Fun Beer facts.
Source: Cheers! 5 intoxicating facts about beer
According to the Brewers Association, the overall U.S. beer market was worth $96 billion in 2011, when some 200 million barrels of beer were sold (1 barrel equals 31 gallons of beer). In the same year, 1,989 breweries in the United States were fermenting everything from light lagers to chocolaty stouts.
Beer gets much of its flavor from hops, which are vine-grown flowers that look more like mini-pinecones than daisies. The alcohol in beer comes from grain, usually barley, which is malted (or allowed to germinate) and then steeped in water to extract its sugars. Those sugars become a feast for yeast, the tiny, unicellular fungi that thrive on sugars and excrete alcohol.
Humans and yeast have been working together for millennia to create tasty brews. As early as the sixth millennium B.C., ancient Sumerians had discovered the art of fermentation. By the 19th century B.C., they were inscribing beer recipes into tablets in the form of a Hymn to Ninkasi, their female deity of beer.
Beer is the preferred beverage of men. 67 percent of U.S. adults who drink alcohol, 54 percent of men named beer as their top alcoholic beverage compared with 27 percent of women.
Cooks use beer to flavor barbecue sauce, season bread and moisten grilled chicken. But that’s nothing compared with the use John Milkovisch, a retired railroad upholsterer, put beer (or at least beer cans) to. Starting in 1968, Milkovisch spent 18 years lining the outside of his modest Houston home with flattened beer cans. He strung the lids from the eaves and turned them into chain-link fences. Milkovisch died in 1988, and his home is now a museum.
Beer defies laws of nature. Observant beer drinkers might notice that when beer is poured into a glass, the bubbles seem to defy the laws of physics, floating down instead of up. Turns out those people haven’t had too much to drink. Beer bubbles really do float downward sometimes, because of the drag from the walls of the glass, they found, the beer bubbles float up more easily in the center of the glass. As those bubbles go up, they pull the surrounding liquid to the surface. When the bubbles join the froth, or “head” of the beer, the liquid begins to pour back down the sides of the glass, dragging smaller bubbles down with it.
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