Is your beer illegal?

Alabama and West Virginia have passed
laws increasing the legal
alcohol-by-volume cap for beer from
6% to as high as 13.9% this year. Now,
similar efforts are underway in Iowa and
Mississippi, two states with very
restrictive limits on the sale of
high-alcohol beer.

The average alcohol content in beer sold
in the USA is 4.65%, according to a
2008 study by the Alcohol Research
Group in Emeryville, Calif.

Twenty states still place some kind of
limit on the amount of alcohol in beer.  
David Rosenbloom, president of the
National Center on Addiction and
Substance Abuse  is leading a move to
stop any changes in these states that
would allow more alcohol.  He claims
that "there's no evidence that people will
drink less, or fewer beers if they have
more alcohol; they'll just get more drunk
and at a faster rate.."

Chuck Hurley, CEO of Mothers Against
Drunk Driving, said, "Our chief concern
is that (higher-alcohol brews) be
properly labeled so people understand it
takes fewer beers to become

Those supporting the increase argue that
consumers of craft  beers, don't drink to
get drunk, they drink to appreciate the

Craft beers, typically stronger, tend to
be more expensive. An average case of
Budweiser costs $17.76. Midrange
higher-alcohol beers cost between
$24-$40 per case,  
Tips on Serving Beer

There are a number of ways to serve beer, and each will affect the drinker's enjoyment of their
drink. The temperature, type and shape of container will all effect how a beer tastes. So, the first
piece of advice: transfer the beer from its can into an appropriate beer glass!

The overriding factor in enjoying a beer is the temperature at which it is served. While many people
enjoy a cold beer, "cellar" temperature is most conducive to the enjoyment of ale's which have a
wide variety of aromas and after tastes which travel better in warmer air (hotter particles travel
quicker and therefore smell - which is actually an essential component of taste - translates better at
higher temperatures).

Try these guidelines:

Barley Wines and other very strong beers are best served at 10-13° C;
Bitters are best served at 10-12° C;
Lambic, or Lambic style Fruit beers and Wheat beers are best served at 5-10° C;
Lagers - at 8-10° C;
Stouts and other dark ales - at 12-15° C.

When drinking a variety of beers over an evening start with lighter beers first and enjoy your beer
in sets according to types. For example, start with lighter bitters or lagers, and progress to
something stronger, such as wheat beers or stouts. If you avoid mixing different varieties on top of
each other you will get a better taste for what you are drinking.

As with wine, be careful not to fill your glass right to the top - this way the aromas of your beer will
travel better. Swirl your beer a little before tasting, in order to activate the movement of molecules
and bring out the aromas at their fullest, tilt your glass and hold it to the light to discern colour,
give it a whiff, and taste it, letting slowly roll over your palate.

While it is important to maximise you enjoyment of beer as far as possible, remember that real
enjoyment is a matter of personal preference!   Cheers.
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A six pack is good for you!

Drinking half a dozen beers cuts the risk of heart disease by
more than half in men according to The Independent Medical
Research Council's latest report.  In one of the largest studies
of the link between alcohol and heart disease, researchers
have found that the protective effects of a daily tipple are not
limited to those who drink moderately but also extend to
those who consume at what are conventionally considered to
be dangerously high levels.

The researchers, are from the public health department of the
Basque government in San Sebastian, a region with one of
the highest drinking rates in Europe,  The research was
conducted among 15,000 men and 26,000 women aged from
29 to 69 who were followed for 10 years.  The results
showed that those who drank a little – a glass of wine or a
bottle of beer every other day – had a 35 per cent lower risk
of a heart attack than those who never drank. Moderate
drinkers, consuming up to a couple of glasses of wine a day
or a couple of pints of ordinary bitter, had a 54 per cent
lower risk.  The surprise was that heavy drinkers consuming
up to a bottle of wine or six pints of ordinary bitter had a
similar 50 per cent reduction in risk of a heart attack to
moderate drinkers. Those drinking at even higher levels were
still half as likely to suffer a heart attack as the teetotallers.

Beer reveals your personality (?)

The beer you drink says a lot about you according to
Mindset Media, a market researcher specializing in
psychographics.  They claim that if you prefer craft beers,
you are more likely to spend time thinking about beer rather
than work.  You also are more open-minded than most
people, seek out interesting and varied experiences and are
intellectually curious. Craft-beer drinkers also have a lower
sense of responsibility - they don't stress about missed
deadlines and tend to be happy-go-lucky about life.
The report also states that people who drink a broad portfolio
of beers are different than one-brand drinkers. Those
"indifferent" beer drinkers are more open-minded and
emotional people who enjoy a variety of life experiences.
edited by Jim Attacap