The Basics of Beer Culture
One day when we were traveling in Europe with my family, we went to a roadside restaurant for lunch. Everyone ordered drink, some ordered wine, some beer, and only I – nothing… When the waiter asked, “What should I drink?” – sadly answered: “I want a beer, but I can’t – I’m driving…” – “So, order a non-alcoholic!” the waiter advised, solving one of the problems of our trip.
As you may have guessed, today we’re talking about non-alcoholic beer. For starters, leave aside all the beer stories that the ignorant “pseudo-beer lovers” make up. It’s just like any other beer, but… without alcohol.
There are two basic ways to make non-alcoholic beer. It is brewed in the same way as regular beer. Then, after removing the yeast, the fermentation is stopped. Alcohol simply does not have time to form in this beer. It is a popular beer on the Israeli market and is called בירה שחורה .
The other method of non-alcoholic beer is more difficult to make. It is brewed in the same way as conventional beer, and then the alcohol molecules are removed with special equipment. The result is a beer that tastes the same as regular beer. Unfortunately, large breweries in Israel do not brew non-alcoholic beer…
I once hosted a beer evening with a tasting and, as an experiment, poured everyone a Ukrainian non-alcoholic beer. I asked them to determine what kind of beer it was. Out of 25 people no one guessed…
Why am I writing all this? In Israel, beer is often still taken as something festive. You can drink it in the pub during a meeting with friends. Or on a warm evening after work. During the lunch break no one drinks beer, not even non-alcoholic, people prefer Coca-Cola… When people start drinking beer not to get a little bit tipsy, but because they like its taste rather than alcohol, then we can talk about beer culture in our country. It is necessary that beer be preferred because of its taste and not because of the alcohol. I think this is one of the foundations of beer culture.
And as a little bonus, a few words about the non-alcoholic beer I had today after my morning workout. Stiegl Sport Weisse Alcohol Free. Austrian unfiltered wheat beer. The beer is dark yellow in color, slightly carbonated. Aromatic, but the aroma is not a typical Bavarian beer with notes of phenol and cloves, but something else. The taste is very soft, light and a little sweet. A lovely gentle beer, even though it’s non-alcoholic!