Dietribes: Three Cheers for Beer!

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"¢ We end a slew of holiday-related Dietribes with one familiar to so many of your Flossy hearts. In honor of the forthcoming St. Patrick's Day (that strangely unofficial drinking holiday), here are some facts and figures regarding both recognized spirits as well as more general specs on this beloved beverage.

"¢ Guinness is celebrating its 250th birthday, and founder Arthur Guinness seemed to always have a suspicion the substance would be popular, which is why he signed a 9,000 year lease for a brewery at St. James Gate.

"¢ What causes skunky beer? Light! "When light-sensitive isohumulones found in hops are attacked by either visible or ultraviolet light, they break down to make reactive intermediates known as free radicals that lead to the offensive taste and skunky odor."

"¢ From the Annals of Things Not Covered by Insurance: in 1814, two homes were destroyed and nine people drowned in a flood of, you guessed it, beer.

"¢ Beer may not be so good for your brain in most ways, but it did help Joseph Priestley discover oxygen. In another beer-brain connection, brewer Matthew Vasser used his beer-gotten gains to found Vasser College.

"¢ Presidents celebrate beer as well as the next bloke (or lass). The iconic Clydesdale team and Budweiser wagon was a gift from August and Adolphus Busch to their father in celebration of the end of Prohibition in 1933, at which time they presented cases of post-Prohibition beer to President Franklin Roosevelt. For his part, Gerald Ford was known to sneak back cases of Coors from Colorado to the White House. Coors, in fact, was the only brand Paul Newman (though not a President, definitely a hunk) drank onscreen.

"¢ A President being celebrated by a beer doesn't work out quite as well. Sixpoint brewery's Obama beer was told cease operations by the federal governement.

"¢ Is America built on beer? Maybe not, but this house is.

"¢ Beer Bear: As reported by a 1991 issue of the Orlando Sentinel, a bear who had escaped from the circus went into a Ukrainian bar and roughly slapped a patron, stole his beer and food, bit him, and then left. The bear was later found asleep in the park next to the pub. I don't know about you guys, but I know plenty of non-bears who have had very similar nights.

What type of beer do you Flossers prefer? Do you consider yourself a connoisseur, or will you drink anything?

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.

March 11, 2009 - 5:01am
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