Alcohol Drinks Products Science

Climate Change Will Affect The Taste And Price Of Our Favorite Beers

As climate change continues to have profound effects on the weather around us, will what we eat and drink be affected as well?

One researcher from North Carolina State (NC State) University is arguing that in the case of beer, both the taste and the cost may be significantly affected.

Imagery from Dave Weatherall, Josh Olalde, and Jason Blackeye // Unsplash

In a guest post for the NC State News, associate professor of molecular and structural biochemistry Colleen Doherty discussed how the changing climate and extreme weather patterns we’re witnessing will affect the flavor compounds we find in beer.

When it comes to cost, a 2018 report from Nature has already shown that rising temperatures and drought frequency may increase the price of barley and hops, the two key agricultural ingredients in beer production.

Doherty argues that climate change today is also leading to alterations in daily and seasonal weather patterns that can effect various properties of both barley and hops.

One of the major reasons, according to Doherty, is that environmental changes will affect the terroir of hops. Similar to what you would find in wine, long-term temperature changes will alter a hop’s life cycle and influence to produce differing amounts of defensive compounds, including those that produce aromas in beer, that will change its flavor composition when added to the beverage.

Likewise, that effect on terroir can also change the ratio of protein and starch in the barley used to brew beer. This will change the quality of the extracted malt at the core of the brewing process, meaning that sweetness, carbohydrate count, protein content, and more could be affected too.

It is unclear exactly how the taste of different beers will change over time, there’s just scientific evidence that they will change. Doherty is researching that as part of her work at NC State, and as time goes on, we’ll be able to taste the difference too.

Imagery from Josh Olalde // Unsplash

Professor Doherty does note that not all changes in the taste or quality of beer in the future will be due to climate change; in fact, beer itself has been changing as processes and technology around it have changed over thousands of years.

However, climate change can and will cause changes out of our control that alter beer’s flavor and may increase its cost as well.

Alcohol Beer Culture Feel Good Hit-Or-Miss

The World’s First Beer-Themed Hotel Will Have a Brew-Filled Hot Tub

Start planning your next vacation. The world’s first beer hotel is opening soon in Columbus, Ohio, courtesy of Scotland-based BrewDog — yes, the same brewery that gave us the beer stuffed inside a dead squirrel. Forget Disneyland — this is the Hoppiest Place on Earth.

This tipsy resort is set to have an IPA hot tub, minibars in the shower, beer on tap in each room, and beer pairings with every meal. It will be a brewster’s paradise — that is, if the project can raise enough crowdfunded money on Indiegogo. (Right now, they’re only $13,000 short of the $75,000 goal.)

“This hotel will provide a complete experiential environment in which to truly immerse yourself in the world of craft beer,” the Indiegogo campaign reads. “From waking up to a view of our sour beer foeders and the smell of freshly mashed malt, to hop-infused spa treatments and beer breakfasts, and even amazing craft beer on tap in your bedroom — this hotel will have it all.”

If crowdfunding is successful, the hotel will open sometime next year.

Original post written by Joanna Fantozzi for The Daily Meal


Beer Hops May Prevent Alzheimer’s, Study Shows

Too much beer in one night may mess with your memory, but scientists are finding that beer drinking can potentially help you out in the long run.

A new study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry unearths the protective properties the compound xanthohumol (Xn), commonly found in hops, has on our brains. While the antioxidative properties of wine have been hailed in the medical community for years, this discovery is part of a new wave of research about the positive effects of beer on our health.

Oxidative damage is an imbalance between your body’s production of free radicals and its ability to counteract their harmful effects (this is where antioxidants are helpful). Such damage to brain cells contributes to the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Researchers at Lanzhou University discovered that Xn protected brain cells from lab-induced oxidative stress…in rats.

While new findings like this don’t always pan out as the research moves up the evolutionary line, the fact that a new function was revealed in a fairly commonplace compound could lend Xn to more complex uses in the future.

In the meantime, feel free to cite this article as an enabler for your alcoholism.


Bear Republic, Fat Head’s and Stone TBA Collaboration Homebrew

Stone Brewing Co. was founded in 1996, and since then has been voted the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” and will soon become the first American brewery to have a European brewhouse location.

As part of the brand’s success and growth, they have the ability to do special edition beers on demand. In 2008, Stone released a new series of collaboration beers. The goal was to get three brewers from three different breweries to create a beer with no boundaries.

Along the same vein, we introduce their first collaborative project of 2012, with Bear Republic and Fat Head’s, a tribute to a lost style of brewing; TBA. The acronym alludes to a classic but little-known beer style called Texas Brown Ale, which, actually comes from California.

In the 80s, there was a homebrew recipe for a hoppy brown ale, made with Cascade hops, hopping (word play?) around northern California. Even as it gained some popularity, it didn’t do well in homebrew competitions since it didn’t fall under any recognized category. It was way too hoppy and bitter to be considered a traditional brown ale. But eventually it caught on, and a competition in Houston, TX decided to judge these entires in a ‘California Dark’ category. The American Homebrewers Association soon allowed these entires in their own competitions, and changed the category name to Texas Brown Ale.

This TBA is yet another interesting creation from the Stone team out of Escondido, CA. TBA pours a beautiful auburn brown with a light tan head. The initial smell is a bit piney, but becomes sweeter probably due to the molasses introduced by Richard Norgrove from Bear Republic. The taste begins with a strong blast of malt flavors, followed by some fruity flavors mixed with the brown sugar also introduced by Richard. And finally finishes with an intense hoppy bitterness, that lightly lingers in your mouth.

I had a chance to try this a few days back, it’s super easy to drink and incredibly refreshing. If you like brown ales or IPAs of any sort, you will absolutely love this beer.


The Hopside Down Glass

The Hopside Down Glass takes the guesswork out of a very critical choice: Bottle or Glass? How about both? You and your girlfriend will be pleased with this hand blown, half bottle/half glass. Aside from looking cool, the Hopside down is double walled so your brew remains at the perfect temperature right down to the last sip. Check out how it works after the jump. (Thx Coolmaterial)