Bearing with beer through the years and the tastes that linger
International Beer Day 2019: The culture of beer drinking is not just limited to a day or night of debauchery. Usually everyone’s first drink, it also has various tastes it leaves behind, some that linger on for years on end.Updated: Aug 03, 2019, 07:16 IST
For me, even though alcohol and I bade adieu to one another a few years ago, it is those Saturday afternoon lunches with friends at the iconic Cafe Mondegar in Mumbai or the late-night dinner followed by gossip sessions at the rooftop restaurant called Hotel Bayview in Mumbai’s Colaba area that these stories belong to. Surely you can imagine alcohol, its variants and I shared a deep, non-judgemental bond for years on end till we just decided it wasn’t working out, the commitment must have been hard to fulfill. It all comes down to what you’ve amassed from your experiences, it’s always going to be the memories that fade in and out when the moment has long passed.
What comes to your mind when you first hear the four letters, B-E-E-R, that stands for not just a drink on a night out, Sunday brunch or sundowner? Is it the sometimes golden, sometimes brown shade; the foam that is likely to put you in a state of trance even before you’ve had a few sips to qualify as intoxicated; the sweet smell that oh-so-inviting; or the energy that beer-drinking is known best for - the drink you have in a group, when you want to celebrate, when you want to drink, but not drink too much or just day drink (because, why not).
If I asked you what age were you when you had your first sip of alcohol, would you be able to recall the stories that went along with your first-ever alcohol experience? For most young adults, millennials and others, their experiences are most likely to revolve around moving away from home for academics or work and becoming friends in the adult world for the first time. Yes, oftentimes there must have been peer pressure to be as cool as the people you hang out with or just the need for acceptance, but it will always be the stories that get left behind even those nights of fun perhaps tilting towards debauchery came to an end years ago. This is not to say that if you’ve always been disciplined and a teetotaler all your life it was ever a bad thing or be frowned upon. But as they say, a little bit of everything, in the right quantities is never bad enough.
Ramita Chaudhuri, CMO of Spanish beer brand, Mahou shares, “Beer consumption patterns in India have changed as have consumers’ tastes and preferences. We are seeing a more mature and evolved consumer who enjoys quality life with finesse and standards. Modern Indians want to experiment with new flavours and do not mind spending more if they are given premium experiences – contrary to popular perception. The current trend that we have observed is the popularity of wheat beer and as beer becomes the default drink on social occasions where people want to spend quality time together.”
As a matter of fact, beer is not just a means of frolicking around. Moderate beer drinking has proven to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Studies have also said that women in their 40s tend to lose weight if they drink a beer a day. That can’t be as bad as you might have thought, after all! From beer festivals around the world, the most widely known being Oktoberfest, to several Indian versions, to premium international brands and those that are locally brewed, this drink has a lot to offer and it usually comes down to a basic chit-chat or that beverage you might want to have when you’re just casually hanging out but want to avoid anything hard, or probably anything serious too.
ALSO READ: Everything you should know about beer
Here’s a trivia that may bring you closer to your favourite mug of brew:
The oldest written recipes ever discovered by human beings are for making beer. They were written on stone tablets over 5,000 years ago, in the form of songs and the first professional brewers were all women.
As per a traditional custom of drinking beer, it is important that everyone has their beer together – be it in a bottle, can, a mug or cañas or small glasses as they’re known in Spain. This is followed by “cheers” said in unison before one starts drinking. Let some tapas accompany your drink.
How is beer made?
The basic ingredients of beer are water, malted barley or wheat as a starch source, yeast for fermentation, and hops (flower clusters) that lend that bitter taste. All of these are used in various proportions for each type of beer.
Ever wonder why the mug or glass should be tilted while pouring the beer?
To have a proper barm, the foam at the top, always tilt your glass and pour beer at an angle of 45 degrees, so that the ‘cream’ comes to the top.