May 10

Great Eats After a Pub Crawl

Finding after hours food in Sydney isn’t too hard. There are plenty of places you can go into after a night on the town to fill up with eats, but the problem is finding a place that serves excellent food. I have done many crawls around this town and invariably we usually end up at a place that serves food that wouldn’t be fit for your dog. Stuff that is too greasy, undercooked, overcooked, or served with a snarl because they’re tired of drunks rolling in and causing problems. It was only recently that I finally stumbled on the perfect eats.

I had never tried Middle Eastern cooking before I found this place, and even then at first I was a bit hesitant. I wasn’t sure what a kebab would taste like, and I thought some of the dips looked a bit dodgy. My friends, who have more experience eating different cuisines from around the world, eagerly encouraged me to partake. I had a good buzz so it didn’t take much convincing. I initially tried part of my friend’s kebab figuring if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t end up wasting money. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 19

History of Beer

history of a beerBeer is one of the most loved alcoholic beverages around the world, but not every beer drinker knows enough about its history. Beer has been around for centuries, so to accurately ascertain its exact date and manner of origin is not possible, but we can get a fair idea of the same by analyzing the different cultures that have brewed beer for centuries, and what this implies.

According to many experts, beer can be traced back to ancient African and Sumerian tribes, when they were in their prime, 6,000 years ago. The art of beer brewing can be even older than that, but the earliest indicators show that beer was prevalent at least 6,000 years ago. In fact, a Sumerian Goddess going by the name of Ninkasi was also referred to as the Goddess of brewing. The act of fermenting beer and brewing it is said to have occurred completely by accident when a piece of bread got wet and was then left to become a watery pulp.

The Hymn of Ninkasi was a popular prayer of the Sumerians, and in addition to being an offering to the Goddess, it is also said to possess the recipe for brewing beer as it was originally discovered. Even the ancient epic of Gilgamesh talks about how Enkidu, the primordial primitive man, was taught the art of drinking beer and eventually learned to brew it as well.

The Babylonians’ Role in Beer Making

When the Sumerian empire fell, the Babylonians became the masters of the land and the recipe for brewing beer was passed down to them. It is said that the Babylonians knew how to make 20

Nov 12

How to Brew Beer at Home

home beer brewing processWho doesn’t like beer? It cools you down during summer, warms you up during winter, puts a ‘spring’ in your step during spring, and helps you brood during autumn. It is the inspiration behind the drinking game and now, the beer bong is a compulsory companion for any sporting event. It works best at bringing friends, enemies, and strangers together. And as if any more advantages are needed to be listed, you can make it at home! You can have an endless supply with your personal and unique blend. The recipe may look long, but it’s actually simple and the end product is worth it. Here’s how to do it.

Things Required
– 3 gallon pot
– Siphon hose with clamp
– 5 gallon plastic or glass bucket with lid (also called carboys)
– Bottle filler
– 12 oz. bottles (avoid twist off bottles)
– Bottle capper
– Bottle caps
– Sanitizing solution, starsan or iodosphor

– 6 lb dry or pale malt extract
– 2.25 oz. hops
– 1 packet brewer’s yeast
– 2/3 cup priming sugar, corn sugar (preferred) or white sugar

All the above equipment and ingredients are available at brewing supply stores. You can also buy a brewing starter kit which has all the necessary stuff to brew beer. This recipe brews 5 gallons of beer.

Steps of Brewing

Sanitize: The first and most important step is cleaning all the equipment. Beer is highly sensitive to contamination from bacteria, so first use hot, soapy water and then a sanitizing solution to clean your equipment.

Brew: Pour 2-3 gallons of water into your pot and heat it. Once the

Dec 06

Craft Beers and Microbrewery – A Trend That Is Here to Stay

No matter the place of the world we choose to go for a drink, it is becoming more and more common to find, next to the industrial beer supplier, a wide range of craft beers. Some of these bars even experiment with microbrewing, using recipes of their own creation, and providing a unique experience to their customers.

The microbreweries boom is clearly growing and gaining popularity. Many people take it as a recreational activity which leads them to acquire kits with everything needed to produce beer at home, and others, with entrepreneurial spirits, venture to start their own microbrewery business.

Interested? Would you like to know more?

Here we show you the basics about microbrewing…

Broadly, to produce beer, you need to begin with the malt, which can be obtained from any grain (usually barley or wheat). This “grain” must be germinated for a short period and then dried to remove the germ.

The malt must be macerated at different temperatures to obtain the wort, which must then be filtered, cooked and fermented with yeast. After leaving it to rest for several days, the resulting substance (your homemade beer) may be bottled and drunk.

Main beer types…

– Ale: fermented at higher temperatures, between 15 �C and 20 �C (59 �F to 68 �F) and sometimes at 24 �C (75 �F). They are usually very pale and their flavor is fruity/sweet.

– Lager: fermented at lower temperatures, between 10 and 18 �C (10-64 �F). Nowadays, Lagers represent the majority of produced beers, where Pilsen (Checzh Republic) stands out as the most popular. They can be light or dark, and the main difference between Lagers and Ales is the type of yeast used (which also dictates the brewing techniques).

– Lambic: these beers were first made in Brussels (Belgium). They get fermented by using wild yeasts and their flavor is

Dec 01

8 Unusual Beer Ingredients That’ll Completely Boggle Your Mind

Brewers across the world are experimenting with a number of unusual and odd ingredients, to give varying flavors and aromas to the different types of beer. With growing competition in the market, it seems brewers are trying to offer something unique to the consumers, which has led to the production of various new and exciting ale with exotic ingredients.

Such experimental or craft beer have witnessed a surge in their popularity in the recent times, and this has further encouraged the brewers to try different ingredients and recipes. So, let’s have a look at some weird ingredients that have found their way into your favorite brew, as a result of the worldwide craft beer and brewing renaissance.

Oysters, the bivalves, are one of the key ingredients in beer brewing process, which give an aromatic flavor and extra sweetness to the beer. Despite their long association with stout, oysters were not included in the brewing process earlier. The usual practice was to slurp the oysters while sipping beer. But today fresh oysters are being used in the brewing process itself. While some brewers use only the shells, others add the entire critter to make their stout.

Two most famous products that contain this unusual ingredient are, Porterhouse Oyster Stout and Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout of Flying Dog Brewery. You will be surprised to know, that the Porterhouse Oyster Stout won a gold medal in Belfast in 1997.

Ghost Pepper
Grown in the Indian states of Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur, ghost pepper was the hottest chili pepper in the world. However, in 2011 it has been replaced by the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion as the hottest chili pepper in the world. You will be amazed to know, that ghost pepper, which is mainly used as a spice, has also made its way to your beer mug.


Dec 01

Best Beer Festivals Around the World

Beer has been brewed and consumed for about 7000 years now. Arguably, it is called the third most popular drink after water and tea. In fact, beer is so popular that there are numerous festivals commemorating exceptional brewers, bringing together beer lovers from around the world. If you are someone who wants to taste different varieties of beer in the company of thousands of people, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the beer festivals that are hosted around the world.

Beer festivals promote certain special or locally brewed beers, and visitors get the opportunity of sampling some of the finest beers from around the world. Beer festivals are also well known for the mix of delicacies that is spread out for the visitors. To make it more interesting, these festivals often host live bands, DJ, comic performances, and beer drinking competitions, giving the whole festival a ‘party like’ atmosphere. So, without further ado, let’s proceed to find out the world’s biggest beer parties!

Famous Beer Festivals

1. Oktoberfest
Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Month(s): September, October
Duration: 16 Days

Oktoberfest was first hosted in Munich in 1810, to commemorate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe Hildburghausen. Initially, the festival was held in October, but it was later decided to hold the festival in September, owing to better weather conditions.

It is reported that an estimated 6 million people attend Oktoberfest every year, consuming 1.5 million gallons of beer in the 16 days of the festival.

Initially, beer was not a part of Oktoberfest, instead, a horse race in the presence of the Royal family was the concluding event. An agricultural show, along with carnival booths, was added to the event later. Beer became a part of Oktoberfest only in 1880. While horse races have ceased to be a part of the festival

Nov 29

Is Beer Good for Your Heart

Wine may have taken all the credit when it comes to alcohol and cardiovascular health but latest research conducted in Netherlands has found that beer, when taken in moderate amounts can prevent many heart diseases. The research published in the European Journal of Epidemiology suggested that having a pint of beer daily can reduce the chances of heart disease by 31%. The study also found that beer is effective in maintaining overall health of pre-menopausal women. The research has been welcomed by beer lovers all around the world, but here is a word of caution, drinking too much can render all its benefits ineffective and instead cause health complications.

The history of beer dates back to the time when humans learned the art of cultivation. For a long time, wine has been thought of having all the benefits for cardiovascular health, but the recent findings have pointed out that beer is as effective as wine in keeping numerous heart diseases at bay. Beer contains high levels of vitamin B6, which boosts the immune system and controls the levels of homocysteine, a major cause behind many heart diseases. Drinking beer in moderate amounts also prevents clotting of blood, which is one of the major reasons behind various heart attacks. Beer helps fight against atherosclerosis, generally known as the ‘hardening of arteries.’ In this condition, fat is accumulated on the inner linings of the arteries, thus, preventing the normal supply of oxygen to the heart. When the passage through which oxygen reaches the heart becomes very narrow, a clot is formed which can cause a heart attack. Dark beer contains flavonoid, an anti oxidant which prevents oxidation of alcohol and reduces the levels of low density lipoprotein or ‘bad cholesterol’, thus preventing many heart diseases.

Health Benefits of Beer

Apart from preventing cardiovascular diseases, there

Nov 29

How to Make Homemade Beer

Beer, the most ancient alcoholic beverage is produced with the help of a brewing process wherein the starch found in cereal grains, malted barley, wheat, corn and rice is fermented. One of the most common ingredients that is found in all kinds of beer is the hops. The hops act as natural preservatives in beer and also renders its distinctive taste. Sometimes, other preservatives and flavors like herbs are also added during the fermentation process. The beer that is brewed worldwide is often divided into two categories, namely, pale lager and ales. Most beers have a rather low alcohol content which ranges from 4% to 6%.

Nowadays, many people have actually started brewing their own beer at home and we present a very simple recipe that can be tried out even by someone who is brewing their own beer for the very first time.

How to Make Homemade Beer

The process of brewing your own beer can take some time long and a few specific ingredients are needed. The following are the tools that are needed for the process:
– A large pot that can hold about 3 gallons of liquid and a 10 gallon big bucket.
– A vinyl tubing, kitchen thermometer, a long spoon and also a set of empty bottles with caps to store the beer.

Along with these tools, ingredients are also required:
– Water
– 40 oz malt extract
– A packet of yeast
– 7 cups of sugar


Step 1: The first step involves sterilizing all the utensils that are to be used for the process. Hence, wash the pot, bucket and the spoon in near boiling water or in the dishwasher.

Step 2: Pour exactly 3 gallons of freshwater in the bucket and place it at such a location that it would not be disturbed for a very

Nov 28

How to Make Birch Beer

Root beer and birch beer are common supplies that almost all of us have in our pantry. But, homemade beer tastes something more special to beer lovers. Brewing homemade root beer is not new for people, who are fond of trying new drink recipes. Even the tips to make birch beer are not so difficult. What concerns a home brewer is the additional ingredients required in birch beer recipe. Yes, you may find it difficult to gather the supplies used in brewing this soft drink at home.

Tips on How to Make Birch Beer

In making birch beer, fermentation of the base ingredients is a basic step. So, what are the supplies required for brewing birch beer at home? Needless to mention, this soft drink is based on the sap of birch tree. The sap is collected during specific months of the year, when the plant sap flows freely. For the same, identify the sweet birch tree, and cut a small twig. Insert its cut end inside a bottle and attach it to the tree. This is a practical way to collect sap dripped from the twig without wasting.

In case, you don’t have a sweet birch tree, or are making birch beer in winter (when the tree is in dormant state), consider purchasing pure sap from the grocery store. If you can’t find it, replace birch sap with maple syrup. Other than the sap or maple syrup, you will require some birch twigs of a few inches long, honey, soft yeast and bread. Honey and birch sap provide the raw materials to initiate fermentation, which is carried out by the yeast spread over bread. Detailed info concerning the required ingredients and step by step procedure for making homemade birch beer is discussed below.

Ingredients for Birch Beer Recipe

– Birch sap or maple syrup,

Nov 28

Preservatives in Beer

Most of us are under the impression that alcoholic beverages do not need any preservatives. It does not cross our minds that the rich foam that we see at the top of our beer mugs could be a work of some inconspicuous preservative. Albeit not every beer you drink contains preservatives, there are certainly some beer brands which liberally use them. As beer is an alcoholic beverage, there is actually no need for preservatives, since alcohol itself wards off microbial growth.

Purity Laws Regarding Preservatives in Beer

German brewer’s in the medieval period brewed beer in its most pure form. German beer purity law of 1516 (Reinheitsgebot) prohibited use of any additives in beer. The only ingredients added in beer were malt (barley), hops, yeast, and water. The mixing of all these ingredients during brewing process produces alcohol. Since the entire beer brewing process was carried out in a sterile environment, no contamination by microorganisms was possible. Besides, alcohol itself has the property to prevent microbial growth. However, since then, brewing techniques have undergone a sea change. Brewers no longer adhere to the strict standards laid down by the beer purity laws in their respective countries.

In the United States of America, brewers are exempted from declaring the complete list of ingredients (including additives) in their product. However, some countries like Australia and New Zealand make it mandatory for their brewers to disclose a complete list of ingredients. Under a combined Food Standards Code, a complete list of additives which might be present in your beer is listed and encoded. In the absence of a universally accepted beer purity law, it becomes very difficult to predict the preservatives used in beer. Besides, every brewer has his own recipe for brewing different types of beer which makes it further impossible to guess what exactly

Nov 27

Black and Tan Recipe

I am sure there are a lot of people out there interested in knowing what is black and tan, and how to make it at home. If you belong to the category of beer lovers, you ought to be fascinated about this drink or would have tasted it sometime. Since this has been a popular drink in pubs, there is no way to avoid it.

Black and tan beer originated in Ireland, and the name derives from the British officers who wore uniforms of these colors while fighting with the Irish Republican Army. It became immensely popular in the US and the UK. If you check the color of this drink, half of it is black (upper half) and half of it is tanned, (lower half) which is the reason behind its name. It is a mixture of a lager with an ale and thus truly a cocktail treat! So let’s see how to make this drink through the recipe given below.


– Bass Ale beer bottles (as per your requirement)
– Guinness beer bottles (as per your requirement)
– Metal spoon
– Pint glasses

– Be sure you have the Bass ale and the Guinness bottles at home or else buy them. Don’t go for any other brands, since they would not give the perfect blend and flavor.
– Initially pour the ale in all the pint glasses slowly by tilting the glass slightly. Fill half the glass and wait for a few minutes for the fuzz to settle down.
– When done, it brings us to the most important step in the process, pouring the dark beer. You should hold the spoon upside down over the mouth of the glass and pour the dark beer i.e the Guinness, carefully drop by drop. Be sure you pour equivalent amounts of

Nov 26

Don’t Worry, Beer Happy – Incredibly Interesting Facts About Beer

Since time immemorial, beer has always fascinated mankind. It is likely that beer was invented thousands of years ago through accident at first, and eventually through improved techniques and recipes. It is difficult to say who invented beer. ‘When it was invented’ is also an unanswered question. No particular culture or time period can be credited with the invention of beer. According to some experts, it was invented by the tribes living in ancient Mesopotamia, the region of southwest Asia (currently occupied by Iraq). The words ‘ale’ and ‘beer’ are found in ancient English literature. Perhaps, at that time, what we call ‘cider’ was known as ‘beer’.

Only a few centuries ago, people started using the word ‘beer’ for ‘hopped malt beverages.’ It is a fact that any food that contains sugars gets fermented due to the yeast present in the air. So, it is possible that various beer-like beverages were discovered by various cultures across the world at different times. A number of experiments and trial and error methods must have eventually helped produce the beverage that we call ‘beer.’

Interesting Facts About the Invention of Beer
– About 10,000 years ago, people used to wander in search of food. As the need for a consistent and a reliable food source arose, the hunting tribes started settling down in areas where there was ample water. They started cultivating grains. It is believed that people discovered beer when grains that were unknowingly left in a bucket outside the house, got fermented into a beer-like beverage when the bucket got accidentally filled with rainwater. Archaeological evidence suggests that beer is the most ancient beverage known to mankind.

– The first barley beer was most likely made in the Middle East. Archaeologists have found a 6,000 year old Sumerian tablet which shows people from Mesopotamia

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