I’m writing to you with a bit of an illness this week, it’s nothing serious but it made me curious of the health benefits of drinking beer. I know that when you have are having mucus issues you really aren’t supposed to drink large quantities because it only makes it worse. I have also heard that a beer a day (that’s one guys) can lower your LDLs and provide necessary B-12 vitamins. In 2008, Forbes Magazine wrote an article citing eight benefits to drinking beer in moderation, two 12 oz. glasses for men and one 12 oz. glass for women per day. Many of them relate to common diseases that come with age. So, mom and dad, drink up! It seems that the research of the health benefits of beer has largely been due to the escalation in craft beer creation and consumption in the last decade. Moderate consumption of beer can raise your healthy cholesterol aka HDLs, it also has a good effect on the lining of blood vessels making them less likely to form a clot or burst. A study done in 2008 reported that men who drank between 124-365 days in moderation (1-2 drinks) were 20% less likely to die of cardiovascular causes. Obviously drinking large amounts of alcohol, binge drinking, can have the adverse effect and cause cardiovascular problems. This same study found that men who drank approximately 36 days a year but during those days indulged in five or more drinks were at a 30% risk of dying due to heart disease. As far as the brain goes, that’s right it can help there too, in adults ages 65 and older who drank 6 or more beers in the course of a week were at a lower risk of dementia than those who did not drink…or those who abused the nectar. So what’s the moral after all that mumbo-jumbo? Don’t abuse the nectar, with great beer comes great responsibility, so on and so forth…
This week’s health juice is a fairly common thing as far as location goes, that’s right…I am finally throwing you a bone. It’s not a pumpkin beer but true to the theme of this month it is Octoberfest. According to the barrel definition of a craft brewery (2 million barrels or less per year) Sam Adams is no longer a craft brewery. However, the rest of the definition requires that a craft brewer follow the traditional brewing process, which Sam Adams does…so let’s not split hairs today. Their Octoberfest is an American take on the German style Marzen. Marzen is the German word for the month of March which is when these styles of beers were traditionally brewed. The Marzen and Octoberfest style of beer brewed now barely resemble those of the originals of Vienna or Munich. The Marzen style calls for a rich, slightly malty beer with a hint of toasted character but no roasted or caramel flavors. The Sam Adams Octoberfest really comes out swinging with a plethora of malts to its name. The body is filling and its hues are deep browns and reds like the season it was produced for (for the first time in 1989). With all the malts this beer packs; moravia, caramel, matcalfe, harrington, and munich, the brewers use Nobel hops to help balance out the beer and give it just the right amount of bitterness. I’ve had this beer many times before and I am never disappointed by it. I personally think there is a difference in the taste between draft and bottle; tonight I am having it via my variety pack. There is no sediment in the glass after the pour which is smooth if you give the glass a proper tilt. There is hardly any head retention. The aroma of sweet malt hits me pretty strongly, but it is fluid and not very multifaceted…then again I do have a head cold. This really is just a tasty reliable beer, if you have been turned off by some of Sam Adams other seasonal beers, their winter ales can be a little attacking for example, I urge you to give this one a try. It is mildly flavorful when it first hits the tongue but the modest usage of noble hops allows its flavor to linger nicely. I can easily give this beer four out of five pints, I don’t give it a five is because I like to reserve the five for those beers that really knock my socks off. While this one is pretty good I don’t think it will make it in the grave with me, cheers!
To Pour: Sam Adams actually has a glass that they like to serve their beers in which has a spare tire look right before the lip of the glass…most places will just serve it to you in a regular pint glass. If you give the glass the proper tip you will have barley any head retention.
– Moravia: clean, light pallet
– Caramel: roasted notes
– Matcalfe: base structure
– Harrington: base structure
– Munich: increase body, aroma, and malt sweetness. Biscuit and toast
– Nobel: hops that are low in bitterness and high in aroma
To Purchase: This beer is readily available, and can be store bought in a variety of forms. I for example, bought the Sam Adams Fall seasonal 12 pack for just under $13 at my local grocery store. A draft at the bar can cost $3-$7 depending on your local watering hole.
Octoberfest is brewed by Samuel Adams in Boston, Massachusetts