Reviews and the History of Beer!
All photos for this piece were taken by Faith Jamael.
Class V IPA Whitewater Brewing Company
This brewery is located in Foresters Falls, in the Ottawa Valley. This is their 5.5 per cent India Pale Ale (IPA). To start with the can is beautiful. It’s got little to do with the beer itself but the can comes with a interesting matte finish and bright red and white contrasting colours. After it’s poured the beer has a dark brown, caramel colour to it. The strongest flavours in this beer are the hops and the citrus flavours that come with it. The brewery uses a mix of Cascade and Centennial hops in their production, both of which have strong citrus flavours. If you’re a fan of other IPAs then you’ll also enjoy this.
Broadhead Dark Horse Stout
Broadhead brewing is a local Ottawa brewery and this is their version of an oatmeal stout. This beer is a solid stout, with a dark black body and a dark brown head. The beer has the bitterness you find in most stouts but it’s very light and doesn’t tend to linger. That quick bitterness is helped by the carbonation that comes in a second wave of flavours and helps to push the bitterness away. Flavour wise there’s a lot of average stout flavours like dark chocolate and hints of coffee. I’m a big fan of stouts and this beer is one of my favourite Canadian made versions.
History of Beer
Beer’s great, but you know what’s even better? The history of beer! I’m actually not kidding about this since beer has been cited by some as the possible reason for the creation of sedentary human society.
The first version of an alcoholic beverage from bread or grain created between 4000 B.C.E. by the Sumerians in the modern Middle East. The Sumerian version was more of a bready pulp than a beer. Later Middle Eastern brews, such as those made by the Babylonians in 3000 B.C.E. were cloudy and chunky, often drunk through a straw to avoid the solid pieces still floating in it. Workers in ancient Egypt were also paid in beer.
Beer was widely drunk throughout the Roman Empire, mostly by lower class out in the provinces who eschewed the wine drunk by the Roman elite. During the Middle Ages beer was brewed by monks who consumed it themselves and shared it with pilgrims and other visitors. Monks became brewers primarily because the code of St. Benedict put a high priority on monasteries being as self-sufficient as possible. Beer was so common in the lives of monks that up to four litres was drunk per monk per day, and that could be doubled during fasting times such as Lent.
Post Middle Ages came some of the most well known events in the history of beer. Purity laws like the Reinheitsgebot passed in 1516 in Bavaria limited the possible ingredients for beer to just barley, hops, and water. The law was eventually extended to all of Germany and is the world’s oldest food safety law.
Oktoberfest, an annual celebration fundamentally linked to beer began in 1810 in the city of Munich located in modern Germany. Beer was first made available to purchase in cans in 1935, in the United States. It’s hard to find total global beer consumption stats but the country with the highest rate of consumption per capita in 2014 was the Czech Republic, with 148.6 litres. In Canada the rate of new breweries increased by 70 per cent from 2009-2014 and we drank 63.35 litres per capita.