The beer biz never sleeps at American Craft Beer. And here’s some more of what’s been happening in the beer world, while you were drinking yourself through another early fall weekend.
Old Beer (Israel) – An archeological collaboration between Stanford University and the University of Haifa in Israel has found evidence in an Israeli cave near Haifa, suggesting that the practice of brewing existed at least five millennia before the previous earliest known proof of beer found in Egypt.
The study, which was published last week in the Journal of Archeological Science, concluded that mortars found in the cave were used in a beer-brewing process “because of residual remains of starch and microscopic plant particles which emerge when cereal grains are transforming into alcohol.”
The breakthrough finding has the archaeological team is now thinking that beer might have been the reason that grain was originally domesticated…and that mankind may have been drinking beer long before they were eating bread. This accounts for the oldest record of man-made alcohol in the world,” said Li Liu, a professor of Chinese archaeology at Stanford, in a statement.
Last year, that same team of Stanford researchers brewed their own version of the ancient beer, (which owes more to a glass of fermented oatmeal than it does a crisp pilsner), based on extensive research on the brewing techniques of early human civilizations.
Words To Drink By (Stanford, CA) – “Beer making was an integral part of rituals and feasting” Jiajing Wang / Stanford University Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and a co-author of the study.
Fresh Hop Season Is On In The Pacific Northwest (Washington State) – Although you might find the occasional fresh-hop beer in the east, few brewers can make them fresher (or cheaper) than in Washington State home to the Yakima Valley which produces 75 percent of the hops in the USA and nearby Oregon. And for that reason alone fresh hop beers in the Pacific Northwest are a one-of-a-kind early fall experience that beer pilgrims flock to.
Almost every morning at sunrise during Hop Harvest season (late August to early October), “Seattle-area brewers head east across the Cascade Mountains to one of the 45 hop farms in the Yakima Valley” according to the Seattle Times. And those fresh hops become part of the brewing process within hours. Many brewers define a fresh hop beer as one made using newly picked hops that are less than 24 hours off the bine… but the fresher the hop the better!
Fresh hop beers are wonderful snapshots in time…and they can be as unique as they are nuanced. They also take HUGE amounts of hops to produce and can be immensely challenging to brew. Brewing with fresh hops can also be a comparatively messy and time-consuming undertaking as well. But in the end, it can produce beers that are among the best and brightest…uniquely original beers that attract beer tourists from all around the world.
Oregon has the second largest hop-growing region in the United States. And since fresh hops are extremely fragile and need used within 24 hours it helps that they’re grown nearby. They’ve also fresh hop festivals all over the state and you can track them all down HERE.