Tag Archives: Drink

World Beer Map

largebeermap[click to embiggen]

I really like this map that shows beers from every nation in the world – even the ones where alcohol is illegal.

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The Best Part of Waking Up…

2012-12-15-rise-and-shine

Seen in London during the early 1650’s.

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Clever Sucker-Bets

From Richard Wiseman, here are 10 bets you’ll never lose. I especially like number 10!

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The Beer Archaeologist

Patrick McGovern, an archaeologist and adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is considered the world’s leading expert on ancient brewing techniques and alcohol-related traditions. In recent years, he’s been a big part of a movement to recreate ancient recipes for beer (or mead/cider/whatever) with some pretty big successes. McGovern makes the case that beer has played a much larger role in history than one would initially think:

The ancients were liable to spike their drinks with all sorts of unpredictable stuff—olive oil, bog myrtle, cheese, meadow­sweet, mugwort, carrot, not to mention hallucinogens like hemp and poppy. But Calagione and McGovern based their Egyptian selections on the archaeologist’s work with the tomb of the Pharaoh Scorpion I, where a curious combination of savory, thyme and coriander showed up in the residues of libations interred with the monarch in 3150 B.C. (They decided the za’atar spice medley, which frequently includes all those herbs, plus oregano and several others, was a current-day substitute.) Other guidelines came from the even more ancient Wadi Kubbaniya, an 18,000-year-old site in Upper Egypt where starch-dusted stones, probably used for grinding sorghum or bulrush, were found with the remains of doum-palm fruit and chamomile. It’s difficult to confirm, but “it’s very likely they were making beer there,” McGovern says.

The brewers also went so far as to harvest a local yeast, which might be descended from ancient varieties (many commercial beers are made with manufactured cultures). They left sugar-filled petri dishes out overnight at a remote Egyptian date farm, to capture wild airborne yeast cells, then mailed the samples to a Belgian lab, where the organisms were isolated and grown in large quantities.

Back at Dogfish Head, the tea of ingredients now inexplicably smacks of pineapple. McGovern advises the brewers to use less za’atar; they comply. The spices are dumped into a stainless steel kettle to stew with barley sugars and hops. McGovern acknowledges that the heat source should technically be wood or dried dung, not gas, but he notes approvingly that the kettle’s base is insulated with bricks, a suitably ancient technique.

As the beer boils during lunch break, McGovern sidles up to the brewery’s well-appointed bar and pours a tall, frosty Midas Touch for himself, spurning the Cokes nursed by the other brewers. He’s fond of citing the role of beer in ancient workplaces. “For the pyramids, each worker got a daily ration of four to five liters,” he says loudly, perhaps for Calagione’s benefit. “It was a source of nutrition, refreshment and reward for all the hard work. It was beer for pay. You would have had a rebellion on your hands if they’d run out. The pyramids might not have been built if there hadn’t been enough beer.”

The Beer Archaeologist   [SmithsonianMag]

Can of Whisky

A Panamanian company called Scottish Spirits has begun marketing this can of whisky in its Caribbean and Latin American markets. According to chief executive Manish Panshal, “The can is the perfect size to be shared between three people who can mix it with other things like cola,…It’s lightweight and portable and entirely recyclable, which is good news.”

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Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

From BBC’s Weird Nature documentary series, alcoholic vervet monkeys on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. They’re absolutely hilarious.

[Obrigado, Vinicius!]

Man Loses Licence After Driving Barbie Car Drunk

Paul Hutton, 40, has lost his licence for three years after being pulled over by police driving drunk in a pink Barbie car designed for small children with a top speed of 4 mph. Almost every sentence in the article made me laugh:

Speaking after the hearing at Colchester magistrates court, he said: “You have to be a contortionist to get in, and then you can’t get out.

“I was very surprised to get done for drink-driving but I was a twit to say the least.

“It is designed for three-to-five-year-olds.

“Originally it was a pink Barbie car but I put bigger wheels on it but it’s not fast.

Man Loses Licence After Drink-Driving in Toy Barbie Car [The Telegraph]