Beer as Medicine

Beer is delicious and it can be healthy to drink on its own. Apparently, back in the day, beer was used to deliver medicine. It turns out that this isn’t a crazy idea and can be a good way to deliver need medicinal ingredients to patients.

Another option was to add the herbs during the brewing process, either when boiling the malt, or just slightly heating them in the beer after the boiling has taken place. Van Lis mentioned over fifty kinds of herbs to prepare medicinal beer, ranging from ginger, lavender, cardamom, hyssop, cinnamon, aniseed, rosemary, nutmeg, gentian, juniper and lemon grass to plants such as absinth leaves, sweet flag, germander sage, and eye worth. He does not advise which kind of herb-infused beer should be used for particular ailments; this was after all supposed to be at the discretion of physicians. However, Van Lis does advice that ‘Joopen beer’ (which he says literally means ‘juicy beer’ in old Dutch) heats, moistens, and nourishes the body, but causes infected blood, bad digestion, sore eyes, fevers, and gout when drunken in excess.[1]

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Beer Brings Bonus to Businesses

Something exciting is happening in Cleveland and it’s that beer is bringing a bountiful amount of success to a failing neighbourhood. Great Lakes Brewing Company (not to be confused with GLB in Toronto) is one of many brewers that are drawing people and jobs back into the core of Cleveland. What’s happening there is not unique to Cleveland and similar success can be found all over North America.

Call it a “brewery incubation system,” says Benner, one that provides space, equipment and start-up assistance for hobbyists itching to hit the beer big leagues. “We’re bridging the gap between the home and pro brewer.”

Platform’s brewhouse will also house an onsite taproom, meaning patrons will be able to sample a seasonal lineup of beers in the very space in which they’re brewed. “It’s a manufacturing place where you can have a beer,” says Benner. “People are going to feel a connection to their product.”

The business model is not all that unusual, he believes. Benner estimates that 95 percent of professional brewers started out making beer in their home kitchens. He brewed up his first batch of homebrew (summer wheat) after being introduced to the hobby by a friend. Benner was instantly hooked, and he thinks that mentality will help Platform carve out its own niche in Ohio City’s — and Cleveland’s — craft brew scene.

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A Beer for Butterflies

Beer is delicious so it’s exciting to find out that at least one brewery is out there using their delvious suds to help a threatened species. Pelican Pub & Brewery in Oregon are using profits from one of their beers to fund the protection of butterflies from encroaching development and invasive species.

Now we have the newish Silverspot IPA, introduced last summer by the Pelican Pub & Brewery of Pacific City, Oregon. Downing one of these English-style IPAs will help efforts to increase populations of the threatened Oregon Silverspot Butterfly.

Once fairly common in northwest grasslands, the OSB (Speyeria zerene Hippolyta) became the victim of lost habitat, in terms of the early blue violet plant, also known as the dog violet (Viola adunca). It’s the great chain of ecological being—muck with this species here, and that species over there suffers as well.

The butterfly lays its eggs near the plant, which then serves as the sole source of food for the growing caterpillars.

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Thanks to Mirella!

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A More Eco-Friendly Way to Distribute Beer

growlerLocal Toronto brewery Steam Whistle has taken another step to green their beer (previously) by using growlers to serve and distribute their beer. A growler is essentially a large bottle of beer which can be refilled – and there’s the green aspect. By using growlers people consume less resource-intensive cans and bottles (yes those can be recycled).

Throughout North America growlers are growing in popularity thanks to craft brewers who care about beer. You should see if your local brewery supports growlers!

Before bottled beer became economical and common after industrialization in the mid-1800’s, in the US if one wanted beer outside of the saloon, it was usually draught beer filled and carried out in a growler, aka a “can” or “bucket” of beer. Many different containers (including pitchers, other pottery or glass jars and jugs, etc) were used to carry beer home or to work – the most common “growler” was a 2 quart galvanized or enameled pail as seen in these illustrations. The term Growler is thought to have originated from the sound of escaping CO2 causing the lid to rattle or growl. The current North American use of glass growlers is estimated to have kept over 1 billion cans and bottles from going landfill each year.

Link to Steam Whistle

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Craft Brewers Revive Local Economies

A bunch of towns in the USA have had to close their manufacturing plants as free trade and the global economy transplant jobs elsewhere. This has left a lot of people unemployed and a lot of warehouse and manufacturing space open. The surplus of space has given a great opportunity to craft brewers whose sales are increasing in the ongoing American recession.

Craft brewers are using the space abandoned by the old manufactures and hiring people who lost their jobs. Instead of producing useless consumer goods they are now producing delicious beer. All the more reason to drink from your local brewery instead of the big beer conglomerates.

Many brewers large and small are already focused on making their infamously resource-intensive industry more sustainable. Vermont’s Magic Hat Brew Company recently installed a digester that produces natural gas from the organic waste products of beer production; even giant Anheuser-Busch captures waste heat from brewing and puts it to use. Many local brewers are community-minded; craft beer giant Samuel Adams rents its corporate headquarters at the old Haffenreffer Brewery in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, a space they share with light industry, a couple of restaurants, artists’ studios, a fitness club, and a variety of local nonprofits.

“Shoe Town to Brew Town” offers an opportunity not only to celebrate such initiatives, but forge relationships between brewers and experts to leverage the unique qualities of the craft-beer industry. For Jimmy Carbone and his fellow craft-brew enthusiasts, beer pairs well with a menu that includes sustainability, jobs, and vibrant communities.

Read the full article here.

Thanks to Mirella over at Beerology.

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