Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Beer and Lupulin
Beer and Lupulin
I am grateful for all who follow the blog! Thank you very much! One of the things that I have mentioned from time to time, is that I also am involved with two radio podcasts, The Key West Music Show - Conch Rockin' in the Keys and Key West Beer Tales - The Sum of All Beers.
Today's blog is a bit of a side bar, with a slant and a tip of the hat to Key West Beer Tales - The Sum of All Beers!
To hear podcasts of Key West Beer Tales - The Sum of All Beers, grab yourself a beer, get ready to laugh, and enjoy a podcast!
The subject here is actually quite interesting and even those who don't imbibe in alcohol might find interesting!
Have you ever run into someone who when they drink beer that are fun and happy, but if they drink hard alcohol they become a complete asshole? I use that last word only because it's quite appropriate. They drink beer, smile, laugh, crack jokes, tell funny stories, and often go on, stimulated with friendly conversations and sharing ideas. On the days they drink hard alcohol they curse, talk badly about people, start arguments, some get in fights, some get arrested. Of course I'm certainly not talking about everyone, mind you, but we've all come across such individuals from time to time.
Why is this? Some will say alcohol. No argument there, however the question still looms as to why it happens with hard alcohol and not so much with beer, both of which have alcohol. Others will say it's a psychological condition. No argument here either. I used to see a girl named Sandy when I lived in Miami, who after she polished off several cocktails, she was ready to conquer the world. Her personality did a complete 180! Perplexed about this, I enquired with my cousin Bryan, who's a psychologist. Bryan's answer was immediate, short, and to the point. "She's a pathological alcoholic". Okay, so this Sandy had some issues.
However, the quest of finding out why people react differently between beer and hard alcohol still remains unanswered, at this stage of the blog. Lets look a little further for the answer.
How about we look at Scotch, Irish Whiskey, and beer for a moment. The beginning process for all three is virtually exactly the same, as are the ingredients at that stage. Barley malt and water and the making of what's known in the industries as wort. What happens after that is perhaps where the crux of the difference lies. For the sake of not being too technical, especially for those who might find the process tedious reading, the next ingredient added to beer, is the bitter and flavoring agent, hops. No whiskeys use hops at all, however beer does. Without hops, beer would be an exceedingly sweet beverage. With whiskeys, the distillation process takes that sweetness out, so they don't need a bittering agent, nor do any other distilled beverages. Additionally, hops also act as an antibacterial preserving agent to beer, so with beer it carries several functions.
A little background on hops. Hops, Humulus Lupulus, being their Latin name, are a member of the Cannabaceae family of plants. This family consists of eleven sub-groups, of which also include the Celtis and Cannibis plants. Like citrus plants, these family of plants are so closely related they can be grafted.
The active ingredient in hops is called lupulin. Lupulin is the powder that comes from processing the hop corns. Lupulin is said to make people relax and frankly, be happy and inspirational. World famous beer authority, Fred Eckhardt calls it "The Lupulin Effect". Who'd disagree with Mr. Eckhardt? In regards to their sister plant, cannabis, who's active ingredient is THC, the inspirational quality seems to be along the same vain, albeit lupulin is not an intoxicant, however it is a stimulant. Doctors have also used lupulin for medicinal purposes for centuries, as well. It is here that you find the reasons as to why beer has that happy effect on people, where hard alcohols do not.
Lupulin makes you happy!
I recall years ago learning that the English defined "Beer" as being a malt beverage brewed with hops. "Ale", was for a short time, what they defined the malt beverage made without hops. This was in the 1500's. That didn't last long however. Soon after ale and beer are virtually one and the same, and in the 1840's ale being identified as the top fermented style of beer, while the new lager was the bottom fermented variety. It was the Dutch and the Flemish Belgians who introduced hops to England. The earliest recording of hops was around 822 in a German Abby.
Today hops are grown around the world, the major producers are Germany and the United States.
But that doesn't matter really as far as today's blog goes today. That's another story. The point being, Hops are what makes you happy!
So raise a glass of ale or lager and lets all give a toast to Humulus Lululus, the great hop plant!
Lupulin in action! Do these people in Key West look like they're not having fun?
Lupulin in action! Do these people drinking Guinness look like they're not having fun?
Lupulin in action in England! Even the horse is having a good time!
Bar in Hawaii ... Having fun!
Oktoberfest - Augustiner Breau Tent - Happy people indeed!
Diamond Bell Saloon in the Wild West... having fun with Lupulin!
Bar Jerez in Torremolinos Spain... having a blast with lupulin!
Lupulin in Italy!
Bar Federal, Buenos Aires ... getting down with lupulin
Laughter and quaffing beer laced with lupulin in Japan!
Philosophical discussions stimulated by Lupulin at L'Academie de la Biere on Boulevard de Port Royal, Paris
Hops are our good friend!
Again, To hear episodes of Key West Beer Tales - The Sum of All Beers, grab yourself a beer, get ready to laugh, and enjoy a podcast via iTunes!
Lupulin makes you happy!
So, be happy. Drink a beer!
Thank you for reading the blog!
Key West Chris
For additional reading on "The Lupulin Effect" be sure to check out this piece written by world class beer authority Fred Eckhardt.