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What is the Meaning of Beer?

February 7, 2018 12:09 am Published by

(Heckyll): ‘What a stupid question.’
(Jeckyll): ‘No it’s not. It’s… it’s a rhetorical question. <HIC> A philosophical question.’
(Heckyll): ‘No, it’s a stupid question. Beer is beer. >BURP<And yes I’ll have another Weissbier. Waitress!’

(The dreamy Ya Udah Bistro waitresses float by on a filmy translucent cloud, lost in thought, neither hearing nor seeing the two thirsty drinkers, pounding their table.) (They are gliding through a trance, in their own magical world.)

Beer is four thousand years old. No, read carefully! Yaudah Bistro beer is not four thousand years old, not at all. By the time it navigates its way through Jakarta and Jogja traffic it is not more than, well, a thousand years old or so. Add another five hundred years (approximately) to attract the attention of a waitress and get served and enjoy your foamy brew.

Let’s start again. Beer is four thousand years old, having come down from the ancient Egyptians. Workers on the pyramids (not a nice day job, according to reports) are said to have been paid in beer. Hauling great blocks of granite up an incline under a blazing sun while a foreman whips you with a lash would only be for true beer lovers, and it is just that type of customer we welcome at the Bistro. Wonderful to wash down the sausage, cabbage salad and potatoes with the delightfully cold brew.(Pro-Tip) Euro-brew: only the Europeans have a solid hold on their beer.

Some folks like pale beer and others like ale. Some like their Pilsner and others love stout.
Now folklore is funny. In the Philippines, for some odd reason, the folk belief was that black beer (stout) was a drink meant only for pregnant women, so any man ordering a San Miguel Stout would run the risk of being ridiculed. ‘You pregnant, pal?’ [Drunken laughter]

San Miguel, the ancient Filipino brewery, did not give up. They broke open their piggybank and went on the offensive, blowing money like mad on ad campaigns.

Billboards, TV commercials and ads showed muscular martial arts fighters glowering at the camera and drinking San Miguel Stout. ‘This is a killers’ beer’ their mean expressions radiated.

No deal, Lucille. Filipino men still would not touch the stuff (whereas in Malaysia, once British, Guinness is guzzled like mother’s milk).

What is fascinating, however, is the fact that black beer is rich in B vitamins, which are an essential nutrient for an expectant mother. The alcohol, well, maybe not so much so. Let baby get his sea-legs first before you get him drunk.

Beer is truly healthy! The internet says so:

‘You can enjoy beer — an adult beverage made from brewer’s yeast, which, the University of Maryland Medical Center explains, is rich in several minerals and vitamins — on its own as a refreshing beverage, or as a companion to your favorite foods. However you like to drink beer, a single 12-ounce serving can provide you with more important vitamins and minerals than wine or hard liquor, according to Webster University. Enjoy beer in moderation, the Harvard School of Public Health reminds: no more than a couple drinks a day.

‘Beer has several B vitamins, according to the NetWellness website, a service of several Ohio universities. Of the B vitamins present, the United States Department of Agriculture’s national nutrient database reports that beer is richest in niacin. Also known as vitamin B3, you’ll find 1.828 milligrams in a 12-oz. a glass of beer.

‘Vitamin B6
‘Drink a 12-oz. glass of beer and you’ll get 0.164 mg of vitamin B6, according to the USDA. This may be because the yeast made to brew beer is rich in the entire range of B-complex vitamins, the agency explains.

‘Pantothenic Acid
‘You’ll get a boost of pantothenic acid, a water-soluble vitamin, when you sip your beer. In a 12-oz. serving, you’ll get 0.146 mg of the vitamin, the USDA reports.

‘Other B Vitamins
‘You’ll find trace amounts of other B vitamins in beer. This, the USDA notes, includes thiamin at 0.018 mg; riboflavin at 0.089 mg; vitamin B12 at 0.07 micrograms; and folate at 21 micrograms.

‘A 12-oz. glass of beer holds a high amount of the water-soluble choline vitamin — 36 mg, the USDA reports.

‘Flavonoids act as antioxidants in your body and help prevent damage to your cells from free radicals. Flavonoids are more commonly associated with other drinks like green tea or wine. However, Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute explains, beer, specifically lager beer, may have higher concentrations of antioxidants than green tea. However, this doesn’t make beer healthier than green tea, due to beer’s calorie and alcohol content.

Japan is a great beer-drinking country. They even have beer for kiddies. (I know – it looks like a gag but it probably ain’t.)

Now beer is serious.

Srrrsly serrriusss.

Unless you’re a Yank: American beer is a big disappointment. So much so that they have to turn it into candy.

‘Fruit-flavored craft beer?’ Is it the Americans again? The ones with the candy cigars (strawberry-flavored smokes? Chocolate-dipped stogies??) ?? Now they have their sissy ‘craft beer’ in more flavors than you can buy ice cream in?

Nein. If you really want to appreciate how seriously serious the matter of beer is, then

Go to the Vaterland, where ‘bier’ is strictly defined as ‘water, hops and barley’. Period.


We refer you back to the Rules of Brewing five full centuries ago:

Wiki: ‘The text (translated) of the 1516 Bavarian law is as follows:

‘We hereby proclaim and decree, by Authority of our Province, that henceforth in the Duchy of Bavaria, in the country as well as in the cities and marketplaces, the following rules apply to the sale of beer:

‘From Michaelmas to Georgi, the price for one Mass [Bavarian Liter 1,069] or one Kopf [bowl-shaped container for fluids, not quite one Mass], is not to exceed one Pfennig Munich value, and

‘From Georgi to Michaelmas, the Mass shall not be sold for more than two Pfennig of the same value, the Kopf not more than three Heller [Heller usually one-half Pfennig].

‘If this not be adhered to, the punishment stated below shall be administered.

‘Should any person brew, or otherwise have, other beer than March beer, it is not to be sold any higher than one Pfennig per Mass.

‘Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, market-towns and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities’ confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail.

‘Should, however, an innkeeper in the country, city or market-towns buy two or three pails of beer (containing 60 Mass) and sell it again to the common peasantry, he alone shall be permitted to charge one Heller more for the Mass or the Kopf, than mentioned above. Furthermore, should there arise a scarcity and subsequent price increase of the barley (also considering that the times of harvest differ, due to location), WE, the Bavarian Duchy, shall have the right to order curtailments for the good of all concerned.’

— Bavarian Reinheitsgebot of 1516 (emphasis added), Eden, Karl J. (1993). “History of German Brewing”. Zymurgy. 16 (4).

(Those Germans sure don’t monkey around with their grog.)

When you pay a jolly visit to Yaudah Bistro, either in Jogjakarta or Jakarta, you will have your choice form an array of brews, some German (brewed in Indonesia), other from a Dutch tradition (Bintang was a Netherlands Indies company), British (Guinness, enormously popular in Malaysia and Singapore as well) (they used to say ‘Guinness is Good for You’ until Nanny State censored that happy slogan).

Lovers of the rich, Vitamin-B festooned Stout have a choice of Panther or Guinness. Hell, have one of each: you have two hands, don’t you?

Erdinger is tasty but suffers from an identity crisis: it’s called ‘Weissbräu’ (‘white brew’) but also ‘Dunkel’ (‘dark’). So what’s it going to be, kids? Come on, make up your minds and have another.
Bali Hai reminds you of the ‘Island of the Gods’ and even the gods get drunk on occasion:

Tezcatzoncatl, Aztec God of the Drunkards and one of the 400 Drunken Rabbits

It was an exciting time for the drinkers:

‘Many old civilizations had Gods for just about everything: the sun, the sea, lightning and often quite a few for alcohol related matters. The Aztecs were no exception. Even though they had very strict laws on alcohol use and abuse, no other tribe or culture had as many ‘Booze Gods’ as the ancient habitants of Mexico. The 400 drunken Rabbit Gods were the children of the Goddess of Alcohol Mayahuel and Petecatl, God of Medicine. These 400 thirsty bunnies stood for the infinite ways in which people could intoxicate themselves. Infinite? Yes, in the Aztec numbering 400 was such a big number that it also meant infinity. So when someone got absolutely smashed, people would say he was ‘drunk as 400 rabbits’. But some of the rabbits also had names and background stories.’

‘Get those Wascally Wabbits another beer, dear!’

‘What’s the difference between an Irish wedding and an Irish funeral?’
‘One drunk.’

And now, back to our scheduled BEER:

And the moral of the story?

No, not this. Try it again. (Are you getting drunk, Author?)

Remember: ‘Beer is Good for You’

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