butt-keeoing-beers with, and that because it sold for two shillings per Quarter cheaper than Straw-dryed Malt, nor was this Quality of the Wood-dryed Malt much regarded by some of its Brewers, for that its ill Taste is lost in nine or twelve Months, by the Age of the Beer, and the strength of the great Quantity of Hops that were used in its preservation.

The hydrometer transformed how beer was brewed. Before its introduction beers were brewed from a single malt: brown beers from brown malt, amber beers from amber malt, pale beers from pale malt. Using the hydrometer, brewers could calculate the yield from different malts. They observed that pale malt, though more expensive, yielded far more fermentable material than cheaper malts. For example, brown malt (used for Porter) gave 54 pounds of extract per quarter, whilst pale malt gave 80 pounds. Once this was known, brewers switched to using mostly pale malt for all beers supplemented with a small quantity of highly coloured malt to achieve the correct colour for darker beers.

The invention of the drum roaster in 1817 by Daniel Wheeler allowed for the creation of very dark, roasted malts, contributing to the flavour of porters and stouts. Its development was prompted by a British law of 1816 forbidding the use of any ingredients other than malt and hops. Porter brewers, employing a predominantly pale malt grist, urgently needed a legal colourant. Wheeler's patent malt was the solution.

Louis Pasteur's 1857 discovery of yeast's role in fermentation led to brewers developing methods to prevent the souring of beer by undesirable microorganisms.

In 1912, the use of brown bottles began to be used by Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the United States. This innovation has since been accepted worldwide and prevents harmful rays from destroying the quality and stability of beer. [57]

Many European nations have unbroken brewing traditions dating back to the earliest historical records. Beer is an especially important drink in countries such as Belgium, Germany, Austria, Ireland, the UK (England, Wales, and Scotland), France, the Scandinavian countries, Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain and others having strong and unique brewing traditions with their own history, characteristic brewing methods, and styles of beer.

Unlike in many parts of the world, there is a significant market in Europe (the UK in particular) for beer containing live yeast. These unfiltered, unpasteurised brews are more challenging to handle than the commonly sold "dead" beers "live" beer quality can suffer with poor care, but many people prefer its taste. While beer is usually matured for relatively short times (a few weeks to a few months) compared to wine, some of the stronger so-called real ales have been found to develop character and flavour over the course of as much as several decades.

In some parts of the world, breweries that had begun as a family business by Germans or other European émigrés grew into large companies, often passing into hands with more concern for profits than traditions of quality, resulting in a degradation of the product.

In 1953, New Zealander Morton Coutts developed the technique of continuous fermentation. Coutts patented his process, which involves beer flowing through sealed tanks, fermenting under pressure, and never coming into contact with the atmosphere, even when bottled. His process was introduced in the US and UK, but is now used for commercial beer production only in New Zealand. [58]

In some sectors brewers are reluctant to embrace new technology for fear of losing the traditional characteristics of their beer. For example, Marston's Brewery in Burton on Trent still uses open wooden Burton Union sets for fermentation in order to maintain the quality and flavour of its beers, while Belgium's lambic brewers go so far as to expose their brews to outside air in order to pick up the natural wild yeasts which ferment the wort. Traditional brewing techniques protect the beer from oxidation by maintaining a carbon dioxide blanket over the wort as it ferments into beer.

Modern breweries now brew many types of beer, ranging from ancient styles such as the spontaneously-fermented lambics of Belgium the lagers, dark beers, wheat beers and more of Germany the UK's stouts, milds, pale ales, bitters, golden ale and new modern American creations such as chili beer, cream ale, and double India pale ales.

Today, the brewing industry is a huge global business, consisting of several multinational companies, and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries. Advances in refrigeration, international and transcontinental shipping, marketing and commerce have resulted in an international marketplace, where the consumer has literally hundreds of choices between various styles of local, regional, national and foreign beers.

Prior to Prohibition, there were thousands of breweries in the United States, mostly brewing heavier beers than modern US beer drinkers are used to. Beginning in 1920, most of these breweries went out of business, although some converted to soft drinks and other businesses. Bootlegged beer was often watered down to increase profits, beginning a trend, still on-going today, of the American markets heavily advertising the weaker beers and keeping them popular. Consolidation of breweries and the application of industrial quality control standards have led to the mass-production and the mass-marketing of huge quantities of light lagers. Advertising became supreme, and bigger companies fared better in that market. The decades after World War II saw a huge consolidation of the American brewing industry: brewing companies would buy their rivals solely for their customers and distribution systems, shutting down their brewing operations. [59] Despite the record increases in production between 1870 and 1895, the number of firms fell by 46%. Average brewery output rose significantly, driven partly by a rapid increase in output by the largest breweries. As late as 1877, only four breweries topped 100,000 barrels annually. By 1895, the largest sixteen firms had greatly increased their productive capacity and were all brewing over 250,000 barrels annually [60] and imports have become more abundant since the mid-1980s. The number of breweries has been claimed as being either over 1,500 in 2007 or over 1,400 in 2010, depending on the source. As of June 2013, The Brewers Association reports the total number of currently operating US breweries to be 2,538, with only 55 of those being non-craft breweries. [61] [62] [63] [64]

The Finnish epic Kalevala, collected in written form in the 19th century but based on oral traditions many centuries old, devotes more lines to the origin of beer and brewing than it does to the origin of mankind.

The mythical Flemish king Gambrinus (from Jan Primus (John I)), is sometimes credited with the invention of beer.

According to Czech legend, deity Radegast, god of hospitality, invented beer.

Ninkasi was the patron goddess of brewing in ancient Sumer.

In Egyptian mythology, the immense blood-lust of the fierce lioness goddess Sekhmet was only sated after she was tricked into consuming an extremely large amount of red-coloured beer (believing it to be blood): she became so drunk that she gave up slaughter altogether and became docile.

In Norse mythology the sea god Ægir, his wife Rán, and their nine daughters, brewed ale (or mead) for the gods. In the Lokasenna, it is told that Ægir would host a party where all the gods would drink the beer he brewed for them. He made this in a giant kettle that Thor had brought. The cups in Ægir's hall were always full, magically refilling themselves when emptied. Ægir had two servants in his hall to assist him Eldir [Fire-Kindler] and Fimafeng [Handy].

In Nart sagas, Satanaya (Ubykh [satanaja] , Adyghe [setenej] , Ossetian [ʃatana] ), the mother of the Narts, a fertility figure and matriarch, invented beer.

Recent Irish Mythology attributes the invention of beer to fabled Irishman Charlie Mops

The word beer comes from old Germanic languages, and is with variations used in continental Germanic languages, bier in German and Dutch, but not in Nordic languages. The word was imported into the British Isles by tribes such as the Saxons. It is disputed where the word originally comes from.

Many other languages have borrowed the Dutch/German word, such as French bière, Italian birra, Romanian "bere" and Turkish bira. The Nordic languages have öl/øl, related to the English word ale. Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan have words that evolved from Latin cervisia, originally of Celtic origin. Slavic languages use pivo with small variations, based on a pre-Slavic word meaning "drink" and derived from the verb meaning "to drink".

Chuvash "pora" its r-Turkic counterpart, which may ultimately be the source of the Germanic beer-word. [65]

Irish Scientists Invent New Technology to Keep Bubbles in Beer - Recipes

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Food-Related Inventors and Inventions
Bar codes (also called Universal Product Codes or UPC's) are small, coded labels that contain information about the item they are attached to the information is contained in a numerical code, usually containing 12 digits. UPC's are easily scanned by laser beams. UPC's are used on many things, including most items for sale in stores, library books, inventory items, many packages and pieces of luggage being shipped, railroad cars, etc. The UPC may contain coded information about the item, its manufacturer, place of origin, destination, the owner, or other data. The first "bullseye code" was invented by Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver, from work which they began in 1948. On October 20, 1949, they patented their bullseye code (a series of concentric circles that were scannable from all directions, using regular light). Woodland and Silver patented a new UPC in October 1952 the UPC was also improved and adapted by David J. Collins in the late 1950's (to track railroad cars). UPC's were first used in grocery stores in the early 1970's.
The automatic commercial bread slicer was invented in 1927 by Otto Frederick Rohwedder from Iowa, USA (Rohwedder had worked on his machine since 1912). His machine both sliced and wrapped a loaf of bread. In 1928, the bread slicer was improved by Gustav Papendick, a baker from St. Louis, Missouri.
Luther Burbank (1849-1926) was an American plant breeder who developed over 800 new strains of plants, including many popular varieties of potato, plums, prunes, berries, trees, and flowers. One of his greatest inventions was the Russet Burbank potato (also called the Idaho potato), which he developed in 1871. This blight-resistant potato helped Ireland recover from its devastating potato famine of 1840-60. Burbank also developed the Flaming Gold nectarine, the Santa Rosa plum, and the Shasta daisy. Burbank was raised on a farm and only went to elementary school he was self-educated. Burbank applied the works of Charles Darwin to plants. Of Darwin's The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication , Burbank said, "It opened up a new world to me."
A metal can (or canister) for preserving food was invented in 1810 by a Peter Durand, of London, England. Metal cans (also called tins) could preserve food for a long period of time. To open a can, a person had to use a hammer and chisel the can opener wasn't invented for another 50 years.

The can opener was invented in 1858 by Ezra Warner of Waterbury, Connecticut, USA. Warner's device used a lever and chisel. Until then, cans were opened using a hammer and chisel the can opener was invented 50 years after the metal can was invented.

The can opener was improved in 1870 by William Lyman of West Meridian, Connecticut, USA. Lyman's device used a rotating wheel and a sharp edge. His can opener only fit one size of can, and first had to pierce the center of the can.

The modern-day type of can opener (using a serrated wheel) was invented in 1925.

People have been drinking naturally-carbonated water (water with carbon dioxide bubbles) since pre-historic times. The English chemist Joseph Priestley experimented with putting gases in liquids in 1767, producing the first artificially-produced carbonated water.

In 1770, the Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman invented a device for making carbonated water from chalk and sulfuric acid.

George Washington Carver (1865?-1943) was an American scientist, educator, humanitarian, and former slave. Carver developed hundreds of products from peanuts, sweet potatoes, pecans, and soybeans his discoveries greatly improved the agricultural output and the health of Southern farmers. Before this, the only main crop in the South was cotton. The products that Carver invented included a rubber substitute, adhesives, foodstuffs, dyes, pigments, and many other products.

For more information on Carver, click here. For a cloze (fill-in-the-blank) activity on Carver, click here.

Ruth Wakefield invented chocolate chips (and chocolate chip cookies) in 1930. Wakefield ran the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. Her new cookie invention was called the "Toll House Cookie." Her original cookies used broken-up bars of semi-sweet chocolate.
Dr. John Stith Pemberton (1830-1888) was an American pharmacist, soldier, and inventor. He invented Coca-Cola on May 8th, 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He had invented many syrups, medicines, and elixirs before, including a very popular drink called French Wine of Coca, which contained French Bordeaux wine, coca leaves, and caffeine (from the kola nut).

When Atlanta banned alcohol consumption in 1885, Pemberton had to change the formula of his French Wine of Coca, omitting the French wine. He added sugar, citric acid and essential oils of many fruits to the drink, and the original Coca-Cola was created. It was named for its main ingredients, coca leaves and the kola nut. Coca-Cola quickly became a very popular soda fountain drink.

Cloudy Beer

Cloudy or hazy beer is unattractive and off-putting to say the least. If you wouldn’t want to drink a glass of cloudy beer, why would your customers be any different? If you’re experiencing this problem, try this:

The temperature is not remaining steady. Check your refrigeration unit to ensure that your keg isn’t being exposed to alternating warm and cool temperatures. Never let your keg get above 45ºF.

The beer lines are dirty. For best results, you should clean your beer lines between every new keg, or approximately every 2-3 weeks. For more information, check out "The Basics of Beer Line Cleaning."

The beer is old. Beer doesn’t stay good forever. Check the expiration date on the keg and/or institute an inventory management system that helps you keep track of your kegs.

Watch the video: Επιστημονικό Σεμινάριο Παραγωγής Μπύρας (January 2022).