The readers of this blog tend to be fairly knowledgeable about beer. We cater to a wide variety of beer lovers, so I suppose “knowledgeable” is a relative term; nonetheless, compared to a random sampling of beer drinkers, our audience has a clue about beer. We thought it would be fun to take a look at the kind of questions a less-informed audience might ask about beer.
The folks over at Ask.com recently published the list of the “Top Questions Asked about Beer on Ask.com.” Below, we list the questions (Q) along with the answers from the Ask.com staff (A). I have also included my thoughts (WBB). Some of the answers are more serious than others.
Top Questions Asked about Beer on Ask.com
Q: How do I make beer?
A: With hops, barley and patience.
WBB: It’s simple. Buy The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian. Read it. Live it. Love it.
Q: Who invented beer?
A: At over 10,000 years old, beer has been around as long as humans needed nutrition. While the exact inventor is unknown, anthropologists have determined that Noah took beer on the Ark and our founding fathers enjoyed their pints. And frankly that’s good enough for us!
WBB: It was a guy named Cletus. Thousands of years ago Cletus lived near the Tigris River in what is now Iraq. In those days, they would fill big clay pots with grain and then bury the pots in the ground to preserve the grain. Cletus was a nice enough fellow, but he was also a bit of a screw up. He buried his pots too close to the river. That year the river flooded, as the Tigris was wont to do in those days. What’s more, Cletus failed to seal his pots properly.
Everyone laughed at Cletus as he opened his pots and found that they were full of murky sludge. They walked away laughing, leaving Cletus sitting alone with his pots of goo. Cletus was lonely and sad. For no particular reason at all, Cletus decided to try drinking the murky, bread-water. It wasn’t bad. As he drank more of it, he started to care less and less about all those losers who had laughed at him. As he drank still more of it, he beganto care less and less about pretty much everything. He no longer felt sad at all.
The next year, Cletus added some spices and some herbs to his pots and intentionally buried them too close to the river. When he began selling his fermented bread water, nobody laughed. They just lined up for more. The very next year, Cletus and his new trophy wife bought the biggest, baddest river barge that any of his fellow Mesopotamians had ever seen.
Q: How many calories are in a beer?
A: We could go all day on this one, but a couple examples include: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: 175 Sam Adams Lager: 160 Pilsner Uruqell: 160 Michelob: 155 Guinness: 153 Heineken: 150 Corona : 148.
WBB: This is a depressing question. Next.
Q: How much alcohol is in a beer?
A: Depends on the beer and the animal it’s named after (see below).
WBB: When a beer gets to the point that people describe it as being, “Kind of like a nice sherry or cognac,” there is too much alcohol. This is just my opinion, but if you get higher than about 12% ABV, it starts becoming something other than beer.
Q: How long does beer stay in your system?
A: On average, 6 – 10 hours.
WBB: I made my first batch of homebrew when I was 18. Beer has been in my system ever since.
Q. Which beer has the highest alcohol content?
A: The highest we could find was Tactical Nuclear Penguin (we’re not making that up either) by BrewDog Brewery in Scotland. Sip carefully.
WBB: The ABV arms race continues. Producing the world’s strongest beer seems to be in fashion this season.
Q: What is the best beer commercial?
A: As with all artistic expression, this one is up for debate, but we’re pretty big fans of the new Guinness commercial!
WBB: The old Rainier Beer commercials from the 70s and very early 80s. If you are not old enough, or were not living around here back in those days, then I’m sorry. If you remember, I’m sure you agree. Here’s a fine example.
Q: How many beers are in a keg?
A: “165 beers in the keg, 165 beers, take one down; pass it around, 165 beers in the keg!”
WBB: Uh, I was told there would be no math? (Okay,124 pints in a ½ barrel)
Q. When was beer invented?
A: Beer can trace its roots as far back as Mesopotamia – 5th millennium B.C. or older!
WBB: Cletus. It’s all about Cletus.
Q. Which country drinks the most beer?
A: We were thinking Texas, but it turns out that The Czech Republic consumes 156 liters of beer per capita, more than any other country, followed by Ireland and Germany.
WBB: On average, each person in the Czech Repulic drinks 156 liters of beer per year. That’s about 330 pints per year per person. On average, they drink nearly a pint a day. If you consider a few other factors in that equation –like children and other people who do not drink at all– that’s a pretty amazing number.