A couple of nice articles about beer, the first short, the second a much longer, but well written, pdf.
This is not a huge thing to point out, but here is a very good example of a traditional craft, or way of doing things, that along with having no end of cultural subtleties (flavour, aroma, effect etc.) is not only healthy, but also harnesses microbial processes, including those including members of populations that in some cases are blamed for causing disease, even death, such that we can take questionable ‘wild water’ and purify it; not only that, but it provides quite a lift, psychologically, as we all know.
I doubt that such a drink could ever be invented in our modern world. Look what has happened to cheese! If the modern world has its way, there won’t be any real cheese available in a few years because of our desire to fully control wild microbial populations, our distrust of them. So instead we make fake cheese on pasteurised milks; now some of it seems alright, but there is a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ vitality quotient missing from the delicious, pungent, potent cheeses I used to enjoy in France back in the sixties when I was still a young thing and took vitality (of all sorts) for granted.
And don’t get me started on bread, the main subject of this baker’s blog! Bread used to be a great (albeit always essentially very simple) thing, nourishing, tasty, aromatic, truly a luxury food enjoyed by peasant and Lord alike. But what passes for bread now in the supermarkets…. well it has a somewhat good light texture and there is an aroma and flavour there, but really it is both a pale imitation of the real thing in those terms, as well as being demonstrably bad for the health when eaten regularly because of the lack of proper pre-digestion from authentic fermentation using cultures which attach themselves naturally to the grain as opposed to single strain sugar-only trained laboratory grown derivatives. The production of gas is rapid and dependable, but the grain is not nearly as digestible. Nor as tasty or aromatic.
Anyway, enjoy the beer!