Okay, so.

I don’t like beer.

I don’t know how to cook.

I don’t know how to brew beer, except that the process involves mashing up some kind of grain at some step along the way. Oh, and I think yeast are involved, too.

I don’t know a thing about spices; see reference to “don’t know how to cook” above.

Nevertheless, last night I had a dream in which I came up with a new recipe for beer (which, just for the record, I don’t even drink). Said recipe involved nutmeg (which I know is a spice of some sort) and curry (which I believe to be a spice of some sort). I brewed large quantities of this beer, which I then loaded into the back of a station wagon, so that I could drive all over merry old England (a country I’ve never visited) selling it to pubs and bars.

Apparently, it was a big success, and by the end of the dream, Molson Brewing Company (a company I wasn’t even sure was real–I had to Google it just now) was negotiating with me to buy the rights to the beer for millions of dollars.

Either I have a secret font of arcane, esoteric knowledge buried deep inside my head somewhere, or someone else has been using my brain while I’m asleep. Would you even put stuff like curry and nutmeg in beer? I have no idea.

102 thoughts on “Okay, so.

  1. Curry is not a specific spice, but a mix of spices. I’ve tasted it used in a beer once; was not to my tastes, but with a sample size of one I don’t know if that’s because I don’t like curry-beer, or because I don’t like *that* curry-beer.

    There’s a medieval English beer recipe that involves cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, and, oddly enough, no grain, which makes it problematic as to whether it’s even appropriate to call it beer, but they did. And apparently drank it and liked it.

    I would be delighted to make use of your brain if it’s available, but I do have major consent issues and have not so far used it, as your consent has been lacking. If you’d *like* me to use it, by all means send it along.

    best,

    Joel

    • Are you thinking of Mead? – I think, from my esoteric font of arcane knowledge in my unconsciousness, that it’s made with honey, instead of hops. Which I would probably enjoy a great deal, now that I ponder on it.

      • No, I’m not thinking of mead. I’ve brewed mead, which is honey-wine, and it resembles neither regular beer nor spice-beer. Though if you’d like to brew some I’ll ask for an invitation to the tasting.

        best,

        Joel

  2. Curry is not a specific spice, but a mix of spices. I’ve tasted it used in a beer once; was not to my tastes, but with a sample size of one I don’t know if that’s because I don’t like curry-beer, or because I don’t like *that* curry-beer.

    There’s a medieval English beer recipe that involves cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, and, oddly enough, no grain, which makes it problematic as to whether it’s even appropriate to call it beer, but they did. And apparently drank it and liked it.

    I would be delighted to make use of your brain if it’s available, but I do have major consent issues and have not so far used it, as your consent has been lacking. If you’d *like* me to use it, by all means send it along.

    best,

    Joel

  3. Scary.

    I believe those would be flavors added to create a beer. Would I put them together? I don’t know about that, but then I’m not a curry fan so I could be wrong, they might go together fabulously.

    They add lots of things to make the final flavors of beer.

    Interesting dream!

  4. Scary.

    I believe those would be flavors added to create a beer. Would I put them together? I don’t know about that, but then I’m not a curry fan so I could be wrong, they might go together fabulously.

    They add lots of things to make the final flavors of beer.

    Interesting dream!

    • Oy woman, watch it there. Don’t lump us all together, some of us appreciate real bear.

      Having said that nutmeg could go with a nice wheat beer. Don’t know about the curry. Although I do like beer when I’m eating curry.

    • I’m all about Belgian style beers. Unibroue is my favorite brewery. The beer I believe you are referring to, I can only consume at sporting events because, for some reason, crappy beer fits there.

      • I live shouting distance from the leinienkugel brewing company.

        their seasonal favorites are great, I loved the apple one they had last year.

        They put all sorts of “flavors” with beer as well as using different types of grains and hops. Im a dark beer lover myself. The Leinies creamy dark is great on tap, not quite as good in a bottle. Havent tried the Big Butt Bopple Bock yet. I will give guinness in a can a good go round if nothing better is available.

  5. Would you even put stuff like curry and nutmeg in beer?

    No, not if you’re like most beer drinkers. There might be one or two people with really odd taste buds who might, but in all the years I’ve been reading up on the subject and hanging out with brewers and vintners, I’ve never heard mention of either curry or nutmeg going into beer. I could see nutmeg maybe, if you’re going for a really odd taste, but definitely not curry, no, never.

    There is a type of beer called “lambic”, though, that has fruit or fruit juice added during the fermentation, and some people like to add a bit of lime or lime juice to their drink, but no curry, no nutmeg. As far as I know.

    (True Beer, by the way, should be nothing but barley or wheat, water, yeast, and hops.)

    • What you’re calling “True Beer” is according to the Reinheitsgebot, which was the German beer purity standard.

      Lambic, is not a fruit beer, but rather a Belgian style of beer where the yeasts used are “wild,” and lead to a very, very sour beer. Some lambics, such as the ones that have become popular in the US, have lots of sugar and fruit flavors added. It’s not uncommon to have a lambic with fruit flavor otherwise, but they can range from slightly sweet to extremely sour, like Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus. A plain lambic is called a geuze.

      Belgian beers are distinctive because they don’t have restrictions like the Germans had in adding different flavors. Coriander, for instance, is added to some white beers, like Hoegarden.

      Other beers have all sorts of things added to the fermentation process – including macerated fruits, coffee, milk, oysters, sugars (honey, molasses, cane)

      It’s a great, wide world of beer.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if curry, or the spices that comprise curry, has not been used in beer, at least in small production. Nutmeg, if I recall correctly, has been added to some of the darker brews made as winter seasonals both domestically and abroad.

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if curry, or the spices that comprise curry, has not been used in beer, at least in small production.

        Let’s try that again. It would surprise me if no brewer in the world has tried to brew a curry beer.

      • Does anybody else find any concept of a German purity standard somewhat disconcerting? Every time I see that on a bottle I just get pictures of goose stepping brewers and it goes downhill from there. πŸ™‚

      • A plain lambic is called a geuze.

        Not quite, geuze is lambic that’s been re-fermented on champagne bottles.

        Don’t some crazy people use nutmeg in large doses as a hallucinogenic? A curry-nutmeg drink sounds more like an idea to sell to the Coca Cola Company… =P

        • geuze: A mixture of young (one-year) and old (two and three-year) lambics which has been bottled. It undergoes secondary fermentation (the so-called mΓ©thode champenoise), producing carbon dioxide, because the young lambics are not yet fully fermented. It keeps in the bottle; a good gueuze will be given a year to referment in the bottle, but can be kept for 10-20 years. An obscure German ale style, Gose, is not to be confused with gueuze.

    • True Beer, by the way, should be nothing but barley or wheat, water, yeast, and hops

      This is incorrect, as far as my research shows. You are speaking of the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot purity law, which is the most extreme definition and not the standard one for beer.

      It was a German law regulating the production of beer by limiting its ingredients to water, barley, and hops (yeast was not known to exist at the time and was merely a coincidental part of the brewing process, therefore was not mentioned in the regulations) and was primarily instituted to inhibit price competition.

      This law has since been repealed and replaced with the Provisional German Beer Law which allows constituent components prohibited in the Reinheitsgebot, such as wheat malt and cane sugar, but which no longer allows unmalted barley. However, beer has been in production for centuries before this law was in effect and has always included the option of additional ingredients.

      Hops, for instance, are the most common spice today, but not the first and hardly the only spice used in the brewing process. It was not commonly used in beer making until the 13th century (although the first mention of it being used was 400 BC) while beer itself is the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage.

      What categorizes a “beer” is that it is primarily fermented cereal starch, which can be barley or wheat, but can also be any other such as rice or corn, or even potatoes. Adjuncts (spices, flavors, other starches) are a very traditional part of the beer-making process and can be anything from other starch solids, to liquid syrups to spices and flavorings, to fruits and vegetables.

      Lambics are not identified by their fruit component, but by their use of spontaneous “wild yeast” instead of carefully cultivated strains of brewers’ yeasts.

      • I never once mentioned German Purity Laws. I mentioned True Beer in the spirit (pun intended) of quite a few friends of mine who won’t drink anything made from quote unnatural unquote materials, to wit, anything not water, barley and/or wheat, yeastie beasties, and hops. (They will allow for different varieties of hops, and will go to great lengths their own particular variety. Usually when drunk.)

        As for lambics, well, I’ll defer to others; I mentioned fruits because that’s what friends defined a lambic as including when I first learned about them. I guess I need better-educated brewing friends.

        • While you did not mention the German Purity Laws, the friends and other people who profess to a “true beer” including only 4 ingredients are referencing the German Purity law without knowing where the definition of “true beer” comes from. That’s where it comes from. The idea of a “true beer” including only those ingredients did not exist until that law and some beer snobs continue to follow it in complete ignorance of the history of what beer actually is.

          • I know my friends. They know their history; they know where the term comes from; they know they’re beer snobs. And they know enough to laugh at themselves for being beer snobs. That’s why I phrased the statement the way I did, complete to capitalizing the first letter in that particular phrase.

            Please don’t tell me what my friends do and do not know; I know them better than you do, after all.

          • I don’t doubt that you know them better than I do, however, they (or at least you) do not appear to be aware of the history of the so-called “true beer”, whereas other people besides myself have mentioned this history in this journal.

            The belief in the “true beer” using the 4 ingredients you mentioned did not exist until the German Purity law and is not currently considered the “standard” definition of a “true beer” precisely because those limitations were only imposed on a very small slice of time in a very specific location.

            Anyone referencing a “true beer” with those 4 ingredients is, in fact, referencing that law, whether they realize it or not. Knowing where the rule for a “true beer” comes from or not does not change the fact that the idea does have a historical starting point.

          • Oh for pity’s sake. My friends do know their beer history. They know about the purity laws. They know what they’re referencing. They know about the historical starting point. That’s why they use the term “True Beer”; they know all that, enough so that they can joke about it, about their tastes in beer, about the fact they know too much about the history of beer.

            They’re joking. Okay?

            ….and at this point I’ll stop posting any more on this thread; I get the feeling that something is not being communicated here by one or the other, or both, of us.

          • Sorry, but when the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world exists for thousands of years and includes a wide variety of ingredients across hundreds of cultures, and one law is enacted one time more than a thousand years into the history of said beverage that limits the recipe to 3 ingredients and is soon repealed, I fail to see how anyone can consider that recipe to be the “true beer” in the face of all the history and planet-wide variety of the drink.

            Your original post did not indicate any implication of a joke but did explicitly state that nutmeg was unheard of by you (who claims to have years of reading on the subject) and by your friends whom you claim to be brewers, when, in fact, nutmeg and other ingredients are quite common in beer making around the world and have been since the beginning of beer making, whereas hops, for instance, is a relative newcomer to the recipe list (albeit quite common now).

            The admission of never having heard of nutmeg, one of the more common spices added to beer, creates the impression that you or your friends are not actually knowledgeable, whether that impression is true or not, and gives no indication of a joke. Being incorrect on the subject of lambic beers added to the lack of credibility, so forgive me for assuming you were not knowledgeable when your original post had nothing but errors.

        • Any particular reason you did not choose to argue with , who brought up this law, and your reference to it, first? I am not the only person who was aware of the history of this so-called standard that either your friends or you were not.

          • I get responses via email, and I guess I read hers, read other emails on other topics (I sort by time received), read yours, and seeing as how two people responded, decided to answer the email at hand, to wit, yours. Or something like that. No big deal.

  6. Would you even put stuff like curry and nutmeg in beer?

    No, not if you’re like most beer drinkers. There might be one or two people with really odd taste buds who might, but in all the years I’ve been reading up on the subject and hanging out with brewers and vintners, I’ve never heard mention of either curry or nutmeg going into beer. I could see nutmeg maybe, if you’re going for a really odd taste, but definitely not curry, no, never.

    There is a type of beer called “lambic”, though, that has fruit or fruit juice added during the fermentation, and some people like to add a bit of lime or lime juice to their drink, but no curry, no nutmeg. As far as I know.

    (True Beer, by the way, should be nothing but barley or wheat, water, yeast, and hops.)

  7. I don’t like beer, either, but it is more-or-less liquid bread, so maybe either curry or nutmeg could be good. I’m having trouble picturing anything with both cumin (an ingredient in curry) and nutmeg being good, though.

  8. I don’t like beer, either, but it is more-or-less liquid bread, so maybe either curry or nutmeg could be good. I’m having trouble picturing anything with both cumin (an ingredient in curry) and nutmeg being good, though.

  9. Oy woman, watch it there. Don’t lump us all together, some of us appreciate real bear.

    Having said that nutmeg could go with a nice wheat beer. Don’t know about the curry. Although I do like beer when I’m eating curry.

  10. What you’re calling “True Beer” is according to the Reinheitsgebot, which was the German beer purity standard.

    Lambic, is not a fruit beer, but rather a Belgian style of beer where the yeasts used are “wild,” and lead to a very, very sour beer. Some lambics, such as the ones that have become popular in the US, have lots of sugar and fruit flavors added. It’s not uncommon to have a lambic with fruit flavor otherwise, but they can range from slightly sweet to extremely sour, like Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus. A plain lambic is called a geuze.

    Belgian beers are distinctive because they don’t have restrictions like the Germans had in adding different flavors. Coriander, for instance, is added to some white beers, like Hoegarden.

    Other beers have all sorts of things added to the fermentation process – including macerated fruits, coffee, milk, oysters, sugars (honey, molasses, cane)

    It’s a great, wide world of beer.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if curry, or the spices that comprise curry, has not been used in beer, at least in small production. Nutmeg, if I recall correctly, has been added to some of the darker brews made as winter seasonals both domestically and abroad.

  11. curry is a mix of spices, not a particular spice. I could totally see doing a spiced ale with nutmeg and perhaps one or two components of a curry. Just depends on which ones. πŸ™‚

    Maybe you had a dream about what you are doing in a concurrent life in an alternate timeline/universe.

  12. curry is a mix of spices, not a particular spice. I could totally see doing a spiced ale with nutmeg and perhaps one or two components of a curry. Just depends on which ones. πŸ™‚

    Maybe you had a dream about what you are doing in a concurrent life in an alternate timeline/universe.

  13. I wouldn’t be surprised if curry, or the spices that comprise curry, has not been used in beer, at least in small production.

    Let’s try that again. It would surprise me if no brewer in the world has tried to brew a curry beer.

  14. That sounds… strangely yummy. Pair it with walnuts and cheese? Maybe some naan with raita?

    I have a feeling this is something you can add to your long list of interesting talents!

  15. That sounds… strangely yummy. Pair it with walnuts and cheese? Maybe some naan with raita?

    I have a feeling this is something you can add to your long list of interesting talents!

  16. Are you thinking of Mead? – I think, from my esoteric font of arcane knowledge in my unconsciousness, that it’s made with honey, instead of hops. Which I would probably enjoy a great deal, now that I ponder on it.

  17. I’ve had this experience. I was a teenager and, really, not artistically inclined at all – but I dreamed once that I could draw the head of a horse. I very consciously, in my dream, sketched out the lines and saw the shape come to life.

    I woke up and drew the horse just once. And I couldn’t repeat it if I tried, now. But it was pretty cool then. πŸ™‚

    • That reminds me of the story of the composer that dreamt a symphony and started writing down the music upon awakening, but in the process had a knock on the door from a visitor and forgot the rest… – ZM

  18. I’ve had this experience. I was a teenager and, really, not artistically inclined at all – but I dreamed once that I could draw the head of a horse. I very consciously, in my dream, sketched out the lines and saw the shape come to life.

    I woke up and drew the horse just once. And I couldn’t repeat it if I tried, now. But it was pretty cool then. πŸ™‚

  19. or you been watching the sale of budweiser on the news, playing wow too much or been hangin with amateur brewers.

    i am an amateur brewer,
    curry and nutmeg are spices. I have made a cinnamon, pear and nutmeg and clove mead (honey beer, no grain).

    dont know about the station wagon though, that is perplexing unless you happen to own one lol.

      • it was! but alas it was enjoyed and is a note in history now.

        it didnt hurt that it sat bottled in a basement for over a year when I moved because I forgot about it.

        was only a gallon so it didnt stretch far but wasnt bad.

        I “tried” brewing at one point. I still have a gallon bottle of wine in my basement 4 years later that im almost scared to even try.

        cordials are so much easier and faster lol.

  20. or you been watching the sale of budweiser on the news, playing wow too much or been hangin with amateur brewers.

    i am an amateur brewer,
    curry and nutmeg are spices. I have made a cinnamon, pear and nutmeg and clove mead (honey beer, no grain).

    dont know about the station wagon though, that is perplexing unless you happen to own one lol.

  21. I judged a Nutmeg Wheat beer at a competition. It was OK.

    Wikipedia says:

    “Most recipes and producers of curry powder usually include coriander, turmeric, cumin, and fenugreek in their blends. Depending on the recipe, additional ingredients such as ginger, garlic, fennel seed, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, green cardamom, black cardamom, mace, nutmeg, red pepper, long pepper, and black pepper may also be added.”

    By themselves, I’ve tasted about half of those spices in a beer…but all together? I have my doubts.

  22. I judged a Nutmeg Wheat beer at a competition. It was OK.

    Wikipedia says:

    “Most recipes and producers of curry powder usually include coriander, turmeric, cumin, and fenugreek in their blends. Depending on the recipe, additional ingredients such as ginger, garlic, fennel seed, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, green cardamom, black cardamom, mace, nutmeg, red pepper, long pepper, and black pepper may also be added.”

    By themselves, I’ve tasted about half of those spices in a beer…but all together? I have my doubts.

  23. I’m all about Belgian style beers. Unibroue is my favorite brewery. The beer I believe you are referring to, I can only consume at sporting events because, for some reason, crappy beer fits there.

  24. Does anybody else find any concept of a German purity standard somewhat disconcerting? Every time I see that on a bottle I just get pictures of goose stepping brewers and it goes downhill from there. πŸ™‚

  25. No, I’m not thinking of mead. I’ve brewed mead, which is honey-wine, and it resembles neither regular beer nor spice-beer. Though if you’d like to brew some I’ll ask for an invitation to the tasting.

    best,

    Joel

  26. A plain lambic is called a geuze.

    Not quite, geuze is lambic that’s been re-fermented on champagne bottles.

    Don’t some crazy people use nutmeg in large doses as a hallucinogenic? A curry-nutmeg drink sounds more like an idea to sell to the Coca Cola Company… =P

  27. it was! but alas it was enjoyed and is a note in history now.

    it didnt hurt that it sat bottled in a basement for over a year when I moved because I forgot about it.

    was only a gallon so it didnt stretch far but wasnt bad.

    I “tried” brewing at one point. I still have a gallon bottle of wine in my basement 4 years later that im almost scared to even try.

    cordials are so much easier and faster lol.

  28. I live shouting distance from the leinienkugel brewing company.

    their seasonal favorites are great, I loved the apple one they had last year.

    They put all sorts of “flavors” with beer as well as using different types of grains and hops. Im a dark beer lover myself. The Leinies creamy dark is great on tap, not quite as good in a bottle. Havent tried the Big Butt Bopple Bock yet. I will give guinness in a can a good go round if nothing better is available.

  29. Uh – Molson??? You don’t know MOLSON???? It’s C-eh-n-eh-di-eh-n beer is their biggest seller!

    sheesh
    I think all that beer has gone to your head ;-P

  30. Uh – Molson??? You don’t know MOLSON???? It’s C-eh-n-eh-di-eh-n beer is their biggest seller!

    sheesh
    I think all that beer has gone to your head ;-P

  31. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer

    “Beer is an alcoholic beverage produced by brewing and the fermentation of starches derived from cereals. The most common cereal for beer brewing is malted barley although wheat, corn, and rice are also widely used usually in conjunction with barley. Most beer is flavoured with hops, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative. Occasionally, other ingredients such as herbs or fruit may also be included in the brewing process. Alcoholic beverages fermented from non-starch sources such as grape juice (wine) or honey (mead) are not classified as beer.

    The invention of bread and beer has been argued to be responsible for humanity’s ability to develop technology and build civilization

    The basic ingredients of beer are water; a fermentable starch source, such as malted barley; and yeast. It is common for a flavouring to be added, the most popular being hops. A mixture of starch sources may be used, with the secondary starch source, such as corn, rice and sugar, often being termed an adjunct, especially when used as a lower cost substitute for malted barley. Less widely used starch sources include millet, sorghum and cassava root in Africa, potato in Brazil, and agave in Mexico, among others.

    Lambic beers, a speciality of Belgian beers, use wild yeasts, rather than cultivated ones. Many of these are not strains of brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and may have significant differences in aroma and sourness. Yeast varieties such as Brettanomyces bruxellensis and Brettanomyces lambicus are quite common in lambics. In addition, other organisms such as Lactobacillus bacteria produce acids which contribute to the sourness.

    Lambic is a very distinctive type of beer brewed only in the Pajottenland region of Belgium (southwest of Brussels).

    Unlike conventional ales and lagers, which are fermented by carefully cultivated strains of brewer’s yeasts, Lambic beer is instead produced by spontaneous fermentation: it is exposed to the wild yeasts and bacteria that are said to be native to the Senne valley, in which Brussels lies. It is this unusual process which gives the beer its distinctive flavour: dry, vinous, and cidery, with a slightly sour aftertaste)”

    – “the De Kluis brewery, makes no secret of its employment of Curacao orange peels and coriander, but declines to disclose a third spice. My guess has always been cumin seeds … called Benedict, but its classic dark beer is Forbidden Fruit, at 1080. This is both spiced with coriander and heavily hopped. It has a herbal, spicy, vanilla-like, dark-chocolate taste, sweet at first, then dry in the finish.”

    • http://www.beerhunter.com/documents/19133-000715.html – ” neatly named Snapdragon. This is brewed from two styles of barley-malt, three varieties of hops and a Chinese blend of “five mysterious spices”. Ginger seems to be there again, along with coriander, orange, cinnamon and something in the anis-licorice department. … There is a tradition of spicing ales with ginger. … At Maclay’s, in Alloa, Scotland, Bruce Williams produces the flowery Fraoch Heather Ale and Grozet, a refreshingly tart. goosebeery beer bittered with bog myrtle, a very traditional ingredient. Another chateau beer; the Jacobite Ale of Traquair House, at Innerleithen, near Peebles, prefers a spicing of coriander.

      There may have been a time when no spices or herbs were used in British brewing but both ginger and licorice, along with tree-harks and various peppers, were widely used in the 1800s and 1700s. … The addition of spices and herbs to confer dry aromas and flavours, balancing the sweetness of malt, predates the employment of hops for that purpose by British brewers, in the 1500s. Plants like sweet gale, rosemary and yarrow continued to he used long after hopped beer became common. Spices and herbs are still widely employed in the Low Countries, whence we were introduced to the hopping habit.”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxsVuHXXd5E – video of home brewer & beer taster talking about spices in beer, specifically coriander and dried lemon peel and when the spices are added to the brewing process.

      http://www.beertown.org/events/wbc/competition/reg_info/style_descr.html – World Beer Cup Competition Info, includes specifics for the herb and spice beer category. Includes categories for beers such as Fruit Beer, Fruit Wheat Beer, Vegetable Beer, Pumpkin Beer, Herb and Spice Beer, Chocolate/Cocoa Flavored Beer, Coffee Flavored Beer, 5 different subcategories of Smoke Flavored Beer and more.

      http://www.undergrounddigital.com/flavorings.htm – Herbs and Spices for Brewing

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adjunct_(beer) – “A number of traditional beer styles are brewed with spices. For example, Belgian witbier is brewed with coriander, Finnish sahti is brewed with juniper berries, and traditional beers in Britain are brewed with honey and spices. Also, some strong winter beers are flavoured with nutmeg and/or cinnamon, while ginger is a popular flavouring for a range of beers. Many commercially available pumpkin ales are made with pumpkin pie spices without any actual pumpkin. … Spices used in brewing include: Allspice; Anise; Cinnamon; Clove; Coriander; Ginger; Hot pepper; Juniper berries or boughs; Licorice; Nutmeg; Orange or Lemon peel; Spruce needles or twigs (see spruce beer); Yarrow. Other, less common flavourings include chocolate, coffee, milk, chile peppers and even oysters. …Fruits have been used as a beer adjunct or flavouring for centuries, especially with Belgian lambic styles. Cherry, raspberry, and peach are a common addition to this style of beer.”

      I could not, however, find any references to beer made with all the spices that make up curry. The closest I could find was a brand of beer called UCB “Ultimate Curry Beer”, which is merely a beer judged to be the best compliment to a curry meal.

      Heh, and I don’t even drink alcohol.

  32. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer

    “Beer is an alcoholic beverage produced by brewing and the fermentation of starches derived from cereals. The most common cereal for beer brewing is malted barley although wheat, corn, and rice are also widely used usually in conjunction with barley. Most beer is flavoured with hops, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative. Occasionally, other ingredients such as herbs or fruit may also be included in the brewing process. Alcoholic beverages fermented from non-starch sources such as grape juice (wine) or honey (mead) are not classified as beer.

    The invention of bread and beer has been argued to be responsible for humanity’s ability to develop technology and build civilization

    The basic ingredients of beer are water; a fermentable starch source, such as malted barley; and yeast. It is common for a flavouring to be added, the most popular being hops. A mixture of starch sources may be used, with the secondary starch source, such as corn, rice and sugar, often being termed an adjunct, especially when used as a lower cost substitute for malted barley. Less widely used starch sources include millet, sorghum and cassava root in Africa, potato in Brazil, and agave in Mexico, among others.

    Lambic beers, a speciality of Belgian beers, use wild yeasts, rather than cultivated ones. Many of these are not strains of brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and may have significant differences in aroma and sourness. Yeast varieties such as Brettanomyces bruxellensis and Brettanomyces lambicus are quite common in lambics. In addition, other organisms such as Lactobacillus bacteria produce acids which contribute to the sourness.

    Lambic is a very distinctive type of beer brewed only in the Pajottenland region of Belgium (southwest of Brussels).

    Unlike conventional ales and lagers, which are fermented by carefully cultivated strains of brewer’s yeasts, Lambic beer is instead produced by spontaneous fermentation: it is exposed to the wild yeasts and bacteria that are said to be native to the Senne valley, in which Brussels lies. It is this unusual process which gives the beer its distinctive flavour: dry, vinous, and cidery, with a slightly sour aftertaste)”

    – “the De Kluis brewery, makes no secret of its employment of Curacao orange peels and coriander, but declines to disclose a third spice. My guess has always been cumin seeds … called Benedict, but its classic dark beer is Forbidden Fruit, at 1080. This is both spiced with coriander and heavily hopped. It has a herbal, spicy, vanilla-like, dark-chocolate taste, sweet at first, then dry in the finish.”

  33. http://www.beerhunter.com/documents/19133-000715.html – ” neatly named Snapdragon. This is brewed from two styles of barley-malt, three varieties of hops and a Chinese blend of “five mysterious spices”. Ginger seems to be there again, along with coriander, orange, cinnamon and something in the anis-licorice department. … There is a tradition of spicing ales with ginger. … At Maclay’s, in Alloa, Scotland, Bruce Williams produces the flowery Fraoch Heather Ale and Grozet, a refreshingly tart. goosebeery beer bittered with bog myrtle, a very traditional ingredient. Another chateau beer; the Jacobite Ale of Traquair House, at Innerleithen, near Peebles, prefers a spicing of coriander.

    There may have been a time when no spices or herbs were used in British brewing but both ginger and licorice, along with tree-harks and various peppers, were widely used in the 1800s and 1700s. … The addition of spices and herbs to confer dry aromas and flavours, balancing the sweetness of malt, predates the employment of hops for that purpose by British brewers, in the 1500s. Plants like sweet gale, rosemary and yarrow continued to he used long after hopped beer became common. Spices and herbs are still widely employed in the Low Countries, whence we were introduced to the hopping habit.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxsVuHXXd5E – video of home brewer & beer taster talking about spices in beer, specifically coriander and dried lemon peel and when the spices are added to the brewing process.

    http://www.beertown.org/events/wbc/competition/reg_info/style_descr.html – World Beer Cup Competition Info, includes specifics for the herb and spice beer category. Includes categories for beers such as Fruit Beer, Fruit Wheat Beer, Vegetable Beer, Pumpkin Beer, Herb and Spice Beer, Chocolate/Cocoa Flavored Beer, Coffee Flavored Beer, 5 different subcategories of Smoke Flavored Beer and more.

    http://www.undergrounddigital.com/flavorings.htm – Herbs and Spices for Brewing

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adjunct_(beer) – “A number of traditional beer styles are brewed with spices. For example, Belgian witbier is brewed with coriander, Finnish sahti is brewed with juniper berries, and traditional beers in Britain are brewed with honey and spices. Also, some strong winter beers are flavoured with nutmeg and/or cinnamon, while ginger is a popular flavouring for a range of beers. Many commercially available pumpkin ales are made with pumpkin pie spices without any actual pumpkin. … Spices used in brewing include: Allspice; Anise; Cinnamon; Clove; Coriander; Ginger; Hot pepper; Juniper berries or boughs; Licorice; Nutmeg; Orange or Lemon peel; Spruce needles or twigs (see spruce beer); Yarrow. Other, less common flavourings include chocolate, coffee, milk, chile peppers and even oysters. …Fruits have been used as a beer adjunct or flavouring for centuries, especially with Belgian lambic styles. Cherry, raspberry, and peach are a common addition to this style of beer.”

    I could not, however, find any references to beer made with all the spices that make up curry. The closest I could find was a brand of beer called UCB “Ultimate Curry Beer”, which is merely a beer judged to be the best compliment to a curry meal.

    Heh, and I don’t even drink alcohol.

  34. Nutmeg is a common ingredient in pumpkin ales. I don’t think anybody’s put curry powder in beer. Curry powder is not water soluble, which would probably make brewing a beer with it difficult.

    And you, driving a station wagon? *sporfle*

  35. Nutmeg is a common ingredient in pumpkin ales. I don’t think anybody’s put curry powder in beer. Curry powder is not water soluble, which would probably make brewing a beer with it difficult.

    And you, driving a station wagon? *sporfle*

  36. True Beer, by the way, should be nothing but barley or wheat, water, yeast, and hops

    This is incorrect, as far as my research shows. You are speaking of the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot purity law, which is the most extreme definition and not the standard one for beer.

    It was a German law regulating the production of beer by limiting its ingredients to water, barley, and hops (yeast was not known to exist at the time and was merely a coincidental part of the brewing process, therefore was not mentioned in the regulations) and was primarily instituted to inhibit price competition.

    This law has since been repealed and replaced with the Provisional German Beer Law which allows constituent components prohibited in the Reinheitsgebot, such as wheat malt and cane sugar, but which no longer allows unmalted barley. However, beer has been in production for centuries before this law was in effect and has always included the option of additional ingredients.

    Hops, for instance, are the most common spice today, but not the first and hardly the only spice used in the brewing process. It was not commonly used in beer making until the 13th century (although the first mention of it being used was 400 BC) while beer itself is the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage.

    What categorizes a “beer” is that it is primarily fermented cereal starch, which can be barley or wheat, but can also be any other such as rice or corn, or even potatoes. Adjuncts (spices, flavors, other starches) are a very traditional part of the beer-making process and can be anything from other starch solids, to liquid syrups to spices and flavorings, to fruits and vegetables.

    Lambics are not identified by their fruit component, but by their use of spontaneous “wild yeast” instead of carefully cultivated strains of brewers’ yeasts.

  37. geuze: A mixture of young (one-year) and old (two and three-year) lambics which has been bottled. It undergoes secondary fermentation (the so-called mΓ©thode champenoise), producing carbon dioxide, because the young lambics are not yet fully fermented. It keeps in the bottle; a good gueuze will be given a year to referment in the bottle, but can be kept for 10-20 years. An obscure German ale style, Gose, is not to be confused with gueuze.

  38. Either I have a secret font of arcane, esoteric knowledge buried deep inside my head somewhere, or someone else has been using my brain while I’m asleep.

    Your myelin is degrading. The freaky dreams are caused by cross chatter between proximate brain cells. At this point your neural pattern is already corrupted to the point where making a backup would be pointless. As it progresses you’ll start experiencing waking synesthesia, followed by Parkinson’s-like tremors, an inability to concentrate, and eventually a total loss of motor function followed by an agonizing death that I’m told closely mimics what a roach feels as it succumbs to a Propoxur-based insecticide.

    Hypothetically, of course.

  39. Either I have a secret font of arcane, esoteric knowledge buried deep inside my head somewhere, or someone else has been using my brain while I’m asleep.

    Your myelin is degrading. The freaky dreams are caused by cross chatter between proximate brain cells. At this point your neural pattern is already corrupted to the point where making a backup would be pointless. As it progresses you’ll start experiencing waking synesthesia, followed by Parkinson’s-like tremors, an inability to concentrate, and eventually a total loss of motor function followed by an agonizing death that I’m told closely mimics what a roach feels as it succumbs to a Propoxur-based insecticide.

    Hypothetically, of course.

  40. I never once mentioned German Purity Laws. I mentioned True Beer in the spirit (pun intended) of quite a few friends of mine who won’t drink anything made from quote unnatural unquote materials, to wit, anything not water, barley and/or wheat, yeastie beasties, and hops. (They will allow for different varieties of hops, and will go to great lengths their own particular variety. Usually when drunk.)

    As for lambics, well, I’ll defer to others; I mentioned fruits because that’s what friends defined a lambic as including when I first learned about them. I guess I need better-educated brewing friends.

  41. While you did not mention the German Purity Laws, the friends and other people who profess to a “true beer” including only 4 ingredients are referencing the German Purity law without knowing where the definition of “true beer” comes from. That’s where it comes from. The idea of a “true beer” including only those ingredients did not exist until that law and some beer snobs continue to follow it in complete ignorance of the history of what beer actually is.

  42. I know my friends. They know their history; they know where the term comes from; they know they’re beer snobs. And they know enough to laugh at themselves for being beer snobs. That’s why I phrased the statement the way I did, complete to capitalizing the first letter in that particular phrase.

    Please don’t tell me what my friends do and do not know; I know them better than you do, after all.

  43. I don’t doubt that you know them better than I do, however, they (or at least you) do not appear to be aware of the history of the so-called “true beer”, whereas other people besides myself have mentioned this history in this journal.

    The belief in the “true beer” using the 4 ingredients you mentioned did not exist until the German Purity law and is not currently considered the “standard” definition of a “true beer” precisely because those limitations were only imposed on a very small slice of time in a very specific location.

    Anyone referencing a “true beer” with those 4 ingredients is, in fact, referencing that law, whether they realize it or not. Knowing where the rule for a “true beer” comes from or not does not change the fact that the idea does have a historical starting point.

  44. Any particular reason you did not choose to argue with , who brought up this law, and your reference to it, first? I am not the only person who was aware of the history of this so-called standard that either your friends or you were not.

  45. I get responses via email, and I guess I read hers, read other emails on other topics (I sort by time received), read yours, and seeing as how two people responded, decided to answer the email at hand, to wit, yours. Or something like that. No big deal.

  46. Oh for pity’s sake. My friends do know their beer history. They know about the purity laws. They know what they’re referencing. They know about the historical starting point. That’s why they use the term “True Beer”; they know all that, enough so that they can joke about it, about their tastes in beer, about the fact they know too much about the history of beer.

    They’re joking. Okay?

    ….and at this point I’ll stop posting any more on this thread; I get the feeling that something is not being communicated here by one or the other, or both, of us.

  47. Sorry, but when the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world exists for thousands of years and includes a wide variety of ingredients across hundreds of cultures, and one law is enacted one time more than a thousand years into the history of said beverage that limits the recipe to 3 ingredients and is soon repealed, I fail to see how anyone can consider that recipe to be the “true beer” in the face of all the history and planet-wide variety of the drink.

    Your original post did not indicate any implication of a joke but did explicitly state that nutmeg was unheard of by you (who claims to have years of reading on the subject) and by your friends whom you claim to be brewers, when, in fact, nutmeg and other ingredients are quite common in beer making around the world and have been since the beginning of beer making, whereas hops, for instance, is a relative newcomer to the recipe list (albeit quite common now).

    The admission of never having heard of nutmeg, one of the more common spices added to beer, creates the impression that you or your friends are not actually knowledgeable, whether that impression is true or not, and gives no indication of a joke. Being incorrect on the subject of lambic beers added to the lack of credibility, so forgive me for assuming you were not knowledgeable when your original post had nothing but errors.

  48. Paul McCartney supposedly dreamed Mick Jagger singing a tune, and woke up to write the tune that became “Yesterday.” Either Crick or Watson supposedly dreamt of a spiral staircase, a dream that helped interpret the DNA structure.

    Since you know so little about the topic, though, think of yourself as James Crick dreaming about a Mick Jagger song, a mismatch from which the beer drinking world may never recover.

    It sounds weird but promising. Pity.

  49. Paul McCartney supposedly dreamed Mick Jagger singing a tune, and woke up to write the tune that became “Yesterday.” Either Crick or Watson supposedly dreamt of a spiral staircase, a dream that helped interpret the DNA structure.

    Since you know so little about the topic, though, think of yourself as James Crick dreaming about a Mick Jagger song, a mismatch from which the beer drinking world may never recover.

    It sounds weird but promising. Pity.

  50. Totally off the topic, but I have to thank you, because I have now learned a hell of a lot about beer (something I have no taste for drinking, thanks to some bad experiences in my past). But, I am now fascinated with the brewing process. Thanks! Oh, and the curry in beer sounds kinda ehhh, but nutmeg might be interesting.

    Also, sounds like it was a VERY bizarre dream.

    • The dream was surprisingly prosaic, actually. Lots of driving around in a station wagon and persuading pub owners to buy the beer. Pretty mundane stuff, though I woke up right about the time I was about to cash in.

  51. Totally off the topic, but I have to thank you, because I have now learned a hell of a lot about beer (something I have no taste for drinking, thanks to some bad experiences in my past). But, I am now fascinated with the brewing process. Thanks! Oh, and the curry in beer sounds kinda ehhh, but nutmeg might be interesting.

    Also, sounds like it was a VERY bizarre dream.

  52. herbs and spices in beer

    Once while doing some exploratory rookie homebrewing I made a nice med. dark ale with the abundant blossoms from a half dozen healthy basil plants that had flowered in my garden at the end of summer.

    I used about a third less hops (hop oil actually, doing it the rookie easy way) and threw in the half dried basil flowers. It was a fairly nice brew actually, drank it to the last drop anyway!

  53. herbs and spices in beer

    Once while doing some exploratory rookie homebrewing I made a nice med. dark ale with the abundant blossoms from a half dozen healthy basil plants that had flowered in my garden at the end of summer.

    I used about a third less hops (hop oil actually, doing it the rookie easy way) and threw in the half dried basil flowers. It was a fairly nice brew actually, drank it to the last drop anyway!

  54. The dream was surprisingly prosaic, actually. Lots of driving around in a station wagon and persuading pub owners to buy the beer. Pretty mundane stuff, though I woke up right about the time I was about to cash in.

  55. That reminds me of the story of the composer that dreamt a symphony and started writing down the music upon awakening, but in the process had a knock on the door from a visitor and forgot the rest… – ZM

  56. who’s your daddy? i’m your daddy!

    we can ask them to give you a CD of the show, although playboy contract prohibits you from publishing any of it. it’s for personal use only. (honestly, blogging it as an mp3 is personal use, isn’t it???? ha. ha. sigh.)

    i think it’d be fun if everyone makes a point to play onyx between now and then, and then they can call in with comments. *EG*

  57. who’s your daddy? i’m your daddy!

    we can ask them to give you a CD of the show, although playboy contract prohibits you from publishing any of it. it’s for personal use only. (honestly, blogging it as an mp3 is personal use, isn’t it???? ha. ha. sigh.)

    i think it’d be fun if everyone makes a point to play onyx between now and then, and then they can call in with comments. *EG*

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