When it comes to beer, it seems like everyone is an expert. In many ways though, all that REALLY matters is do YOU like it. However, aside from personal preferences there is always someone behind the scenes to make sure that the product is delivered the way that the brew master intended. In the case of Deschutes that's Briana Francisco - QA Brewing Technician for Deschutes Brewery. It's her job to make sure that your beer is as close to perfection and thankfully we don't usually think about that unless something goes wrong. This got me thinking though about all the other things we don't think about with beer ...
Most of the time, when we learn about beer the focus is on brewing it and not talking about the people behind the scenes, so I love this video that is part of the Kronos Workforce Stories series. It features Briana and her role at Deschutes.
When you think about it, there are a lot of people like her that work behind the scenes. That's what I love about this video series from Kronos, since it highlights a bunch of different jobs that are actually pretty cool but often unrecognized. These include a guy who does QA for a Stern Pinball, a Zookeeper, and an Alligator Wrangler. It's a lot like Kronos itself - the leader in workforce management solutions. They help clients manage the back office tasks including HR and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics solutions and services. Like Briana's job, these are all things a business depends on to run smoothly.
How Much Do You Know About Beer Trivia?
Just like the importance of all those people behind the scenes, I think it's important to be fully armed with knowledge about the beverage itself. After all, without understanding beer, it can be difficult to fully appreciate the craft!
Oldest Brewery in The United States?
D.G. Yuengling & Son is the oldest operating brewing company in the United States. It was established in 1892 and survived prohibition by producing "near beer" with 0.5% alcohol content and also ran a dairy that produced ice cream.
The oldest known recipe for "beer" dates back more than 4,000 years and was made by the Sumerians. In the 1980's Anchor Brewing recreated that recipes for modern beer fans to try.
Beer's Impact on Civilization?
Beer likely started out as a way to preserve excess grain that would have otherwise spoiled during the winter. Workers building the pyramids were given four liters of beer per day since the fermentation made it safer to drink than the Nile river water. Just imagine - no beer, no great pyramids! Later, British brewers were forced to add extra alcohol and hops to help preserve the beer as it made the trip from England to India ... we no call this style IPA or India Pale Ale.
Top US Beer Cities
While cities like Portand and Bend, Oregon (home of Deschutes Brewery) may dominate when you hear about the best beer cities, the list of top beer cities is actually pretty surprising. When compared by population - breweries per capita if you will, cities like Portland, ME (17+ breweries; 1 per 4,000 people!) and Asheville, NC (19+ breweries; 1 per 10,000 people) pop to the top of the list! Other top craft beer cities include: Portland, OR with 68 breweries, Denver, CO with 58, and of course San Diego with more than 100 breweries and brewpubs!
America's Favorite Beer
Sadly, this is still dominated by Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Lite.
Largest Craft Breweries in the United States?
- D.G. Yuengling and Son (Pennsylvania)
- Boston Beer (Massachusetts)
- Sierra Nevada Brewing (California)
- New Belgium Brewing (Colorado)
- Gambrinus (Texas)
- Lagunitas Brewing (California)
- Bell’s Brewery (Michigan)
- Deschutes Brewery (Oregon)
- Minhas Craft Brewery (Wisconsin)
- Stone Brewing (California)
Among the top 500 craft breweries, California dominates with 12 breweries and Colorado has five.
Health Aspects of Beer?
Beer contains all of the minerals that we need to survive and in many places still is an important form of clean water. In times gone by, brewers created low alcohol brews that even children would consume since it was safer than drinking water from wells and streams. Beer (alcohol) can actually help raise HDL cholesterol levels, which are associated with lowering the risk of heart disease and cognitive functions. Additionally, drinking moderates amount of beer has been linked to reducing the risk of kidney stones and helping to strengthen bones due to the high levels of silicon that allows the body to deposit calcium and other important minerals into bone tissue.
What Is the Study of Beer Called?
Zythology - the study of beer and beer making. While you may have joked about this at one point, hundreds of colleges now offer zythology degrees including Florida State, University of Alabama, and Texas Tech that all offer doctorate and masters degrees in beer making!
What Aspects of Beer are Monitored to Ensure Great Quality?
While beers are judged using metrics such as Appearance, Smell, Taste, and Mouthfeel, a Brewery Technician like Briana uses scientific tools such as Mass Spectrometers to measure ABV (Alcohol By Volume), Specific Gravity, Plato, pH, color, and IBU (International Bitterness Units) to ensure that each batch is consistent.
When Were Beer Cans Produced?
The first commercially produced beer cans appeared in 1935 as Krueger's Cream Ale in the US and in 1931 at the Felinfoel brewery since Americans were still enduring prohibition at the time. With canned beer being received positively, canned soda and juices quickly followed and due to their higher acidity lead manufacturers to invent lined cans that ultimately improved the taste of canned beer.