Beer Around the World
Dinosaur Beer
A decade ago Raul Cano, a scientist
at  California University, drilled a hole
into a piece of ancient Burmese
amber to extract  yeast that has lain
dormant there for up to 45 million
years, Now he's using that yeast to
commercially brew   barrels of pale
ale and German wheat beer through
the Fossil Fuels Brewing Company.

"You can always buy brewing yeast,
but our yeast has a double angle: we
have yeast no one else has and our
own beer recipes."

Part of our beer's taste comes from
the yeast's unique metabolism. "The
ancient yeast is restricted to a narrow
band of carbohydrates which can
consume just about any kind of
sugar," said Cano.  

If any of this has a ring of deju-vu, it
could be because Cano's
amber-drilling technique is the same
one popularized in the
movie Jurassic Park.
The contribution of Asia to the progress of the beer market
cannot be understated and the region now accounts for
around a third of all beer sales.

In 2009, the region managed to record a 5% increase in
volume. China, which accounts for 7 in every 10 litres of beer
sold in Asia is the key driver and is helping to sustain the
overall worldwide beer market.  

Latin America can also take some of the credit for facilitating
the progress of the world wide beer market with 2009 sales
that have increased a healthy 3%. As with Asia, there is one
market that is acting as a major stimulant- it is Brazil. The
fourth biggest producer of beer in the world, Brazil enjoyed a
4% volume growth last year helped by competitive pricing and
a vibrant off-premise market.

The Middle East & North Africa that are the fastest growing
regions in the world, registering double digit growth last year.
However, due to religious and cultural reasons, total sales are
insignificant and account for less than 1% of world beer sales.  
Consumers in that region drink just 2 litres each, far under
the  world wide average.

North America and Europe make up 45% of global beer
volumes and with sales flattening in North America and
European volumes falling
Big Beer, Big Price-  Utopias by The Boston Beer Co. claims to be "The
World's Strongest Beer." The beer, which is fermented in old wooden bourbon casks,
weighs in at a hefty 27 percent (54 proof) alcohol by volume.  Utopias has a warm,
sweet flavor is richly highlighted with hints of vanilla, oak and caramel. While the
alcohol content may be strong, the price tag alone might be enough to sober you up.
Utopias runs $150 per bottle.

Cocktails, Anyone?-  The most common beer "cocktails" simply are equal parts
of two types of beer or cider layered on top of each other in a pint glass. This includes a
dark stout with a light-colored ale in the Black and Tan, and lager beer and hard apple
cider in the Snakebite. The Black Velvet is a mix of stout and Champagne best poured as
follows: Fill glass halfway with bubbly, then pour stout over a spoon, slowly, to create a
layered effect.  The Michelada is a refreshing cocktail made with beer, lime juice, and hot
sauce, served in a salt-rimmed glass over ice. Popular in the U.K., Shandy which mixes
equal parts beer with either ginger ale or carbonated lemonade.

Too Light?-  Light beers account for about half of the $99 billion-a-year beer
market in the USA. But experts believe the overall market for super-low-calorie is
probably small.  MillerCoors says MGD 64 (slogan: "As light as it gets") has sold twice as
much in its first year as Miller Genuine Draft Light, which it replaced a year ago.  After a
few weeks of testing Select 55 in 15 markets, Anheuser-Busch decided to expand into a
dozen more starting last month and will soon go national.
Only Seven in the World

Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle and Westvleteren from
Belgium and La Trappe from the Netherlands are the
world's only Trappist brews.

Trappist beers are distinct from Abbey beers which are commercially
produced with links to a monastery or just given monastic branding.
Monks do not actually produce Abbey beers.  For example,
Anheuser-Busch InBev's Leffe  is named after a real abbey,
but brewed in a huge 6 million hectolitre capacity plant.

The  large majority of brewing monks are in their late 60s or 70s which
leads to questions about the future.  Some of these religious
communities could disappear, acknowledges the abbot of
Koningshoeven Abbey in the Netherlands, where monks still prepare
gift packages of its La Trappe beer.

Monks ensure the marketing of Westmalle beer is earnest and have
capped production at 120,000 hectolitres (12 million litres), making it
the second largest Trappist brewer, after Chimay.  "There's more
demand than we can supply. We've not seen any tail-off," said
Brother Assche, adding the monks on the brewery's board had
decided to limit volumes. "We're here to serve the abbey and we
make enough."

Chimay, the most internationally recognised Trappist beer, has pushed
the hardest commercially, exporting around 45 percent of its 160,000
hectolitres output. Westvleteren has gone to the opposite extreme,
with a limited 4,500 hectolitres still brewed by monks. Its beer is only
sold in crates to individuals at the gates on the understanding that
they do not resell it commercially.

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Edited by Jim Attacap