by: Taylor Armstead
In this day and age, drinking beer has become a huge part of American culture. Craft breweries are popping up in just about every town, and Friday happy hours often include a dose or two of hops and lagers. But what do we really know about beer? It actually has a history that goes all of the way back to ancient times.
The first known brewers of beer were the Egyptians, who documented their recipes on papyrus scrolls around 5,000 B.C. However it is believed that women in Mesopotamia were actually the first to brew beer: not only were chemical traces of beer from the 4th century were discovered in a Sumerian settlement, but also a tablet with the Hymn to Ninkasi describes an ancient recipe for brewing. This song of praise, written to the Sumerian Goddess of Beer, was recorded in 1800 B.C., but it's believed to be much older and passed down in oral form until its recording. In the middle ages, monks began brewing beer and are credited with ideas such as using hops and lagering beer. In many places (especially in areas where water contamination was prevalent) beer was actually considered a safer alternative to water prior to the invention of water filtering technology.
The craft beer industry in the United States has a more recent (yet no less interesting history) as well. In the late 1800’s, beer production in the United States was highly varied due to many different nationalities of immigrants bringing their traditions and recipes with them - lagers and ales alike were abundant in a variety of styles. In 1873, there were a recorded 4,131 breweries (not including home breweries). This number of distinct breweries was not surpassed until 2015, despite modern population being roughly 8 times the size. The 18th Amendment put a stop to many breweries, however, although some survived by making malt extracts, ice cream, and sodas. When the 18th amendment was repealed in 1933, 756 breweries opened in the year that followed. The mid-1900’s brought a slew of innovations such as the cone top can (Schlitz, 1935), the aluminium can (Coors of Golden, Colorado, 1961), and associations like the United Brewers Industrial Foundation (1936) and the United States Brewers’ Association (1941). In 1943, due to World War II, breweries were temporarily required to allocate 15% of their production to the military. Many of the breweries that opened post-prohibition were pushed out of business by the larger breweries, so that in 1961, only 230 breweries remained in the United States, with 140 of them being independently owned.
In 1965, Fritz Maytag bought the struggling Anchor Brewing from Joe Allen and Lawrence Steese (the former having opened the brewery post-Prohibition along with Joseph Kraus). Maytag is known as the father of the modern craft beer revolution: with the help of Joseph Owades, Maytag revived the brewery’s unique, signature steam beer, which uses a lager yeast but is fermented in warmer temperatures. Despite struggling for many years, the brewery eventually achieved success and ushered in a revolution of small craft breweries.
Traditionally, beer contains 4 ingredients: water, malts, hops, and yeast. The first step of the brewing process is called the mash. Grains are added to hot water, which extracts the malt (sugars in the grain), color, and flavor. Next, hot water is poured over the grains to extract all of the sugar made during the mash – this step is known as the sparge. During the boil phase, the liquid extracted from the previous step, known as the wort, is kept at a rolling boil for a period of time while hops, spices, and other flavors are added. Heartier or bittering ingredients are typically added first, and the more delicate and aromatic ingredients are added toward the end. The last step is fermentation, where the beer starts to become alcoholic. The yeast is pitched into the cooled wort and left to sit for a period of time until the bottling process. Beer carbonates naturally with some sugar, but most brewing processes involve adding additional carbon dioxide during bottling. Some processes also bottle condition, where yeast and sugar are added a second time to produce carbon dioxide. Bottle-conditioned beer, similar to fine wines, will continue to mature as it ages. The ABV (alcohol by volume) of most beers ranges between 3.0-13.0%.
Beer can be divided into two main categories: lagers and ales. The overall difference between these two categories is that lagers traditionally take a longer time to ferment at a cooler temperature and produce a crisper beer. Lagers are frequently described as being “crisp”. Their name is derived from the fermentation method, which involved storing the beer in caves around the forty-degree Fahrenheit range. Lagers were first brewed in the 15th to early 16th century, making them much younger than ales. Some of the more common style lagers include pilsners, bocks, and dunkels. Ales, on the other hand, take a shorter time to ferment, and require a higher fermentation temperature (ranging between about 60-75°F). Ales are known to be fruiter and/or spicier than lagers as well as having more of a “full-bodied”, robust, and complex mix of flavors. Some of the most common types of ales include India Pale Ales (commonly known as IPAs), brown ale, porters, stouts, and amber ales.
The variety and types of beers found in breweries, grocery stores, and anywhere else craft beer can be purchased will differ depending on the season. During the hottest months of the year, such as now, lagers, IPAs, sours, and other lighter, crisper beers can be found more readily. In the winter months, porters and stouts become more popular for drinkers who enjoy heavier beers. In the fall, many people flock to the Märzen beer style (a lager), more popularly known as the traditional beer served at Oktoberfest.
Today, with the increasing number of breweries, brewers work to distinguish their beers with marketing and many complex flavor profiles and styles. Some breweries have gone back in time to peruse recipes that date to ancient times: Dogfish Head’s beer Midas Touch is derived from an ancient recipe from 700 B.C. found in King Midas’ tomb. Other breweries seek to distinguish themselves by brewing as earth-consciously as possible. New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO), Brewery Vivant (Grand Rapids, MI), and Brooklyn Brewing (Brooklyn, NY) are three breweries known for leading the charge on more sustainable innovations in brewing. For those with a more adventurous palate, there are options such as the spicy Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin, or Short's Brewing OMGWTFBBQ which features smoked hops and actual barbecue sauce. Whether you are new to beer or a seasoned drinker, there are many new beers emerging daily to discover.
Cheers (and drink responsibly)!
By: Alyssa Kapaona
Moving between states can be a tricky minefield that requires the agility and footwork of a pro athlete. This isn’t just your average pack up the house and move to the next town kind of move; this is next level moving. To get you the best information, I interviewed three savvy ladies: Sarah, a 23 year old graduate student who recently moved from Indiana to Arizona; Kelly, a thirty something who has moved to 4 different states over the past 10 years; and Meghan, a thirty something who has moved to 5 different states over the past 12 years. And yours truly, another thirty something who has moved from Hawai’i to Nevada back to Hawai’i in the past 10 years. Here are 5 things to consider as you make your move to another state:
Before you start the physical process of moving (i.e. calling moving companies and or packing up your belongings), take a second to pause and reflect. Ask yourself, what kind of move are you making and why? Are you moving for a job? Moving to be closer to your significant other? Are you coming packed with plenty of baggage (a family or a partner)? Or is this an “Under the Tuscan Sun” moment where you need a fresh start and a new lease on life? Whatever the reason, just take a moment to be at peace and aware of your decision so you can move forward accordingly with your best interests at heart.
Budget and Plan Ahead
All the ladies I spoke with shared that moving can be expensive. To make sure you are not living outside of your means, begin with the amount that you want to spend on this move and work backwards from there. It will help you to decide things like if you need to hire movers or whether to ship furniture vs. buy new. After she compared shipping cost with buying new, Sarah decided to start fresh since it would have been more expensive to ship her stuff. Kelly also shares, “Keep in mind any storage costs that might come up. I was in a situation where my house wasn’t ready when I moved. I not only had to ship furniture, I had to store it for a longer period of time than I thought I would. When all was said and done, it would have been more economical to buy all new furniture than the route I took.”
In your budget, do not forget to add in expenses for after your move. Sarah was surprised to find out how much it would be to restock a new home with all the essentials: cleaning supplies, toiletries, pantry items, etc. Most people are used to buying these items gradually, so buying them all at once can be a bit of a shock.
Finally, plan ahead for all those nitty gritty logistics. If you are a professional who has a state license (doctor, nurse, teacher, cosmetologist, etc.) make sure you know how to transfer your license from state to state. Have a car? Make sure you are correctly registering your car in your new state and that you’re knowledgeable about getting a driver’s license as well. True story, when I came back home to Hawai’i, I had to retake a written permit test like a damn teenager. I passed, but if I didn’t know the test going in, it might have been a more nerve wracking experience.
KonMari that Sh*t
KonMari is the trendy Japanese practice of paring down your belongings to only own the things that spark joy in your life. While you might not have time to get cozy with the KonMari method (although it’s highly recommended), all the ladies I spoke with did wistfully wish they decluttered and donated more before their moves. “Hanging on to things just makes the move harder. I wish I ripped off the Band-Aid and got rid of things I didn’t really care about a long time ago,” Sarah said.
One easy method of decluttering is ask yourself: “Have I used this in the past year?” If the answer is no, it is probably OK to go in the donation bin. Also ask yourself if you really love the item. Sometimes we hold onto things because of guilt or nostalgia, but at the end of the day, we’d really be fine without said item.
After you have gotten rid of the excess, let the packing commence! If you can, make it fun. Promise some helpful friends pizza and wine in exchange for their moving muscles. However, this is not recommended if you are packing on a strict timeline; sometimes it is just easier to get things done solo. Also, only invite friends over after you have decluttered. Friends are most efficient when instructions are simple (i.e. “Please put these items in this box and tape it shut.”). It will get too complicated if they are helping you to decide which clothes to keep and which to ditch ala Carrie and the girls in the Sex and the City movie.
I can be a little overly-organized (fresh school supplies and neat rows definitely get me excited), but I found my system where I labeled boxes and their contents to be extremely helpful. Use a note app or Google Drive, that way you can have your list with you at all times on your phone or tablet. Label all your boxes (I used letters) and briefly write the contents of the boxes (i.e. Box A- textbooks and towels). The inventory definitely helped me when I was looking for something after the move and also ensured that I did not forget to pack anything. Pro tip: Write your label on all sides of your box so no matter how it gets to your new location, you can see it clearly without having to move tons of boxes to get see which box is which.
Meghan also shared a genius packing hack: “I used clothes in my boxes with breakables. Instead of paying for bubble wrap and extra paper, I would pad everything with towels, clothes, blankets. It made everything way easier and took up less boxes.”
I’m here, now what?
Now that you are in your new state of residence, it’s time to transition. All of the ladies recommended spending some initial time exploring. Sarah found it best exploring her new city with her boyfriend and her parents who helped her settle in. Their support during an uncertain time helped things go smoothly. Kelly enjoyed taking walks and jogs in her new neighborhood to get a lay of the land. Everyone recommended going out to eat at new places (you might want to add that into your budget if you’re used to cooking at home). Pro tip: talk it up with your waiters/waitresses. Kelly said, “When I would go out to eat in my new state, if the wait staff was willing to share, I would always keep my ears open to their insider knowledge about things to do in the area.”
Part of the transition is dealing with nitty gritty logistics. For example, who is going to be your new dentist, doctor, OB, salon, etc.? To get started, Yelp and the good old fashioned internet search are always great tools. Don’t be afraid to shop around. For a more personal touch, ask people you admire and don’t be shy! Does your new officemate have a killer smile? Ask him for a dentist referral. Does that fellow mom at the school pick up line always have beautiful, bouncy hair? See if she will let you in on her secret. Most people are flattered and open to sharing their contacts.
Finally, be ready for the mixed emotions that come with big change. Kelly was excited and wanted to move from Hawai’i to Austin, Texas, but she shared, “I wasn’t prepared for the feeling of missing my friends and family so much in a new place. While I eventually adjusted, I did feel the absence of my social group from back home.”
And while you might need to take time to get used to your new normal, don’t forget to take some risks with the new move. When I moved to Las Vegas from Honolulu, I let a friend from back home introduce me to her friend. We met up on a “blind date” and there was an instant connection. She quickly became the core of my social group in my new city and is still one of my closest friends 6 years after I moved back home. You already had the guts to move, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and live large in your new home town.