Drinking Beer Makes You Smarter

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According to a study that was conducted by a group of researchers from the University of Illinois, drinking beer can make you smarter. After getting their subjects drunk, cognitive psychologist Jennifer Wiley and her team came to this realization. Interesting, right?

Proponents of the said study tested the creative problem-solving skills of their drunken participants and compared it to their performance before getting intoxicated.

To reach this surprising conclusion, they have devised a bar game and invited 40 men to participate in the said activity. Each man was given 3 words and was asked to come up with a 4th word, making sure that the new word fits the pattern.

For example, the three words are: cottage, blue and mozzarella. The word cheese goes with the given words.

Wiley reported on the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences’ site that participants who have a blood alcohol level of 0.07 were better at creative-solving tasks compared to their sober counterparts. As a matter of fact, the drunken ones were able to solve 40% more problems. However, they are worse at working memory tasks.

Additionally, drinkers were able to finish their problems within 12 seconds; while non-drinkers took 15.5 seconds. This is because alcohol helps people access their remote ideas – ideas that are developed through association.

As the researchers asked the participants to think of a word that goes with the words cottage, blue and mozzarella, they’ll be accessing their remote ideas to come up with the word cheese.

Contrary to the belief that alcohol muddies the mind and hinders analytical thinking, it actually makes you smarter. We’re not surprised why raving drunks like Charles Bukowski, John Cheever and Ernest Hemingway were able to write their books.

Sometimes, it’s good to be distracted. And sometimes, the really creative stuff comes out while enjoying a bottle of beer.

 

Beer Belly Is A Myth

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A lot people, especially women, are concerned about drinking too much beer thinking it would give them a beer belly. Beer drinkers now have a reason to celebrate as beer belly is now considered as a myth.

Charles Bamforth, a professor at the University of California Davis has confirmed that there is no scientific evidence that suggests that drinking beer would result to weight gain.

“All alcoholic beverages are composed of the same caloric ingredients. There is nothing special about beer calories that would cause it to head straight to the belly”, the author says.

Bamforth also pointed out that alcohol is the main source of calories in any alcoholic beverage. Beer contains lesser calories as compared to wines, spirits or even orange juice. Meaning, the drinker has to consume a larger amount of beer in order to get the same amount of alcohol. But the myth may be based from the notion that beer drinkers consume more calories.

True enough, most people consume beer in huge quantities as compared with wine or other liquor, which translates to more caloric intake. Bamforth also suggests that the drinker’s lifestyle may also contribute to the weight gain. Most drinkers tend to pair their beers with a burger or sausage; thus, explaining the weight gain.

Beer definitely contains calories and excessive drinking may put a few pounds on the drinker. That being said, consuming beer in excess means consuming excessive calories; thus, resulting to beer belly.

If taken in moderation, beer can be advantageous to one’s health. Just like wine, beer can provide us with a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, it can also help prevent a number of diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis and heart problems. Excessive beer intake, on the other hand, can increase the risk for alcoholic liver disease.

 

 

 

 

Health Benefits of Drinking Beer

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For years, wine drinkers have been enjoying their drink without guilt thinking that this beverage brings about some health benefits. Recent studies revealed that beer is actually advantageous to our health, especially if taken in moderation. Heavy drinking, on the other, can increase the risk of heart problems, cancer and liver damage. Considering the amount of calories, it can also make you fat.

In honor of our favorite beverage, we have decided to give you a list of the surprising health benefits that you can get from this awesome drink.

Prevention of heart disease

Beer helps reduce the risk of heart diseases. Studies revealed that beer improves the heart condition of a drinker by making the blood less viscous; thus, reducing the risk of blood clotting. Aside from this, drinking a glass or two can increase the HDL (the good cholesterol) level that prevents the arteries from getting clogged.

Beer is also packed with beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that reduces the level of cholesterol; thereby, reducing the risk of heart problems that are associated with a high level of cholesterol like heart attack or heart failure.

Stronger bones

Consuming a large amount of beer may lead to weakened bones. However, when taken in moderation, it can help make your bones stronger. Beer contains a high level of silicon, an element that is crucial in the development of strong bones.

Reduces the risk of kidney problems

According to studies, beer reduces the risk of developing kidney stones as compared to other alcoholic beverages. This is because of its high water content and its diuretic properties. Additionally, it has a compound that slows down the release of calcium in the bones, which is usually the culprit in the formation of kidney stones.

Improves mental health

If taken in moderation, beer is believed to improve a person’s mental health. According to studies, moderate consumption of beer helps improve concentration, memory and reasoning ability.  Experts revealed that is also helps reduce the risk of developing Alzheimers.

5 Clever Ways of Using Beer

Aside from drinking, beer can also be used in a variety of ways. Though ingesting it is our favorite way of using it, we have compiled a few clever ways of using beer in our day-to-day lives. Read on and be prepared to use your favorite beverage to good use.

Stain removal
If you have accidentally spilled coffee onto your plush carpet, you can use beer to get rid of the stain. Beer is actually a great cleaning agent and can be used as an alternative to chemical products. Just pour some beer on the carpet and let it soak for a few minutes. Then, get a towel and dab up the wrenched stain. Wash it off with soap and water and the stain will automatically disappear.

Hair wash 
This may come as a bit of a shock but beer can also be used for your hair. As a matter of fact, it will leave your hair shinier and more voluminous. After the procedure, the smell of your hair may be comparable to a college party, but it’s worth it. Best of all, you can use any beer brand you want. If you have left over beer in the fridge, feel free to let your thirsty hair soak it in.

Fertilizer
Plants are in need of a drink too. Beer can be used as a fertilizer for your household plants. Beer contains sugar, which can help make your garden grow green and vast.

Beer bath
While enjoying your drink, feel free to let some flow into your bathtub. Like wine, beer also contains  antioxidants that will leave your skin looking and feeling great. Plus, you get to enjoy the bubbles and aroma soaking in your skin.

Fluffy batter
If you want fluffy pancakes for breakfast, try substituting water with beer. This will turn your pancakes into little breakfast pillows and will give it a distinctive flavor.  The yeast and the bubbles in the beer will make the pancakes thick and airy. Remember though that you’ll be using the beer for cooking. So, try not to drink too much of it.

The Basics of Home Brewing

 

If you are a beer lover, you may have considered brewing beer at the comfort of your home. It’s not only economical; it’s also a great hobby that you could share with your friends. And by the end of your project, you’ll be welcomed with a cold glass of your very own beer.

Purchase a starter kit

As you begin to explore the art of brewing beer, getting a starting kit would be your best option. This kit contains all the supplies and equipments which are needed for home brewing, plus, detailed instructions also come with the package. This is especially recommended for beginners as you’ll be provided with everything you need for this project.

Prepare the ingredients

Surprisingly, beer involves a simple process. It’s basically just water with malt.

Most of the time, the ingredients needed in brewing are included in the home brew starter kit. As you master the art of brewing beer, you can start experimenting and add in hops, grains and malts. These could provide an added flavor to your beer.

Brewing the beer

Brewing beer is easy, especially if you’re using a starter kit. Follow these steps and start brewing your own beer.

Brewing – This process takes about 2 hours.

Start off by cleaning and sterilizing your equipments. Dissolve the brew in 2 to 4 liters of hot water then add in 1 Kg of dextrose or sugar. Then, put 10 liters of cold water in the fermenter, add the hot mixture and mix it well.

Top it up to 23 liters. When the temperature reaches below 30°, sprinkle it with brewer’s yeast.

Fermenting – This process takes about a week

This is where the magic happens! After adding the yeast, you can now seal the fermenter. Remember to partially fill the airlock with boiled, cooled water.

Allow the brew to ferment for a week, letting it stay at about 20 to 22°. Once you notice that the brew clears and the airlock stops bubbling, set aside for 48 hours. After this, you beer is ready for bottling.

Bottling

Make sure to sterilize all the caps and bottles. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to each bottle. Fill the bottles, leaving 40mm from the top.

Cover the bottles and tilt each bottle for a few times in order to dissolve the sugar. Keep them in a warm place for about 5 days, then transfer them to a cooler place and let it stay for another 5 days. Leave it alone for another week. After this, you are free to enjoy your very own beer.

Colorado beer festival event calendar: Fall and winter

The madness that is  Week is in the rear-view mirror, and what better way to recover than to load up your calendar with more beer-soaked events around Colorado.

 

Chef N Brew
Thurs., Nov. 14
EXDO Event Center, 1399 35th St, Denver

The food and beer pairing event returns for a second year with 15 chefs and 15 brewers teaming up and attendees voting on their favorite combinations. The cramped quarters and long lines at last year’s venue, the Oriental Theater, drew complaints so the move is good news. See the participating chefs and brewers confirmed so far and get tickets here for $49 and $59.

Parade of Darks
Sat., Dec. 7, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Wynkoop Brewing, 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202

Liquid courage before the annual Parade of Lights downtown. The Wynkoop’s Fourth Annual Parade of Darks promises winter seasonal beers from more than 35 breweries. Benefits MetroCare Ring, the local hunger relief organization. Advance tickets are $35 and day-of-event tickets are $42, and all attendees receive a commemorative glass and unlimited sampling. Buy tickets and check out last year’s impressive pour list here.

Denver Beer Festivus
Sat., Dec. 14, 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, Denver

Here’s a way to drink beer from just about every single Denver brewery in one setting. The 2nd Denver Beer Festivus – borrowing the name of the faux “Seinfeld” holiday with feats of strength and airings of grievances – will feature at least 24 breweries from within our fair city limits. Nineteen breweries poured last year. Among the anticipated new arrivals: Factofum BrewhouseJagged Mountain Craft Brewery and Station 26 Brewing. Presented by Denver Off the Wagon and Imbibe Denver. Tickets are $40 and available here.

Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywine
Jan. 9-11, 2014
Vail Cascade Resort and Spa, Vail

The 14th annual installment of one of the state’s best beer festivals, featuring high-alcohol beers (7 percent is the minimum) and high altitude (8,150 feet). The main attraction is the Saturday afternoon tasting session featuring Colorado and national breweries, but the educational aspects make Big Beers different from a lot of fests. This year features seminars and workshops on saisons, cooking with beer, brewing with Brettanomyces and more. The bitter taste of the Broncos’ playoff loss to the Ravens lingers for those who attended last year’s event. Here is a link to the lineup and tickets sales for the commercial tasting and seminars. Tickets to the dinners and the special packages are sold out.

 

15 Beer and Wine Facts That May Surprise You

Did you know?

1) One glass of wine is drunk for every three bottles of beer.

 

2) Wine is nearly 50 percent stronger than beer.

 

3) The global beer industry is forecast to have a value of $496.6 billion in 2014. The global wine industry is expected to reach $327.8 billion in 2016.

 

4) Snow Beer in China is the most popular beer, with 74.8 million barrels sold in 2012.

 

5) The four key ingredients in beer are water, yeast, malt and hops. The key ingredient in wine? Grapes.

 

6) In Czech Republic, the average person drinks 346 12-ounce bottles of beer per year — the most of any other country.

 

7) Vatican City consumes more wine than any other country at 365 glasses per year, per person.

 

8) The world’s most expensive wine costs $168,000 per bottle. It is Penfolds Limited Edition Ampoule from Australia. Only 12 bottles exist worldwide.

 

9) Pale lagers and pilsners account for the top 10 most popular beer brands in the world.

 

10) At 65 percent alcohol by volume, Armageddon from Brewmaster in Scotland is the world’s strongest beer.

 

11) Sherry wine has the highest alcohol content by volume at 22 percent, followed by Port Wine at 20 percent.

 

12) At 15 percent per volume, Barley Wine has the highest alcohol content among beer.

 

13) Barley Wine is called ‘wine’ because of its high alcohol content but is actually a style of ale.

 

14) Beer contains high levels of silicon, which have been found to increase mineral density in bones, according to researchers.

 

15) Beer is easiest on the kidneys among alcoholic beverages because it has the highest water content.