The discussion that has ensued in the comments section of my last post serves to remind me yet again that beer is a fascinating beverage and one deserving of much respect. This might seem obvious, I know, but it’s something I think people often forget.
For instance, in the glass in front of me right now is a light golden liquid with a faint sweetness and moderate hop taste. Many people would dismiss it out of hand as overly simple and undeserving of attention, and on certain occasions in certain circumstances I might agree with them. But at the end of a long and arduous day, it’s a nice quaff, and yes, so much more besides.
It is, as most readers here will know, created from malted barley, hops, water and yeast. Yet it tastes like none of these things. I have sampled the grain which is used as its base and it tastes a little sweet, a little cereally, and absolutely nothing like what the beer tastes like. I have held a handful of the hops used to season it and inhaled deeply, yet the aroma I detected then is only faintly similar to the wafts of floral perfumes emanating from the glass in my hand. Water I have consumed in copious quantities over my 46 years, from tap, filter, spring, well and bottle, yet never have I tasted water that tastes like this beer. And as for yeast, well, being not at all a fan of Marmite, I think the stuff tastes rather disgusting, whereas this beer is tasting quite fine right now.
In short, I marvel at the incredible alchemy that produces from these four ingredients the glass of goodness in my hand. And even if some might dismiss it as mere lager or pilsner or “session beer” or “fizzy yellow stuff,” I view it as a remarkable creation, one I am honoured to be consuming right now.