Saturday, December 27, 2008

Days of the Beer, December 27

The beer for today is Beck's.

On December 27, 1822, Louis Pasteur was born. Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist best know for his breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of diseases.

In 1857, he proved in the paper "Mémoire sur la fermentation alcoolique" that alcoholic fermentation was conducted by living yeasts and not by a chemical catalyst. He also showed that by bubbling oxygen into the yeast, that cell growth would be increased, but fermentation inhibited, the Pasteur effect.

(Antonie van Leeuwenhoek first microscopically observed yeast in 1680).

As to the beer:

Beck's beer claims to follow the Reinheitsgebot, German Purity Law of 1516. It required that beer only be brewed with three ingredients, barley, water, and hops. This is just a marketing ploy, as yeast is an ingredient in beer.

Adding to the greatness, Beck's is sold in green bottles, which causes a breakdown of hops when exposed to sunlight or fluorescent light, and produces the skunky flavor that is so often evident in Beck's beer.

Beck's Brewery (Brauerei Beck and Company) is located in Bremen. It was founded in 1873, and was locally owned until 2002, when it was sold to Interbrew (now AB-InBev).

So, for the guy who proved yeast's importance to alcohol, have a beer from a brewery that was founded 16 years after Pasteur proved yeast was an ingredient, yet still claims (kinda) that they don't use yeast.

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