Beer is old. Very, very old. Tests done on jars dating into antiquity show folks first started brewing the heady stuff about 7,000 years back. There’s a 3,900-year-old poem out there paying homage to Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing. The neat part is that it embodies what’s believed to be the planet’s oldest surviving recipe for beer. Those brews are long gone, but their yeasty ancestors live on in abundance.
To celebrate the survival of suds you might be interested to know that this Sunday, Aug. 5 is officially International Beer Day. The goal, according to organizers, is “to bring the world together in celebration of beer.” Works for us. Those parties, spontaneous and otherwise, will be held in pubs, clubs, bars, breweries, beer gardens and back yards the world over. Count this: 278 official celebrations are, ah, on tap. Last year they were spread out among 138 cities in 23 countries.
Drink in the festivities at Zeitgeist San Francisco, where they sport some 40 beers on tap, Hacienda on Henderson in Dallas (really, what is Mexican food sans cerveza?), or Idle Hands in New York City. To sweeten the deal, Idle Hands is serving craft beers this Sunday for $3 a throw. Not bad at all.
As for this reporter, I intend to take my beloved to Jim ‘N Nick’s in Birmingham and wash some of the world’s best barbeque down with a Reverend Mudbone’s, their homegrown brew. This is a small-batch brewed, American-Style Golden Ale. It separates from the rest of the competition because of its balance, smooth-as-silk body and nice clean finish.
And that, of course, is the deal about really great beer. Different soils, hops, grains and rains produce different beers – with more than a tad of prodding by a good brewmaster. It’s been that way since the days of good old Ninkasi.