Beer Me! 8 Myths About the Fruit of the Hops

Beer has been a beverage staple of Western civilization for centuries, giving people plenty of time to conjure up all manner of myths and legends surrounding the nectar of the hops. Much of what is commonly believed about beer, sadly in some cases, has little or no basis in the truth. Following are just eight of the many myths that have developed over the years concerning beer and that show no sign of fading away. However, increasing awareness on the part of the general public has resulted in a better grasp on the truth about beer.

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MYTH: Beer Should Be Clear
Many people believe that beer should always be clear, but this is not always the case. Although it's true that some styles of beer are supposed to be enjoyed brilliantly clear with no trace of haze, other styles, such as Hefeweisen, are to be consumed only partially filtered.
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MYTH: Beer Should Always Be Served Ice Cold

Only in America! The American myth that beer should always be served as cold as possible is one that is taking forever to die its rightful death. The flavor of most craft beer loses much of its nuances if served too cold. Most light, domestic beers are formulated as refreshing beverages on hot days, but many other types of beer are to be savored rather than slammed. However, if beer is going to be stored for any length of time, it should be kept in a cold environment in order to prevent oxidation.

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MYTH: All Beer is Bitter

Although a beer that contains large amounts of hops will invariably have a delightful bitter edge, there are plenty of other non-hoppy beer styles for those who would rather bypass the bitterness. Kriek, lambic, and other traditional Belgian ales are just a few examples.

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MYTH: Beer Should Be Bottled in Green Glass
Nope. Many people erroneously believe that all good beer should be bottled in green glass, but this is far from the truth. Green glass allows harmful UV rays to reach the beer, potentially affecting its flavor to the extent that it tastes like swamp water. If you like drinking beer from a bottle, make it brown.
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MYTH: Draft Beer is Best

Another persistent beer myth is that draft beer is always superior to its canned and bottled counterparts. This is simply not the case, because many bars fail to properly maintain their taps and draft systems. Others may serve so little beer that their draft lines are vulnerable to infestation by microbes. Those who want to enjoy fresh draft beer should frequent busy establishments where beer is taken seriously.

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MYTH: Canned Beer is Always Inferior
Canned beer has gotten a bad rap in recent years because it has become associated with inexpensive, mass-produced beer that is commonly found in the cooler cases of convenience stores and supermarkets. However, sealed aluminum keeps beer-destroying UV rays and oxygenation at bay much better than colored glass does.
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MYTH: Dark Beer Has a Higher Alcohol Content Than Light Beer

Although it is commonly believed that the darker the beer, the higher the alcohol content, this is another frequently circulated beer myth that has no basis in reality. There are plenty of dark beers that are lower in alcohol content than their lighter counterparts. Guinness, for instance, is lower in alcohol than Budweiser.

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MYTH: Beer Makes You Fat (Fatter)

Although drinking substantial amounts of beer may be a contributing factor of obesity, moderate consumption of beer will not cause excessive weight gain and certainly won't cause the average belly to bulge. The calories found in beer are no different from calories found in other food and beverage items and will not affect specific parts of the body.