Like a lot of folks, we drink beer here at Hispanic.com. But how much do we really know about beer? Well not much, so we learned after speaking with Beverage Brian.
Here’s Brian’s 101 on 'What's in My Beer':
Beer is an alcoholic beverage made from water, malted grains (typically barley), hops and yeast. Its alcoholic content comes from the process of fermentation, which converts the simple sugars (carbohydrates) in the grains, into alcohol. The four main ingredients in beer are:
More than 90% of beer is Water. A good water supply is essential. Some breweries have their own wells. A brewer used 5-7 liters of water to produce 1 liter of beer. Some of the water is used for heating and cooling and also for cleaning.
Barley is the most commonly used. Barley has an advantage in that it can be preserved for a long time after harvest.
Barley must be malted first. It is the malted barley, which gives beer its particular colors and taste. The malting process starts to release the sugars essential for the fermentation. Un-malted Barley, gives a rich, smooth, grainy flavor to beer. It contributes foam retention (head) to the finish beer. Clarity problems make un-malted barley inappropriate for light beers. It is essential for dry Stout.
Corn products have traditionally been the adjunct (flavoring additives) of choice among brewers. They are consistent in quality, composition and availability. Corn has a sweet, smooth flavor that is compatible with most beer styles. It is popular in American breweries and also lowers the protein and polyphenols content of beers, thereby lightening body and reducing beer ‘haze’.
Oats are high in fat, protein and oil, not good components for beer production. However, oats are sometimes used and they work well for Oatmeal Stout.
Rice is the second most widely used adjunct material in the U.S. in the production of light colored lager beer. It promotes dry, crisp and snappy flavors.
Wheat malt is used not only for wheat beers but also 3-5% is used in a malt- based beer. Its protein gives a fuller mouth feel and enhanced beer head stability. The downside; it contains 13-18% more protein than barley malt and consists primarily of gluten that can result in beer haze.
Hops or “Green Gold” comes from a climbing plant with male and female flowers; only the female flowers are used.
There are more than 45 varieties varying from bitter to aromatic. The hops are the flowering cones of a perennial vining plant HUMULUS LUPULUS (HOPS) and a cousin of the cannabis variety (sorry no THC in this stuff) that thrives in climates similar to the ones that grapes do. The female cones only are used. Hops have been used for ages as seasonings, preventing spoilage from bacteria and clarifying (act as a natural filter) the beer. Hops help with head retention and please the palate. Hops put the Bitter in beer.
Yeast is a microscopic member of the fungus family and is a living organism. Yeast converts the sugars obtained from the malt into alcohol- a process called-FERMENTATION. The Latin name for brewing yeast is Saccharomyces cervisiae. Different yeast strains give different flavors to the beer; therefore the brewer takes special care in selecting the yeast strain.
-Brian has decades of experience in running bars. He’s a former bartender at the Ritz Carlton, and currently runs the beverage program for a country club in North Carolina.
I still remember my first encounter with cachaça (a Brazilian sugarcane based liquor) and it’s most famous mixed drink, a caipirinha, like some people remember graduation or their first kiss. I never drank much in college, and didn’t start until much later in life. So the story of how I met cachaça happened several years ago. I was writing for Hispanic.com back in 2007, and we did a feature on a Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão. I showed up, and was definitely expecting a great meal, but little was I expecting my cachaça “wake up call”.
So I had a great meal courtesy Fogo, and they offered me something that I’d heard about but never tried: a caipirinha. So doing my duty as a food reporter, I tried it. It was like nothing I’d ever tried. The drink was friggin’ awesome. It was like the best adult version of a lemonade that I’d ever tried. Note: a caipirinha is made of variations on cachaça, muddled limes, and sugar.
Rum is a spirit obtained by distilling the fermented sugarcane juice or molasses, a by- product of sugar making. Rum is often aged in ex-bourbon or cognac cask and colored with caramel. Rum is one of the oldest distillates made, dating back thousands of years of years. However, rum as we know it today was born in the West Indies, exactly on which island being open to conjecture. In 1493, Christopher Columbus played a role in rum’s history by bringing sugarcane plantings on his second voyage to this region. Rum is produced throughout the Caribbean as well as in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Hawaii, Indonesia, Madagascar, Peru, the Philippines, and the continental United States.
Tequila is made in and around the small town of tequila, in Mexico’s Jalisco province. In order to be classified as tequila, it must be produced from blue agave plants grown in a precisely delineated area in the five Mexican states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Tequila must comprise at least 51% blue agave by law to be called tequila. There are two classifications for tequila 100% Blue Agave Tequila and Mixto Tequila (must have at least 51% blue agave but the rest can come from other sources). Mixto is usually shipped in bulk and bottled in other countries.
Mezcal What is mezcal? Mezcal is from agave grown principally in the region of Oaxaca they can use juices from different varieties of agave and have no specific government laws of production. All tequilas are mezcal, but not all mezcal are tequila.
Tamarind drink i.e. "Agua de Tamarindo" is delicious! Tamarind itself looks like a long fruit pod. It grows on trees, and it is a bit of sour. Many Hispanics/Latinos like to make tamarind candies or also make a simple drink called "Agua de Tamarindo" (Tamarind Drink). You'll typically spot Tamarind Drink at latin food restaurants and it's a very common "go-to" drink in Latin America. Some other cultures use tamarind in slightly different ways such as the Thai, who often use it in dishes in combination with a sweetener to make a "sweet and sour flavor". The Filipino culture often makes soups which are tamarind based. I believe the soups are called "Sinigang".
I learned how to make Agua de Tamarindo thanks to my mother who always makes beverages at home.
1 ½ oz. Tortuga Gold Rum
1 oz. Coconut Rum
2 ½ oz. Orange Juice
2 ½ oz. Pineapple Juice
Splash of Strawberry Syrup
Garnish with Cherry, Lime & Orange Slices.
Mix the orange and pineapple juices together, pour both rums in a shaker with crushed ice. Give ingredients a shake for about 30 seconds. Garnish with a splash of Strawberry Syrup. Add garnish/garnishes.
Note: beach chairs are optional.
Adapted from a recipe from the Cayman Islands Restaurant Association.
How do you drink your coffee? I drink mine every which way… And I’m saying it really depends how I’m efeeling. With cream, con leche, black, with condensed milk. Yep, it’s all good. And I don’t mind where my coffee comes from: Africa, Colombia, Folgers…(lol) I drink it all.
Looks like I’m not alone either. I can definitively say, Hispanics drink café…si! I’ve got the stats to prove it. (It’s all about the numbers…at least that’s what they told me in accounting…but I digress!)
The National Coffee Association has just released a National Coffee Drinking Trends 2013 market study. Check it. The question was: “Did you drink coffee yesterday?” Responding “yes” were the following:
Announcements - Press Releases
- Eddie Gomez Performing March 4th in L.A
- Feb. 10th: Latino Legislative Day - Washington State
- Job Posting: SEIU Texas; Bilingual English Spanish Grievance Representative
- 11/23: Welterweights: MANNY "Pacman" PACQUIAO vs BRANDON "Bam Bam" RIOS
- NBA Global Games – Timberwolves vs. Spurs - Ciudad De Mexico 2013 y Samsung
- Jovanny Venegas Stars In Novela Educativa: Premiering At East LA College Reception To Inspire Latino Students
- Teddy Bear Den to Open in Ogden, Utah to Help Pregnant Women in Both Spanish & English
- Presented During Hispanic Heritage Month, Cervantes Outstanding Educator Award Given to Daphne Dominique
- 11/6 Wisdom Entertainment Seeking Bilingual Singer to Finish a Girl Band in NYC
- 10/30 Ogden, Utah Multicultural Youth Leadership Summit
- Leading STEM Education Curricular Program Provider Launches “K to Career” Pipeline
- 10/21: Calificación Para Juan Pablo García de la Serie Firestone Indy Lights, en California
- 10/17 New Book by Latina Author Uses Poetry to Reflect on Life’s Lessons
- 10/19 World Championship Boxing: Mike Alvarado vs. Ruslan Provodnikov
- October 15th: National Latino Aids Awareness Day
- 11/9 Cuban Artist Featured in Miami Art Show "Sights of Construction"
- Nueva Telenovela Estrenando: "Mentir Para Vivir" en Univision
- 10/29 Academy of Special Dreams Art Exhibition at L.A. City Hall
- 10/2 Comida Caliente Ladies Cook Calabazita
- 10/3 Grand Opening of Utah Community Education Center to Support Underserved Populations
- 10/5 Heavyweight Title Fight: Miguel Cotto vs Delvin Rodriguez
- 10/1 Job Opening: Tuscon Unified School District Seeking Director of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
- 9/30 Need to Find a Good Taco and/or a Hispanic Business? Try En-phone
- 9/27 Fertility Research Study: NYC Clinic Seeking Hispanic Women with PCOS
- 9/26 Aplace2go: La revolución del mundo del ocio
- 9/28 Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Bryan & 24/7 Bradley vs. Marquez Reality Series
- Diversity on Demand: More Prizes at "Nada or Aficionado"
- Teresa Dovelpage PhD: A Brief Guide to Taos, New Mexico
- (VIDEO):Sept 27th Debut: Reality Style Online Mexican Cooking Show Featuring Vara Family
- Madison, WI: Oct 30, National Red Ribbon Enrique Camarena Awards Banquet
Hispanics in Focus
- Recipe: Sopa Azteca from 'El Mirador' Restaurant in San Antonio
- How To: Quick 15 Minute Buñuelos
- Recipe: Pinto Beans (Frijoles) a la Charra
- Beverage Brian on 'What's in My Beer'!
- How To: Mole Verde con Pollo- Mexican Green Pumpkin Seed Mole with Chicken (PHOTOS)
- Carne Guisada Recipe by 'Comida Caliente' Ladies
- Secrets to Picking a Sweet Pineapple in the Fruit Aisle
- El Salvadoran Quesadilla vs Tex-Mex Quesadilla: What's the Difference?
- My First Fiery Encounter with Cachaça
- Part 1: Mexican Beef Red Salsa Enchiladas(PHOTOS):Enchiladas Rojas De Picadillo de Res, by Nathan
- Part 2: Mexican Beef Red Salsa Enchiladas(PHOTOS):Enchiladas Rojas De Picadillo de Res, by Nathan
- Best Breakfast Taco Throw Down!Austin vs San Antonio War
- Dinner? Eating Lightly Toasted Beetle (Grubs) Tacos: Mexican Chahuis
- About Your Rum...
- Taco Soup: with Fresh Avocado, Sour Cream & Chips
- Texas Pecan Green Beans w/ Garlic, Lemon & Olive Oil (PHOTOS)
- About Your Tequila
- How To Recipe: Grilled Green Onions (Cebollines) Mexican Style (PHOTOS)
- What is "Grenache"? By BeverageBrian
- On Phytonutrients: Lamb with Grilled Cilantro Onions
- How To Recipe: Agua de Tamarindo (Tamarind Drink) PHOTOS
- How To Recipe:Pão de Queijo with "Grill From Ipanema" Restaurant (Brazilian Cheese Bread) (VIDEO)
- How to Recipe: Peruvian "Tallarines Verdes" (Green Peruvian Fusilli Pasta) PHOTOS
- A Cook's Guide To Balsamic Vinegar
- Umbrella Drink: El Cayman Mama
- How to Recipe: Spanish/Cuban Arroz Amarillo con Frijol de Carita (Yellow Rice with Black Eyed Peas) PHOTOS
- Latinos and Café…You Like?
- How To Recipe (PHOTOS): Mexican Sardinas Frescas Lambriadas (Lightly Battered & Fried Fresh Sardines)
- How to Recipe: Arroz Con Leche (Rice Pudding) (PHOTOS)
- How To Recipe: Jalapeno Margarita w/ Cilantro
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