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Beer Alcohol Content Explained (All you need to know about beer)

Lets Start at Square One – Alcohol

Alcohol is produced through the fermentation of a natural source of sugar with a catalyst, usually yeast. During fermentation, the carbohydrates (starch and sugars) in the main source are transformed into carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol, which is the basis of all alcoholic beverages.

Numerous brands keep secret the exact recipe of their drinks, which are only available to their expert distillers, brewers and winemakers. However, each type of alcoholic beverage follows this basic process.

Beer and its Alcohol Content

Beer is made from cereals such as barley and wheat, and hops are often added to enhance flavor. When cereals and sugars have been malted and processed for a certain time, additional cereals and other ingredients are added to provide colour, flavor and/or clarity. In fact, if you distil beer, you get whiskey, since both are made with the same ingredients. This is done by removing some of the water in the beer by heating it to a gas and then chilling it to liquid again, the concentrated alcohol you then get is the whiskey we all know.

There are, however, various types of beers and these differences come from the content and brewing process. The four major dominant kind of beers we have are:

LAGER

Low fermentation.

Example: Tennants

Tennants

WHEAT BEER

Higher fermentation than lager.

Example: Blue Moon

Blue Moon

PORTER AND STOUT BEER

Porter beer is a less bitter beer, with lower original densities and less alcohol than Stout. The Stout beer, receives this name for being the strongest porter. Stout beer is also almost black, dark, bitter and brewed with toasted barley malt.

Example: Guinness

Guinness - Foreign Extra Stout

LAMBIC BEERS

The beers of the Lambic family are beers of spontaneous fermentation, which are made in Lambeek, Brussels. They are acidic and only slightly bitter because the hops are aged to avoid the bitterness.

Example: BrewDog Punk IPA

BrewDog Punk IPA

Beers with the Highest Alcohol Percentages

In the world ranking, the Dutch-made ‘Mystery of the beer’ has a whopping 70% alcoholic volume. To produce it the alcohol is eliminated by freezing it to later add extra alcohol, before turning back into liquid. Very little is known about this beer of Dutch origin, although they claim that despite its abundant alcohol it still retains the signature beer flavor.

We have also compiled a list of 10 High Alcohol Content Beers that are popular brands.

Brewmeister Snake Venom – 67.5%

This Scottish beer has a terrifying 67.5% alcohol volume. Not only is its AVB alarming, but so is it’s price, since each 330ml bottle costs just over £50. It ranks number 2 on the rating surpassing its predecessor and companion ‘Brewmeister Armageddon’ by 2.5%. Its striking yellow label alerts us that you have to think twice before venturing to taste this beverage. However, although it may look like a distillate, it is not, as it is fermented and not distilled. The creators claim that their special ingredients (smoky smoked malt, beer yeast and champagne yeast) are the secrets to achieving this record. It’s Barley Wine style.

Brewmeister Armageddon – 65%

Ousted by it’s partner Snake Venom, this brew was once was awarded the world record for the strongest beer in the world. The Brewmeister brand’s technique is freezing of beer during its fermentation process. Those who have tried it say that it has a viscous character, slightly sweet and with a large amount of yeast. The company recommends drinking it in a shot or consuming it as a whiskey, as apparently its aroma alone can intoxicate you. The price is almost €7 for 35 millimeters and about €49 for a bottle. Both Armageddon and Snake Venom can be purchased online, although there is a waiting list. Eisbock style.

Schorschbräu Schorschbock 43 – 43%

A beer of German origin that also has a more powerful

version, the Schorschbock 57 with 14% more alcoholic volume. The most curious thing about this beer is its high level of flammability, it catches alight extremely easily. Eisbock style.

Brewdog Sink the Bismarck – 41%

An Ipa imperial style Scottish beer. It is a ‘quadruple’ Ipa since it’s given extreme bitterness due to having four times the normal amount of hops. Its name refers to a German ship that sank during World War II.

Benefits of Drinking Beer

Okay, this is what you came here for.

praying man

Water, barley and hops. These are the three ingredients of beer, which is a low-fermented fermented drink that, if consumed in moderation, can prevent some diseases and provide benefits to our body.

In fact, contrary to what people believe, beer has a low caloric content (goodbye beer belly myth) and has nutrients that make it possible to be included in a healthy diet and integrated into the Mediterranean diet. This was pointed out by Jesús Román Martínez, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Complutense University of Madrid and president of the Scientific Committee of the Spanish Society of Dietetics and Food Sciences (Sedca): “Beer is a traditional drink that, in addition to providing certain nutrients and non-nutritious, is a source of water for the body. Being a fermented drink, it is part of the Mediterranean culture, always bearing in mind that it is a healthy adult drink whose consumption should be responsible and moderate.”

For responsible consumption the expert indicates that no more than 2-3 beers should be consumed a day for an adult male, and 1 or 2 for a woman. In addition, the intake should not be accumulated for a certain occasion, such as weekends, for example (say goodbye to those binges). Some of the benefits it offers are:

1) Nourishing

Due to its ingredients, beer is a ‘healthy’ drink. Román indicates that it contains different nutritional substances such as vitamin B (especially folic acid), and contains a slight percentage of carbohydrates (maltodextrin) and alcohol.

Minerals are also present, mainly magnesium and calcium, but vary depending on the water with which it is manufactured. “Also, there are other non-nutritive substances, but also important for the physiology of the organism, such as fiber and antioxidants, which come especially from a plant (hops) that is added to beer during its preparation to give it that bitter touch.”

2) Prevention against heart attack

A step against heart attack – one of the positive effects of moderate consumption of beer. “It could prevent the oxidation of cells, increase the amount of HDL (good) cholesterol and protect against acute myocardial injuries associated with the infarction,” says Roman.

Scientific evidence points out that drinking beer is linked to a lower risk of ischemic heart disease, favours global cardiac function and could have anti-inflammatory qualities that would contribute to the reduction of cardiovascular risk.

3) Healthier bones

Ingredients such as silicon, which promotes bone density and prevents bone loss, or phytoestrogens, associated with the improvement of menopausal symptoms and the prevention of osteoporosis, are present in beer. This is why some studies point out that it improves bone health.

In fact, more and more data support that the consumption of light to moderate beer can reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

4) Fewer infections in women

Drinking large amounts of alcohol has harmful effects on health, among them, it depresses the immune system. However, if consumption is moderate, it could improve the immune response against organisms that cause infectious diseases.

According to a study carried out in healthy adults by the Institute of the Cold of the Superior Center of Scientific Investigations (CSIC), drinking beer moderately for a month improves the immune system, especially in women.

5) Protection against diseases such as Alzheimer’s

The silicon contained in beer is associated with the protection of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s . This is because it reduces the bioavailability of aluminum in plasma and brain tissue, linked to some important neurodegenerative pathologies.

Along with coffee, bananas, water, green beans and spinach, among other foods, beer is one of the main sources of silicon in the diet.

Risks of Drinking Beer

Drinking small amounts of beer is not bad in moderation, but being a heavy drinker can cause you some health problems. Socially, drinks that are made from yeast, barley and water have never been put into consideration and in fact, have always been the most popular. But since the times of ancient Egypt, beer has undergone many changes in both its conservation and its quality.

Monosodium glutamate

This substance improves the flavor and has been used for a long time in the food industry.  The products that contain it are marked with the symbol E621. It is dangerous for the cells, the brain and promotes the development of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Monosodium glutamate is responsible for headaches, arrhythmia, hyperactivity and skin rash.

Calcium disodium of ethylenediamine tetraacetate

This is an antioxidant that serves to control acidity. Its symbol is E385. This additive can affect the metabolism, cause allergies in the skin and affect the development of reproduction.

Insects to color

Industrial agroindustrialists use insects to colour their products. There are companies that use them to colour coffee, yogurt and various drinks, which surprises many consumers. This additive can cause many allergies or anaphylaxis that can be life threatening.

Caramel color

There are four derivatives for that colour and studies have shown that this substance is harmful. The caramel colour stimulates the development of molecules that can cause cancer. Many experiments in animals have shown that this additive can cause lung cancer, leukemia and thyroid dysfunction.

Glyceryl monostearate

This additional ingredient is known as GMS. This organic molecule is used as an emulsifier. It is a simulator of oil, wax and a solvent. This product is used in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and hair care products. It is toxic to many organs and is banned in many countries. They have shown that some elements of the glyceride family can block growth, increase the size of the liver and kidneys, reduce the size of the male reproductive organs and cause uterine disorders. If that that’s not bad enough, this additive can sometimes cause stomach upset.

Some good advice is, drink wisely! Make sure you are drinking a trusted product and avoid too much intake of beer.

If you liked this blog check out our other beer articles! Thanks for reading.

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