All About Beer: Benefits, Types, History, and Recipes
Beer is probably the oldest manufactured drink in the world. Many ancient civilizations have Gods assigned specifically to the task of brewing beer. Over the years, beer has grown into types and styles, Indian rice beer is one such type of beer. When taken in limited amounts, there are several benefits of beer. It is also important to remember that too much of any good thing is bad, this holds true for beer too. Too much of beer everyday, can lead to several health issues. Come explore beer with us, from its inception and history to its benefits and journey. So, without much ado, here is a peek into the world of beer:
- What is Beer?
- Benefits of Beer:
- Styles of Beer:
- How to Make Beer At Home?
- Types of Indian Beer You Should Try:
- Dos and Don’ts of Drinking Beer Every Day:
- Recipes With Beer:
- History of Beer:
- Gods of Beer:
- World Beer Day:
- News on Beer:
What is Beer?
It’s a silly question to pose, after all, we know that beer is not just an alcoholic beverage, it is now a word for describing a person who doesn’t even know his/her own potential, how many of us remember, “bhai tu beer hai” ? If you didn’t get this pop-culture reference, you are either not an Indian or are an Indian who hasn’t yet discovered the delightful world of online shows, we will let you find out which show we are talking about. Now, for everyone else who got the inside joke, let’s discuss beer- the drink.
Interesting facts about beer include a mindblowing speculation that beer is probably as old as civilization itself, 10,000 years of history. We have inherited beer drinking from our ancestors, since the dawn of human civilization.
Another interesting fact, it is the third most popular drink in the world, the two drinks preceding it are water and tea.
Now that we have established that beer is amongst the top three most popular drinks in the world, let us talk about what is it made of: Beer is generally made of malted barley. However, different cultures have been known to brew beer out of rice, wheat, and corn.
Traditionally made beer is a little unstable, as well as, the carbonation process takes place naturally. In commercially produced beer, the carbonation process is replaced with forced carbonation, and hops are added to beer brewing process which gives it a bitter taste, stability and better shelf life.
Sometimes, these hops are replaced with other fruit flavours to create different flavours of beer. Beer with its alcoholic strength ranging between 4%- 7% is also the heart of bar cultures and festivals. In fact, if you have ever travelled to Europe or plan to do so, you will be surprised to realize that beer in Europe is markedly cheaper than water. There is a very interesting story to why Europeans prefer beer, but it leaves an open question, if europeans drinks so much beer, are there any benefits to the drink?
Benefits of Beer:
For the longest time, people have been led to believe that beer only causes health problems like obesity, heart problems and high blood pressure as well as addiction. However, beer is not at fault here, at least not as much as human tendency to overdo everything that is remotely good. The case with beer is the same. However, when taken in measured quantities, beer has the following benefits:
1. May Prevent Cancer:
In 2004, the journal Phytochemistry published a study conducted by Page JE and Stevens JF. The two researchers looked at the potential of prenyl flavonoids like “Xanthohumol” and their potential in preventing cancer. The studies showed that xanthohumol is a broad range chemopreventive prenyl flavonoid. In 2007, the Carcinogenesis published a study report by Lamy V et al, who studied the anti-carcinogenic effects of lupulone a beta acid found in hops, used to make beer. They used rats for the experiment and it was revealed that lupulone can wipe out tumors in rats with colon cancer. In 2010, the journal Mutation Research published a study conducted by Ferk F et al. who studied the effects of xanthohumol on rats exposed to carcinogenic chemicals. The study revealed that not only does xanthohumol prevent DNA damage caused because of carcinogenic chemicals, it also ends abnormal growth of cells. Researchers believe that these cancer preventive chemicals will react with the human body in a similar manner and can prevent the development of some kinds of cancer.
2. Helps Control Diabetes:
In 2011, The American Journal of Diabetes, called Diabetes published a study conducted by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and their counterparts from Wageningen School, Netherlands. The study focused on over 38000 participants, whose alcohol consumption was documented for 20 years. Data was collected through a survey which was conducted every 4 years. At the start of the study, no participant suffered from type II diabetes, however, some studies were reported during the course of the study. A further study, led the researchers to conclude that limited drinking of beer daily, reduces risk of diabetes by 25% as it increases insulin sensitivity. The researchers have however, cautioned people into drinking beer without regulation.
3. May Prevent Kidney Stones:
Well, it is true! Beer primarily consists of water and a high intake of liquids helps prevent the development of kidney stones. In 1999, the American Journal of Epidemiology published a study conducted by Hirvonen T et al. Based in Finland, the study involved over 27000 Finnish citizens, the research revealed that every bottle of beer drunk reduced the risk of developing kidney stones by 40% in the bodies of men between the ages of 40 years to 59 years.
4. Reduces Inflammation:
Hops added in beer not only lend it a bitter taste, but are also rich in bitter acids. In 2009, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research published a study conducted by Van Cleemput M et al on the anti-inflammatory properties of hops. The researchers concluded that hops do reduce local inflammation. To further strengthen this assertion, Japanese beer manufacturer Sapporo funded a research on Humulone, a kind of bitter acid found in hops and its capacity to prevent as well as treat viral respiratory diseases. The study was conducted in 2013, and published by Medical Molecular Morphology and carried out by Fuchimoto J et al. The researchers established that humulone is a powerful natural chemical which can both prevent and treat viral respiratory diseases.
5. Protects Heart:
Yes, Beer can protect you from heart diseases! In 2003, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study by Vinson JA et al. The study conducted tests on the cardioprotective properties of beer on cholesterol fed hamsters. The study revealed that dark lager and dark beer are great antioxidants and in controlled quantities can also reduce the bad cholesterol and triglycerides levels in the body thereby, protecting the heart from cardiovascular diseases. In addition, Beer is known to increase the good cholesterol in the body. Beer also is a blood thinner, making it clear out any plaques on the heart, and can also prevent the risk of strokes.
6. Improves Mental Health:
Tasting beer can increase the levels of dopamine in your body! Some of you may be surprised, but it’s true! In 2013, researchers from the Indiana University of Medical Sciences, conducted a series of experiments and concluded that even before the alcoholic effects of beer takes hold of your brain, the mere taste of beer can lift your mood by encouraging the production of dopamine. In 2013 itself, almost a world away, researchers in Australia established that some chemicals found in beer, promote the growth of neurons in lab tests. In 2015, The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, published the results of a study conducted in China, the result proved that alcohol protects brain cells from oxidative stress, thereby, preventing the growth of oxidative damage related diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.
7. Regulates Blood Pressure:
In 1985, the American Journal of Epidemiology published a study report by Jackson R et al. The research was designed to study drinking patterns and its effects on blood pressure. The study concluded that light drinking (one to two pints of beer per day) lowers blood pressure. However, the researchers were not able to establish a definite pattern. In 1994, the American Journal of Hypertension published a study by Seppa K et al who also studied the relationship between drinking patterns and blood pressure levels and concluded that different drinking habits affect blood pressure differently. While blood pressure was lowered in people who binge drank occasionally or on weekends or drank controlled amounts of beer daily, binge drinking high amounts of any alcohol daily led to high blood pressure.
8. Strengthens Bones:
In 2009, the journal Nutrition, published a study conducted by Pedrera-Zamorano JD et al, who conducted a clinical trial on the effects of beer on bone strength of women. Over 1600 women participated in this study, the study proved that beer drinkers have higher bone density, because of the intake of dietary silicone present in beer. This makes them less prone to developing osteoporosis than people who don’t drink beer.
9. Aids Digestive Process:
In 2012, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study conducted to test the digestive aiding properties of five German and Austrian Beers. The researchers discovered that the bitter acids present in hops, which are added to beer have stomach acid releasing properties and stomach acids not just help with easing out the digestive process, gut acids also prevent the multiplication of bad bacteria present in the gut. The researchers also discovered that the more bitter the beer was, the better stomach acid releasing abilities it displayed.
10. Prevents Anemia:
In 2011, the journal SINC published a study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Valladolid. The researchers studied 40 types of beers and discovered, that all beers have some iron content in them. This iron aids their oxygenation process. Thus, darker the beer, the higher amount of iron they would have. Drinking a regulated amount of beer can thus give the body necessary amount of iron.
11. Beauty Benefits of Beer:
Nearly all of us have used the famous beer shampoo at least once in our lives to test out exactly how good a conditioner it is. We have also been advised by our friends to wash our hair with beer for better conditioning, well, if you have been sceptical so far, don’t be! Beer really does condition our hair. In addition, beer also helps minimize pimples, hydrates skin and makes it soft and glowing.
Styles of Beer:
In 1977, the writer Michael Jackson wrote the guide book, The World Guide To Beer. This book became the standard for dividing beer into styles. In 1989, Frederick Eckhardt improved upon Jackson’s work. Although it should be noted that studying and categorising different types of beer has been a passion with the masses since 2000 B.C. However, the first comprehensive guide was created by Jackson who classified beer on the basis of the following parameters:
- Appearance: Beer is classified on the basis of how it looks, while the most popular factory produced beer generally have goldenish or dark yellow tint. Beer appearance ranges from pale, almost blonde colour like that of pale lager to brown ale to dark, almost blackish tinge of the imperial stout.
- Aroma: A lot can be said about the quality and style of beer based on how it smells. But the aroma itself depends on the ingredients used as well as the brewing process.
- Flavour: Bitterness of beer can be measured with the help of the International Bitterness Units Scale, but the taste of the beer also depends on the grain, type of yeast and type of hops used to brew the beer.
- Mouthfeel: Most factory produced beer give a very smooth feel to the mouth. However, some beer impart a creamier feel while others impart a rather strong prickly feel. The mouthfeel depends on ingredients as well as the process of carbonation of the beer.
- Strength: Strength of a beer is directly proportional to its gravity or density, the type and quality of yeast used, the type of grain used, while normally malt is used to make beers, rice, wheat and corn are also used to make beer. In addition to these, other ingredients of import are the type of hops used, amount and quality of water and the alcoholic content of the beer. In fact, wheat beer is popular in many parts of the world.
- Other Ingredients: Other ingredients include the addition of flavour adding substances like berries, which give beer a unique flavour.
How to Make Beer At Home?
Now, before you start wondering if brewing beer is legal in India, it is. At least, beer brewing is legal in all states apart from the ones that have put up a clear ban on alcohol like Gujarat and Bihar. However, if you plan on selling your homebrew, get a license, selling unlicensed liquour is illegal in all parts of India. You may now wonder, why should anyone opt for microbrewing when there are so many options out there? It’s fair question, beer is cheap and easily available in India, but, if one can make beer at home, then why not? Who knows, your beer may become the next big thing in India. So, here is a simple recipe, to know more, you can also opt for watching free tutorial videos and recipes available online.
Ginger ale is a popular drink. It has a unique, slightly spicy taste but it tastes amazing, if you wish, you can always replace ginger with any other spice like chillies. We will not complicate the process by asking you to acquire fancy equipment and things, the process is really simple, yeast needs to feed on simple carbohydrates so that it can produce carbon dioxide. So, go raid your kitchens and get ready to brew some tasty ale!
You would require:
1 Plastic Jar (5 litres)
3 Litres of Drinking Water
250 gms Washed, Peeled, and Grated Ginger (if you want to replace ginger with washed, chillies, use 10-12 chopped chillies)
1 Small Packet of Yeast (Standard Pack)
500 gms Sugar
1 Siphoning Hose
How to Prepare:
- The first rule of brewing is clean utensils. Every utensil must be squeaky clean and dry or your ale will get infected, leading to severe health problems.
- Now that we have established the need for squeaky clean utensils, here is the first step, Boil 3 litres of water, with ginger and 250 gms sugar. This solution is known as a “must”.
- Once water has boiled and sugar dissolved, set it aside and allow it to cool.
- Now, in a cup of lukewarm water, mix some sugar and add the yeast. The yeast should start bubbling after a few minutes.
- Pour the must in the plastic jar. Ensure that you are pouring the must from a height so that air is incorporated in the must.
- Once the must has cooled down, add the yeast mix to the plastic jar.
- Cover the mouth of the jar, tightly with a cling film. You can also lightly screw the lid shut. The aim is to prevent air from entering the jar.
- The solution will start bubbling in a few minutes. Now leave the solution for a few days, however, keep an eye on the bubbling process. Listen to or look for bubbling everyday, till it stops.
- As soon as you notice that the bubbling has stopped, add another 250 gms of sugar to the mix.
- Cover it up the same way again and let it be for a couple of days.
- After a couple of days, transfer the solution into fridge bottles or pet bottles, with the help of a siphoning hose. Screw the bottle caps tightly to capture the carbon dioxide in the bottles itself.
- Once the solution stops bubbling, the alcohol is ready for consumption. Chill it for a few hours before serving it.
Caution: At any point of the fermentation process, if your solution starts smelling like an open sewer, throw it away. This is an indication of an infected drink, consumption of that drink is highly dangerous.
Types of Indian Beer You Should Try:
People will tell you about the greatest beers in the world. Where there are over a hundred different types of beer in Belgium itself, other European countries and America, boast of a wider range. However, there are some excellent Indian beers, and very few of us know about our indigenous beers, here is a list of Indian Beers:
- Chhang: A native of Ladakh, this barley based beer has mild alcoholic content, so, 500 ml of this drink will probably give you a buzz. However, anyone who has tasted chhang claims that the drink is quite refreshing. No wonder, there are some niche oral myths about Yetis being enticed with this drink too.
- Po:ro Apong: All the way from Assam, this rice beer has high alcoholic content.. What does it mean? Well, probably that 500 ml of this beer can bring out your drunk self in all its glory. This beer is so popular, legend has it, that this is made of a fairy’s breast milk. This rice beer is a part of the Adi and Mising Tribes’ cultural heritage.
- Handia: Say hello to the adivasi cold drink. It literally is a cold drink, most locals drink this rice beer, because it is an energiser as well as helps beat the summer heat in Jharkhand. It is probably more precious to the locals than their other worldly possessions. It is a drink they offer to their Gods, guests, drink during festivals like sarhul, even send it along as dowry. This rice beer is a mild intoxicant and a little tangy to taste.
Pro tip: Do not drink it on an empty stomach. Actually never drink it without food. Eat something before your first sip.
- Xaj: This rice beer is infused with herbal flavours and is a part of the Ahom cultural heritage. Legend has it that Ahoms dip their newborns in this beer, because they believe it brings good luck to the newborn. Alcoholic content is mild, and the drink is served in traditional copper vessels. It is quite a novel experience, if you ever visit Assam, it is one experience you shouldn’t miss on.
- Kodo ko Jaanr: This finger millet beer from Sikkim is league away from your chilled beers. In fact, boiling water is added to a glass which already contains kodo ko jaanr and the drink is then served hot.
- Lugdi: Rice beer from Himachal, which became famous after Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. We guess, its other name is “Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani wali Drink”. This beer warms you up on cold night.
Dos and Don’ts of Drinking Beer Every Day:
As discussed in previous sections beer has many health benefits, the hidden line being, only a little bit of beer per day has health benefits. So, how much beer is too much?
Well, healthcare providers and researchers are a little divided on the amount, the general agreement is, that anything above 3 pints of beer a day is too much beer. While it is true that 1-2 pints of beer a day can increase your insulin sensitivity, lower your blood pressure, even prevent anemia, too much of beer can have the exact opposite effects.
To make some points clear first, if you are drinking more than 3 pints of beer every day, religiously, you may have a drinking problem. Now, that we have made this clear, here is how too much beer can harm your body:
- Liver Damage: Like all alcoholic beverages, too much beer will affect the health of your liver negatively. Over a prolonged period this could lead to liver diseases, cirrhosis, cancer or failure.
- Depression: While the taste of beer may help with the secretion of dopamine which lifts your mood. Drinking beer to the point of stupor, means that there is excessive alcoholic content in your body, and research has shown, that alcohol abuse causes severe depression and/or anxiety disorder.
- Blood Pressure: Well, as the reports discussed above have declared, 2 pints of beer lowers your high blood pressure, but chronic intake of high amounts of beer will lead to raising your blood pressure levels. High blood pressure generally brings with itself two kinds of comorbidities: cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
- Weight Gain: Beer belly! Everyone of has seen one and never wished it upon ourselves. As is the case with any carbohydrate rich food, too much carbs means, weight gain.
- Dehydration: Beer is a diuretic, like all aerated drinks, which means, yes, you pass urine frequently. While 2 pints of beer will have cleansing effect on you, chronic drinking of more than 3 pints of beer will have the opposite effect. Water and other electrolytes will be flushed out of your system, even before they are properly absorbed. Think about it, after clearing the impurities from your body, what else will beer clear?
Recipes With Beer:
As an Indian, the most we would have heard of is probably beer batter fish. But, it turns out, there are several other recipes, just waiting to see the light of your kitchen:
Are your eyes popping out? Well, they should be! This house favourite just got softer. Well here is the easy recipe:
|2 cups Atta||Prep Time: 10 Minutes|
|5-6 Tbsp Beer||Cooking Time: 10 Minutes|
|Water as required||Serves: 3-4|
- In a bowl pour two cups of atta and with your hands dig a hole in the centre of the atta in the bowl.
- Pour some water, and 3 Tbsp beer into the hole.
- Gradually mix atta and water.
- Add some more water and remaining beer to the mix and keep mixing till the dough has taken a firm consistency.
- Now, divide this dough into smaller circular pieces.
- Roll out a piece, sprinkle some dry atta on it to ease the process.
- Heat a pan and add this rolled out dough on the pan.
- Let it cook on both sides (1 minute each side).
- Now with the help of tongs, lift the roti up, remove the pan from flame and place the roti directly on the flame for 30 seconds or till it bloats up like a balloon.
- Serve hot.
Pro Tip: The rotis are made extra soft, even if you have accidentally made your dough hard.
Chicken in Beer- Mushroom Sauce:
Chicken in beer- mushroom is a delicious savoury dish that can be served with herbed rice and grilled vegetables, or garlic bread or just a salad.
|500 gm Chicken Breast (Boneless)||Prep Time: 15 Minutes|
|2 Tbsp Corn flour||Cooking Time: 25 Minutes|
|2 Tbsp Maida||Serves: 3-4|
|Salt||1 Tsp Sugar|
|Pepper||1 Tsp Oregano|
|2-3 Tbsp Soya Sauce (Dark)||1 Dried Red Chilli/ 1 Tsp Chilli Flakes|
|60 ml Beer||2-3 Cloves of Garlic (Crushed)|
|6-8 Mushrooms, sliced and semi boiled||1 Onion cut in thin slices|
- In a bowl add chicken, corn flour, maida, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and 2 tbsp soya sauce. Mix well, till the chicken is quoted well.
- In a pan heat 2 Tbsp cooking oil, add the chicken pieces and cook till the chicken is well done and the cover has a golden-brown tinge. Take the chicken off heat, cover in aluminium foil and let it rest.
- Now, in the same pan, heat 2 Tbsp oil.
- Add onion slices and cook till onions start browning. Now add garlic.
- Once the garlic takes a golden tinge, add beer and let it cook on slow heat till the beer reduces to ⅔ of its quantity.
- Add the drained mushrooms and let it cook.
- In a separate bowl, add the red chilli, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and oregano. Crush the ingredients and mix them well. Add them to the pan.
- In the bowl used to make the batter for the chicken, add some water, pour 1 Tsp cornflour, 1 Tsp sugar, and 1 Tsp soya sauce and mix well. Add this mix to the pan and let it reduce till the sauce thickens.
- Once the sauce starts thickening, add the chicken to the pan, cook for a minute, till the chicken is coated in sauce.
- Serve hot.
Beer Batter Fish:
This is probably one of the most popular dishes out there. Here is our version of beer batter fish:
|500 gm Fish Fillet (Boneless)||Prep Time: 15 Minutes|
|2 Tbsp Corn flour||Cooking Time: 10 Minutes|
|2 Tbsp Maida||Serves: 3-4|
|1 Tsp Baking Powder||60 ml Beer|
|Salt||1 Tsp Chilli Flakes|
|Pepper||Cooking oil as required|
|100 ml milk|
|1 cup Crushed Crispies|
- To Prepare:
- In a bowl, add corn flour, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, chilli flakes, baking powder. Now add milk and beer and make a thick batter.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Dust fish fillet with maida, dip it into the batter and then coat it with crisps.
- Add this fillet to the pan and cook till the crisps are golden and crunchy.
- Serve hot.
Banana bread is everyone’s go to bread at times of need. It turns out, beer can make it better!
|3 cups Maida||Prep Time: 15 Minutes|
|1 Tsp Baking Powder||Cooking Time: 60 Minutes|
|1 pinch Baking Soda||Serves: 3-4|
|⅔ cup Quick Cooking Oats|
|1 Pinch Salt|
|½ cup sugar (preferably brown sugar)|
|3 Bananas (Medium, Mashed)|
|1 bottle/12 ounces Wheat Beer|
|⅓ cup Maple Syrup|
|Olive Oil as required|
- Blend bananas, beer, and maple syrup till they form a smooth paste.
- In a bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, oats, and sugar. Add the banana paste into this mixture and stir well, till a smooth batter is made.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Pour the mix in a greased, bread loaf mould and drizzle some olive oil on top.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes or till the toothpick pushed into the bread comes out clean. Switch off the oven, let the bread rest in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Take the bread out. You can either serve it hot or let it chill.
History of Beer:
Who brewed the first beer? Bacchus? Ninkasi? Aegir? We may never know because the knowledge of brewing beer goes back 12,000 years. Historians believe that as soon as the hunter-gatherer settled down to cultivate grains and live in societies, he discovered the taste of beer. Man could have discovered beer, quite by accident. We know how spontaneous fermentation works, so it looks like, our ancestors may have discovered beer quite by accident. The oldest known recipe of beer is a 9,000 year old recipe from china, where a concoction with honey, fruits and rice. The first instance of barley beer however comes from the Middle East. Tablets have been found at digs in ancient Sumeria, describing the sale of beer. Archeologists have also found ceramic vessels from 3400 BC intact with remains of beer.
It is believed that the beer culture evolved so rapidly, that, “Ninkasi” the Sumerian Goddess of Beer had a huge fan following. The “Hymn to Ninkasi”, penned down at around 1800 BC, is a detailed recipe of Beer, which was brewed by the priestesses of Ninkasi.
Beer was probably a safer option for people as a drink, because local rivers were generally polluted with animal waste. The Babylonians loved Beer too, but no culture has had a love for beer as strong as ancient Egypt. It is believed that workers, working along the river Nile, were paid with Beer. Imagine, beer becoming a form of currency! Nobody would ever take a leave, that too on loss of pay!
Gods of Beer:
Beer has a history that is as old as human civilization itself and since beer makes people happy, it is believed that the ancient world saw it as a harbinger of good times. Various ancient cultures and religions all over the world had one God/Goddess, dedicated to the art of beer brewing. This God/Goddess was also viewed as the harbinger of good times and merry making and thus, was much revered. In fact, we are pretty sure that you would be as surprised, as we were when we discovered exactly how many beer Gods are there in total. Here is a brief list of the most popular gods of good times:
According to Norse legend, Aegir is Jotunn of the sea and brother of Kari, the Jotunn of wind and Logi, the Jotunn of Fire. Aegir is also known as the God of the oceans, and his nine daughters are the waves. Aegir, befriended the norse Gods and became the first one to brew beer for the Gods, after Thor gifted him a large enough kettle. Because of his fame as an expert brewer of beer, several Gods visited Aegir at his home and he is thus known for his hospitality. A particular myth related to Aegir, describes the gold covered floor of his home, it is believed that instead of lighting a fire, gold was put on the floor of Aegir’s home to provide light. Thus, gold is also known as Aegir’s fire. While Aegir is deemed as a God of hosting and merrymaking, he is also the God feared by sailors, as it is believed that sometimes, Aegir would rise from his home deep in the ocean to crash ships. It is suspected that the God of Sea, the early Saxons sacrificed humans to, was none other than Aegir.
In popular culture, Aegir appeared as a powerful Lord, outwitted by Magnus Chase, in the demigod series penned by Rick Riordan.
Dionysus is the Greek God of Wine and Beer. He wears a crown of grape leaves and is believed to be the harbinger of good times. He is generally surrounded by nymphs and satyrs. Dionysus is also an empathetic God. He was the one to help Midas when the poor king realized his mistake. Dionysus is also the God of religious ecstasy, madness, liberation, fertility, and theatre. His Roman counterpart is Bacchus, a cult God who is given similar attributes as Dionysus. In popular culture, Dionysus is famous as Mr. D, the Director or Camp Half-Blood, in the Percy Jackson series, penned by Rick Riordan.
3. Mbaba Mwana Waresa:
Mbaba Mwana Waresa is a Zulu Goddess and daughter of the God of Skies. She lives in the clouds, in a round hut, made of Rainbow arches. She is the goddess of rain, thunder, rainbow, harvest, fertility and beer. It is believed that she taught mankind the art of agriculture as well as brewing beer, making her an important deity in the Zulu pantheon of Gods. She is also known as “Nomkhubulwane” which when translated means, “one who could change her appearance”. It is believed that Mbaba Mwana Waresa can change her shape and had defied the Gods to take a mortal husband. Legend goes, that goddess was not able to find a suitable husband amongst the Gods, so she searched the Earth and found a man, but before she accepted him as her husband, she tested him by sending him a beautiful bride and transformed herself as an ugly hag. The man, was not fooled by her ruse, earning him a place as her husband.
Ninkasi is an ancient Sumerian Goddess and one of the eight daughters of Enki, King of Uruk, and the high priestess of the temples of Inanna. She was born to heal one of the eight wounds suffered by Enki. It is believed that she was born from “sparkling fresh water” and later on became the Goddess of Beer. Ninkasi is also the goddess to fulfill all desires and sate the heart. The hymns of Ninkasi are beer brewing instructions for the priestesses of the Sumerian Goddess.
Osiris, is the tragic God of the Egyptian Pantheon. His parentage is still afflicted, as some believe he is the eldest son of Nut and Geb, while others believe he is the son of Ra. Legend has it that Osiris, the true king, was hoodwinked by his brother Set, who murdered him and then cut his body in small pieces and scattered them all across the Nile. Osiris’s wife Isis and son Horus fought together to bring Osiris to justice, but his death ensured that no matter how Osiris returned, he would be a God of the Underworld. It is believed that Osiris gave mankind the recipe for brewing beer.
Radegast is an ancient Slavic God, much credited with the brewing of beer. He has been a popular God, as his name also means “Come Guest”, making him the God of hospitality. Mythology has also seen Radegast become a part of a sensational controversy among the slavic pantheon of Gods. It is believed that the moon maiden, Hors, loved Radegast, who ignored her love. However, the God of wind, Stribog, loved Hors and one day he stole Radegast’s cloak and entered the moon maiden’s chamber. Hors believing that the man was Radegast, allowed him to be near her, in time she gave birth to a daughter. When Hors realized that Stribog tricked her, she was horrified. When Radegast realized of this trickery, he was upset about the stealing of his cloak. However, the birth of the new goddess, led to many complications, Hors even agreed to let of her status as the Goddess of the Moon and become the Goddess of the season Autumn. This request was rejected and thus, autumn as a season to this day is a source of much contention among Slavic Gods. In other myths, Radagast is also believed to be the deity of evening sky, war, and nightfire and is generally depicted as being completely black in colour.
In popular culture, Radagast is the name of an eccentric, friendly, nature loving, and wood dwelling wizard in the Lord of the Ring Series.
7. Raugutiene/ Raugupatis:
Ancient Baltic and Slavic cultures worshipped the God of fermentation, known as Raugutiene, it is believed, that his partner Raugupatis, is the goddess of Beer. Not much is known about the history and origin of these deities.
Silenus is the Greek God of Beer. In art he is often depicted as a bald man with a beer belly. Silenus is also seen as a drinking companion and is generally known to be the drinking buddy of Dionysus, who is also his student. Silenus is believed to be so fat that he is generally carried around on the backs of donkeys or Satyrs. Silenus is believed to be a happy-go-lucky drunk, old man, with donkey’s ears. Some legends make him the foster father of Dionysus. He has no parallel in the Roman pantheon of Gods.
Tezcatzontecatl is an Aztec God of “pulque”, a drink similar to Beer. Ancient Aztecs, built a pyramid like structure on top of Tepozteco mountain in the honour of this God and today, it is a popular tourist site. Tezcatzontecatl is one of the four hundred children of the Goddess of Maguey plant and the God responsible for discovering the process of fermentation. He is also believed to be the God of the winds, giving him prominence over his other siblings.
The Dogon people of Mali, Africa worship the party goddess of all times, Yasigi. Yasigi is described a woman with large breasts, who carries a beer ladle and loves to dance. She is also the goddess of masks and presides over the mask making process of the dead, which takes place after every sixty years. Legend has it, that Yasigi is the daughter of the divine god, Amma. She was given away to Nommo twins, to protect her from her evil brother Yurugu, Yasigi grew up protected while Yurugu caused havoc in the world. Once Yurugu was gone, Yasigi rose as the Goddess of merry making.
World Beer Day:
In 2007, Jesse Avshalomov found the Beer Day in Santa Cruz, California, to be celebrated on the 1st of August, to commemorate the anniversary of his local bar. In the five years that followed beer day took momentum and became an international event. It is a day to remember and celebrate beers of the world, the people of brew them and the people who love them. After 2012, Avshalomov conducted a survey, to fix a day for celebrating the International Beer Day, and the public voted for it to be the first Friday of August. For 2018, the first Friday of August is, August 3rd. India is among the 80 countries that celebrates International Beer Day. On this bars may offer all day long Happy Hours, or tap rare beers. People can even gift beer to each other to celebrate this day. Let us know what you plan to do this Friday!
News on Beer:
1. Healthy Beer on The Rise: What and How?
– 03rd Oct 2018
Is there any such thing called as “healthy beer”? Well, the word healthy beer can be understood as the adding of natural supplements into a bottle of beer, thus making it a part of everyday life.
With its growing reach, healthy beer has been opening up its benefits to people. It consists of healthy grains and yeast. However, the major compound found in beer is polyphenols that are known to have good health benefits. Beer is said to retain some yeast which is a good component that does good to your health.
Healthy beer is not just restricted to the United States. The Japanese have already begun testing different versions of the healthy beer. In Australia, most people are very particular on the terms sugar-free- preservative-free and natural and thus extracting beer from the alcoholic category and adding it to the healthy category will definitely help many people worldwide. When alcohol is mixed with beer, most of its health benefits are compromised.
While few studies state that beer mixed with alcohol may be good for your health, a recent study by ‘The Lancet’ states that no form of alcohol is good for regular human consumption.
2. The New Beer In Town: Glitter Beer
– 07th Aug 2018
America has been known as the land where people have been creative with beer. While beer brewing was very structured at some point, leading to similar tasting beer everywhere, recent times have seen a rise in experiments with beer. Americans have experimented with every sort of beer. They have experiment with fruits, vegetables, flowers, any and everything that one could imagine. The latest rage in craft beer in America is Glitter Beer. No, the glitter beer does not contain parts of gold foil, what it does contain is dust of edible glitter. The glitter dust is added to beer at the time of packaging. It is available as craft beer and even then it is pretty elusive. It is often called the “unicorn beer” because of its rarity. But, if you are in San Francisco and are able to find your way into a local brewery, you may want to check if the glitter beer is available. However, be warned that glitter beer tastes exactly like normal beer. The glitter only adds to the visual charm of drinking beer.