Beer

The coolest, the better to quench your thirst under the Greek sun

Beer is the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage and the third-most popular drink overall, after water and tea.

beer2The preparation of beer is called brewing. It is produced by the saccharification of starch and fermentation of the resulting sugar.

Beer is measured and assessed by bitterness, by strength and by color. Most beer styles fall into types roughly according to the time and temperature of the primary fermentation and the variety of yeast used during fermentation. As the terminology of brewing arose before the advent of the science of microbiology, “yeast” in this context may refer not only to fungi but to some bacteria.

Top-fermenting yeast typically ferments at higher temperatures (15–23°C, 60–75°F), producing significant amounts of esters and other secondary flavors and aromas, often resembling those of apple, pear, pineapple, grass, hay, banana, plum or prune.

The strength of beer is usually around 4% to 6% alcohol by volume although it may vary between 0.5% (de-alcoholized) and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% and above in recent years.

beer3Beer’s main active ingredient is alcohol, and therefore, the health effects of alcohol also apply to beer. The moderate consumption of beer is associated with a decreased risk of cardiac disease, stroke and cognitive decline. In addition, brewer’s yeast is known to be a rich source of nutrients including magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, chromium and B vitamins and that’s why beer is sometimes referred to as “liquid bread”.

Beer is one of the world’s oldest prepared beverages, possibly dating back to the early Neolithic or 9500 BC, when cereal was first farmed.  In Greece, archaeological and archaeochemical finds in Crete suggest that the Minoans fermented barley and other substances, and consumed some form of beer.

Nowadays, since the late 1990’s in particular, local Greek brands have emerged like Mythos or re-emerged like Fix Hellas reviving competition with imported beers. In addition, during the last decade, apart from the large breweries, local microbreweries have made their appearance and operate throughout Greece producing high quality beers like Septem beer from the island of Evia, Corfu beer from Corfu, Magnus beer from Rhodes, Neda beer from Messini in the Peloponnese and many more.

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