Today’s beer video is from the documentary series How It’s Made that runs on the Discovery Channel in Canada and Great Britain, and on the Science Channel in the U.S. How It’s Made has been running for 22 seasons, having debuted in 2001. Each half-hour show features around four roughly five-minute segments, so they’ve covered a lot over the course of 286 episodes so far. This show, about Beer, was the third segment in episode 3, the 3rd episode in Season 1.
Today’s beer video is from the documentary series How It’s Made that runs on the Discovery Channel in Canada and Great Britain, and on the Science Channel in the U.S. How It’s Made has been running for 21 seasons, having debuted in 2001. Each half-hour show features around four roughly five-minute segments, so they’ve covered a lot over the course of 286 episodes so far. This show, about Beer Steins, was the fourth segment in episode 137, the 7th episode in Season 11.
Here’s an interesting journal article for the yeast wrangler in you to geek out on. Genome Sequence of Saccharomyces carlsbergensis, the World’s First Pure Culture Lager Yeast details the efforts of Andrea Walther, Ana Hesselbart and Jürgen Wendland from the Carlsberg Laboratory to get a handle on the origins of modern lager yeast using more modern gene sequencing tools. Here’s the wonderfully obtuse explanation from the Abstract:
Lager yeast beer production was revolutionized by the introduction of pure culture strains. The first established lager yeast strain is known as the bottom fermenting Saccharomyces carlsbergensis, which was originally termed Unterhefe No.1 by Emil Chr. Hansen and used in production in since 1883. S. carlsbergensis belongs to group I/Saaz-type lager yeast strains and is better adapted to cold growth conditions than group II/Frohberg-type lager yeasts, e.g. the Weihenstephan strain WS34/70. Here, we sequenced S. carlsbergensis using next generation sequencing technologies. Lager yeasts are descendants from hybrids formed between a Saccharomyces cerevisiae parent and a parent similar to Saccharomyces eubayanus. Accordingly, the S. carlsbergensis 19.5 Mb genome is substantially larger than the 12 Mb S. cerevisiae genome. Based on the sequence scaffolds, synteny to the S. cerevisae genome, and by using directed PCRs for gap closure we generated a chromosomal map of S. carlsbergensis consisting of 29 unique chromosomes. We present evidence for genome and chromosome evolution within S. carlsbergensis via chromosome loss and loss of heterozygosity specifically of parts derived from the S. cerevisiae parent. Based on our sequence data and via FACS analysis we determined the ploidy of S. carlsbergensis. This inferred that this strain is basically triploid with a diploid S. eubayanus and haploid S. cerevisiae genome content. In contrast the Weihenstephan strain, which we re-sequenced, is essentially tetraploid composed of two diploid S. cerevisiae and S. eubayanus genomes. Based on conserved translocations between the parental genomes in S. carlsbergensis and the Weihenstephan strain we propose a joint evolutionary ancestry for lager yeast strains.
If that made your head spin, try the full article, which was released in full online at the end of February. It will be published in the journal G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics in a future issue. It’s fascinating reading.
Brian Stechschulte, who by day is the executive director of the San Francisco Brewers Guild, by night wears many hats: photographer, blogger and more recently, historian. In addition to his All Over Beer website, he’s launched Bygone Beer, a beautiful look at beer history and breweriana.
In a blog post yesterday, Steam vs. Lager, he unearthed an interesting newspaper article from 1910 about the tensions between steam beer brewers and lager brewers in local bars in San Francisco. But toward the end of the old clipping, in the last paragraph, was a delicious old term for a bar or tavern that’s fallen out of favor in modern times: a “thirst emporium.” Now that’s a great term I’d love to see revived.
A quick search for the phrase reveals that it pretty much only shows up in old newspaper articles, and not that many of them, so that even in its heyday it was probably never too popular. I did turn up one print ad for a soft drink, or soda, further suggesting that it could also be applied to non-alcoholic establishments. Still, let’s start working that into conversations and writing. Bring back the “thirst emporium!”
In case you didn’t know, today is “The Day of the Dude,” a holiday in Dudeism, in honor of the cult classic, The Big Lebowski, so today’s beer video is a scene from the film. It’s one of the few in the movie in which Lebowski (played by Jeff Bridges) is drinking a beer, in this case the fictional Meichtry Draft Beer while driving and smoking a joint. The soundtrack to the scene is Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Lookin’ Out My Back Door.” Abide.
The Association of Belgium Brewers recently launched a campaign to celebrate Belgian beer … in Belgium. The marketing push, called “Fiers de nos bières” or “Proud of our Beers,” is trying to persuade the people of Belgium what beer lovers all over the world already know: that Belgian brewers make great beer that they should be proud of.
There’s also a website, proudofbelgianbeers.com, and a Facebook page (in Dutch). I’m something of an amateur vexillologist, so by far my favorite part of the campaign is the new Belgian flag that the ad agency DDB Brussels created. Such a simple idea, slightly modifying the existing flag to add some angles and a put a creamy head on the middle of the flag. Genius. You can even buy your own Belgian beer flag for €20.
Today’s beer video is a short interview of beer historian Ron Pattinson, the description for which reads. “Ron talks old beers with Bocky whilst sitting next to a very bad gnome. Find out about the latest Once Upon A Time Beers as well as Ron’s pursuit of the truth about porters.”
Today’s beer video was created by the Brewers Association and is entitled Craft Beer Tasting at Home and Beer Whispering Too! It’s a nice little “how to” for newbies on how to have a tasting in your home.
Earlier today there was an interesting infographic tweeted by the Wall Street Journal, by their WSJ Graphics division, entitled Offline Sales, showing how “retailers rely heavily on consumer products to drive store traffic.” In the top spot was “food and alcohol,” with 99% of $884 billion in sale made in stores, and only 1% online. That’s not too much of a surprise, as it’s somewhat a pain in the neck to order food or alcohol online, and in some states it’s even illegal (for the alcohol, at least). Even where it is, it’s prohibitively expensive for most beers. The majority of beers bought online, I’d guess, are of the rarer, hard-to-find variety. But the chart also suggests that beer is therefore very important to retailers trying to persuade customers to get off their laptops and drive down to their brick and mortar stores.