Portal:Beer

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B e e r

A portal dedicated to beer

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The Beer Portal

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Beer is the world's most widely consumed alcoholic beverage and the third most popular drink after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of starches, mainly derived from cereal grains—the most common of which is malted barley, although wheat, maize (corn), and rice are widely used. Most beer is flavored with hops, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative, though other flavorings such as herbs or fruit may occasionally be included. Alcoholic beverages distilled after fermentation, fermented from non-starch sources such as grape juice (wine) or honey (mead), or fermented from un-malted starches (rice wine) are not classified as beer.

Some of humanity's earliest known writings refer to the production and distribution of beer: the Code of Hammurabi included laws regulating beer and beer parlours, and "The Hymn to Ninkasi," a prayer to the Mesopotamian goddess of beer, served as both a prayer and as a method of remembering the recipe for beer in a culture with few literate people. Today, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries.

The basics of brewing beer are shared across national and cultural boundaries and are commonly categorized into two main types—the globally popular pale lagers, and the regionally distinct ales, which are further categorised into other varieties such as pale ale, stout and brown ale. The strength of beer is usually around 4% to 6% alcohol by volume (abv.) though may range from less than 1% abv., to over 20% abv. in rare cases.

Beer forms part of the culture of various beer-drinking nations and has acquired various social traditions and associations, such as beer festivals and a rich pub culture involving activities such as pub crawling or pub games such as bar billiards.


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The Beer WikiProject

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WikiProject Beer is an association of Wikipedians with an interest in beer and beer-related subjects. They have come together to coordinate the development of beer and brewery articles here on Wikipedia. Additionally, other groups have formed other projects that entertain subjects that are directly related to beer, bartending and pubs. Additionally, the mixed drinks project covers topics that include beer cocktails. If any of these subjects pique your interest, please feel free to visit their projects. These groups would love to have you participate!

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Steam beer may be defined as a highly effervescent beer made by brewing lager yeasts at ale fermentation temperatures. It has two distinct but related meanings:
  • Historic steam beer, by all accounts bad-tasting, produced in California from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s;
  • Modern California Common beer, the official name for the beer family which includes Anchor Steam® beer.

Historic steam beer, associated with San Francisco and the U. S. West Coast, was brewed with lager yeast without the use of refrigeration. It was an improvised process, originating out of necessity, perhaps as early as the Gold Rush. It was considered a cheap and low-quality beer, as shown by references to it in literature of the 1890s and 1900s.

Modern steam beer, properly known in the brewing community as California Common beer, was originated by Anchor Brewing Company, which trademarked the name Anchor Steam® Beer in 1981. Although the modern company has corporate continuity with a small brewery which was still making traditional steam beer in the 1950s, Anchor Steam beer is a craft-brewed lager. The company does not claim any close similarity between it and turn-of-the-century steam beer.

Explanations of the word "steam" are all speculative. The carbon dioxide pressure produced by the process was very high, and one possibility is that it was necessary to let off "steam" before attempting to dispense the beer. According to the Anchor Brewing Company, the name "steam" came from the fact that the brewery had no way to effectively chill the boiling wort using traditional means. So they pumped the hot wort up to large, shallow, open-top bins on the roof of the brewery so that it would be rapidly chilled by the cool air blowing in off the Pacific Ocean. Thus while brewing, the brewery had a distinct cloud of steam around the roof let off by the wort as it cooled, hence the name.



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Selected person

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
B. March 27, 1942 – d. August 30, 2007

Michael Jackson was an English writer and journalist; he was the author of several books about beer and whisky. He became famous in beer circles in 1977 when his book, The World Guide To Beer, was published. This was later translated into more than ten languages and is still considered to be one of the most fundamental books on the subject. He also hosted a popular show entitled The Beer Hunter on the Discovery Channel.

Jackson considered beer as a component of culture and described beers in their cultural context. Although he travelled around the world and discovered different beer cultures, he was especially fond of the Belgian beers. In 1998, he brought forth his own line of beer glassware.


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Selected brewery

Pabst Brewing Company is an American company founded in 1844 by Jacob Best. Best known for Pabst Blue Ribbon beer (4.9% alcohol), it is historically associated with Milwaukee where it was founded, although its corporate headquarters are currently in Woodridge, Illinois. In 1999, the Pabst Brewing Company began transferring its production to Miller Brewing on a contract basis. In 2001, it closed its last brewery in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

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Selected beer

A pint of Newcastle Brown Ale
Newcastle Brown Ale
Produced by Scottish and Newcastle

Newcastle Brown Ale is a brand of dark brown ale. It has been brewed in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, since 1927 by Newcastle Breweries, now a part of Scottish and Newcastle. Newcastle Brown Ale has been granted Protected Geographical Indication status by the EU.

In August 2005, Scottish and Newcastle closed the Tyne Brewery, the last consignment of Brown Ale having been brewed in April of that year. Production was moved across the river to the former Federation Brewery in Gateshead.

Newcastle Brown Ale had originally been granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status by the EU. Since Scottish and Newcastle moved production outside of the city its PGI has been removed.

In Newcastle, the beer is often called 'Dog' (or simply 'Broon'). The 'Dog' name comes from the euphemism "I'm going to walk the dog" - meaning "I'm going to the pub" - and was further popularised by a 1980s advertising campaign. It is often referred to as Newcy Brown

Newcastle Brown Ale is traditionally sold in England by the pint (20 fl oz, 568 ml) and more recently in 500 ml (17.6 fl oz, 0.88 pint) bottles. Typically the ale is consumed from a 12 fl oz 'Wellington' glass. This allows the drinker to regularly top-up the beer and thereby maintain a frothy 'head'. In the United States, it is sold in standard 12 fl oz (355 ml) bottles. It is also available in 550ml bottles.


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News

Hallertau hops


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Selected quote

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
— Ben Franklin


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Drinking a "Maß" of Augustiner
Credit: Martin Ortmann (VanGore)

Drinking a "Maß" of Augustiner

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Related portals

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Categories

The following are categories relating to beer.


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Beer topics

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Things you can do

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Associated Wikimedia

Beer on  Wikinews  Beer on  Wikiquote  Beer on  Wikibooks  Beer on  Wikisource  Beer on  Wiktionary  Beer on  Wikiversity  Beer on Wikimedia Commons
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