Guinness Draught weighs in at 4.2 percent alcohol by volume, which is slightly weaker than Budweiser at 4.7 percent. A person's BAC would be determined by their weight. Most people would not be drunk after drinking one 12 ounce Guiness.
Alcohol by volume
Alcohol by volume (abbreviated as ABV, abv, or alc/vol) is a standard measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is contained in an alcoholic beverage (expressed as a percentage of total volume). The ABV standard is used worldwide.
In some countries, alcohol by volume is referred to as degrees Gay-Lussac (after the French chemist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac).
Details about typical amounts of alcohol contained in various beverages can be found in the articles about individual drinks.
Another way of specifying the amount of alcohol is alcohol proof, which in the United States is twice the alcohol-by-volume number, while in the United Kingdom it is 1.75 times the number (expressed as a percentage). For example, 40% abv is 80 proof in the US and 70 proof in the UK. However, since 1980, alcoholic proof in the UK has been replaced by abv as a measure of alcohol content.
In the United States, a few states regulate and tax alcoholic beverages according to alcohol by weight (abw), expressed as a percentage of total mass. Some brewers print the abw (rather than the abv) on beer containers, particularly on low-point versions of popular domestic beer brands.
At relatively low abv, the alcohol percentage by weight is about 4/5 of the abv (e.g., 3.2% abw is equivalent to 4.0% abv). However, because of the miscibility of alcohol and water, the conversion factor is not constant but rather depends upon the concentration of alcohol. 100% abw, of course, is equivalent to 100% abv.
During the production of wine and beer, yeast is added to a sugary solution. During fermentation, the yeast organisms consume the sugars and produce alcohol. The density of sugar in water is greater than the density of alcohol in water. A hydrometer is used to measure the change in specific gravity (SG) of the solution before and after fermentation. The volume of alcohol in the solution can then be calculated.
The simplest method for wine has been described by English author C.J.J. Berry:
The calculation for beer is:][
Where 1.05 is the number of grams of ethanol produced for every gram of CO2 produced, and .79 is the density of ethanol,
However, many brewers use the following formula:][
Blood alcohol content
Guinness ( ) is a popular Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) at St. James's Gate, Dublin. Guinness is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide. It is brewed in almost 60 countries and is available in over 100. Annual sales total 850 million litres (1.5 billion imperial or 1.8 billion US pints).
A feature of the product is the burnt flavour that is derived from roasted unmalted barley, although this is a relatively modern development, not becoming part of the grist until the mid-20th century. For many years a portion of aged brew was blended with freshly brewed beer to give a sharp lactic flavour. Although the Guinness palate still features a characteristic "tang", the company has refused to confirm whether this type of blending still occurs. The draught beer's thick, creamy head comes from mixing the beer with nitrogen when poured. It is popular with Irish people both in Ireland and abroad, and, in spite of a decline in consumption since 2001, is still the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland where Guinness & Co. makes almost €2 billion annually.
The company has had its headquarters in London from 1932 onwards. It merged with Grand Metropolitan plc in 1997, and is now part of the British based multinational alcohol conglomerate Diageo.
Arthur Guinness started brewing ales from 1759 at the St. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin. On 31 December 1759 he signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery. Ten years later, on 19 May 1769, Guinness first exported his ale: he shipped six-and-a-half barrels to Great Britain.
"Stout" originally referred to a beer's strength, but eventually shifted meaning toward body and colour.
Arthur Guinness started selling the dark beer porter in 1778. The first Guinness beers to use the term were Single Stout and Double Stout in the 1840s. Throughout the bulk of its history, Guinness produced 'only three variations of a single beer type: porter or single stout, double or extra and foreign stout for export'.
Already one of the top-three British and Irish brewers, Guinness's sales soared from 350,000 barrels in 1868 to 779,000 barrels in 1876. In October 1886 Guinness became a public company, and was averaging sales of 1,138,000 barrels a year. This was despite the brewery's refusal to either advertise or offer its beer at a discount. Even though Guinness owned no public houses, the company was valued at £6 million and shares were twenty times oversubscribed, with share prices rising to a 60% premium on the first day of trading.
The breweries pioneered several quality control efforts. The brewery hired the statistician William Sealy Gosset in 1899, who achieved lasting fame under the pseudonym "Student" for techniques developed for Guinness, particularly Student's t-distribution and the even more commonly known Student's t-test.
By 1900 the brewery was operating unparalleled welfare schemes for its 5,000 employees. By 1907 the welfare schemes were costing the brewery £40,000 a year, which was one fifth of the total wages bill. The improvements were suggested and supervised by Sir John Lumsden. By 1914, Guinness was producing 2,652,000 barrels of beer a year, which was more than double that of its nearest competitor Bass, and was supplying more than 10% of the total UK beer market. In the 1930s, Guinness became the seventh largest company in the world. Before 1939, if a Guinness brewer wished to marry a Catholic, his resignation was requested. According to Thomas Molloy, writing in the Irish Independent, "It had no qualms about selling drink to Catholics but it did everything it could to avoid employing them until the 1960s."
Guinness brewed their last porter in 1973. In the 1970s, following declining sales, the decision was taken to make Guinness Extra Stout more "drinkable". The gravity was subsequently reduced, and the brand was relaunched in 1981. Pale malt was used for the first time, and isomerized hop extract began to be used.
Guinness acquired the Distillers Company in 1986. This led to a scandal and criminal trial concerning the artificial inflation of the Guinness share price during the takeover bid engineered by the chairman, Ernest Saunders. A subsequent £5.2 million success fee paid to an American lawyer and Guinness director, Tom Ward, was the subject of the case Guinness plc v Saunders, in which the House of Lords declared that the payment had been invalid.
In the 1980s, as the IRA's bombing campaign spread to London and the rest of Britain, Guinness considered scrapping the harp as it's logo.
The company merged with Grand Metropolitan in 1997 to form Diageo PLC. Due to controversy over the merger, the company was maintained as a separate entity within the Diageo and has retained the rights to the product and all associated trademarks of Guinness. The Guinness brewery in Park Royal, London closed in 2005. The production of all Guinness sold in the UK and Ireland was moved to St. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin.
Guinness has also been referred to as "the black stuff" and as a "Pint of Plain" – referred to in the famous refrain of Flann O'Brien's poem "The Workman's Friend": "A pint of plain is your only man." Guinness had a fleet of ships, barges and yachts. The Irish Sunday Independent newspaper reported on 17 June 2007 that Diageo intended to close the historic St James's Gate plant in Dublin and moving to a greenfield site on the outskirts of the city. This news caused some controversy when it was announced.
The following day, the Irish Daily Mail ran a follow-up story with a double page spread complete with images and a history of the plant since 1759. Initially, Diageo said that talk of a move was pure speculation but in the face of mounting speculation in the wake of the Sunday Independent article, the company confirmed that it is undertaking a "significant review of its operations". This review is largely due to the efforts of the company's ongoing drive to reduce the environmental impact of brewing at the St James's Gate plant.
On 23 November 2007, an article appeared in the Evening Herald, a Dublin newspaper, stating that Dublin City Council, in the best interests of the city of Dublin, had put forward a motion to prevent planning permission ever being granted for development of the site thus making it very difficult for Diageo to sell off the site for residential development.
On 9 May 2008, Diageo announced that the St James's Gate brewery will remain open and undergo renovations, but that breweries in Kilkenny and Dundalk will be closed by 2013 when a new larger brewery is opened near Dublin. The result will be a loss of roughly 250 jobs across the entire Diageo/Guinness workforce in Ireland. Two days later, the Sunday Independent again reported that Diageo chiefs had met with Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, the deputy leader of the Government of Ireland, about moving operations to Ireland from the UK to benefit from its lower corporation tax rates. Several UK firms have made the move to pay Ireland's 12.5 percent rate rather than the UK's 28 percent rate. Diageo released a statement to the London stock exchange denying the report. Despite the merger that created Diageo plc in 1997, Guinness has retained its right to the Guinness brand and associated trademarks and thus continues to trade under the traditional Guinness name despite trading under the corporation name Diageo for a brief period in 1997.
Guinness stout is made from water, barley, roast malt extract, hops, and brewer's yeast. A portion of the barley is roasted to give Guinness its dark colour and characteristic taste. It is pasteurised and filtered.][ Making the product requires knowledge in the sciences of microbiology, mycology, bacteriology, and thermodynamics. Despite its reputation as a "meal in a glass", Guinness only contains 198 kcal (838 kilojoules) per imperial pint (1460 kJ/l), fewer than skimmed milk or orange juice and most other non-light beers.][
Until the late 1950s Guinness was still racked][ into wooden casks. In the late 1950s and early 1960s aluminium kegs began replacing the wooden casks; these were nicknamed "iron lungs".
Draught Guinness and its canned counterpart contain nitrogen (N2) as well as carbon dioxide. Nitrogen is less soluble than carbon dioxide, which allows the beer to be put under high pressure without making it fizzy.][ The high pressure of dissolved gas is required to enable very small bubbles to be formed by forcing the draught beer through fine holes in a plate in the tap, which causes the characteristic "surge" (the widget in cans and bottles achieves the same effect). The perceived smoothness of draught Guinness is due to its low level of carbon dioxide and the creaminess of the head caused by the very fine bubbles that arise from the use of nitrogen and the dispensing method described above.][ "Original Extra Stout" contains only carbon dioxide, causing a more acidic taste.
Contemporary Guinness Draught and Extra Stout are weaker than they were in the 19th century, when they had an original gravity of over 1.070. Foreign Extra Stout and Special Export Stout, with abv of 7.5% and 9% respectively, are perhaps closest to the original in character.
Although Guinness may appear to be black, it is officially a very dark shade of ruby.
Bottle conditioned Guinness Extra Stout was available in the UK until 1994, and in Ireland until early 2000.
Studies claim that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers found that "'antioxidant compounds' in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls."
Guinness ran an advertising campaign in the 1920s which stemmed from market research – when people told the company that they felt good after their pint, the slogan was born – "Guinness is Good for You". Advertising for alcoholic drinks that implies improved physical performance or enhanced personal qualities is now prohibited in Ireland. Diageo, the company that now manufactures Guinness, says: "We never make any medical claims for our drinks."
The production of Guinness, as with many beers, involves the use of isinglass made from fish. Isinglass is used as a fining agent for settling out suspended matter in the vat. The isinglass is retained in the floor of the vat but it is possible that minute quantities might be carried over into the beer.
Guinness stout is available in a number of variants and strengths, which include:
In October 2005, Guinness announced the Brewhouse Series, a limited-edition collection of draught stouts available for roughly six months each. There were three beers in the series.
Despite an announcement in June 2007 that the fourth Brewhouse stout would be launched in October that year, no new beer appeared and, at the end of 2007, the Brewhouse series appeared to have been quietly cancelled.
In March 2006, Guinness introduced the "surger" in Britain.][ The surger is a plate-like electrical device meant for the home. It sends ultrasonic waves through a Guinness-filled pint glass to recreate the beer's "surge and settle" effect. The device works in conjunction with special cans of surger-ready Guinness.][ Guinness tried out a primitive version of this system in 1977 in New York. The idea was abandoned until 2003, when it began testing the surger in Japanese bars, most of which are too small to accommodate traditional keg-and-tap systems. Since then, the surger has been introduced to bars in Paris.][ Surgers are also in use in Australia,Singapore and Greece. The surger for the US market was announced on 14 November 2007; plans were to make the unit available to bars only.
Withdrawn Guinness variants include Guinness's Brite Lager, Guinness's Brite Ale, Guinness Light, Guinness XXX Extra Strong Stout, Guinness Cream Stout, Guinness Gold, Guinness Pilsner, Guinness Breó (a slightly citrusy wheat beer), Guinness Shandy, and Guinness Special Light.][
Breó (meaning 'glow' in ancient Irish)][ was a wheat beer; it cost around IR£5 million to develop.][
For a short time in the late 1990s, Guinness produced the "St James's Gate" range of craft-style beers, available in a small number of Dublin pubs. The beers were: Pilsner Gold, Wicked Red Ale, Wildcat Wheat Beer and Dark Angel Lager.][
A brewing byproduct of Guinness, Guinness Yeast Extract (GYE), was produced until the 1950s. In the UK, an HP Guinness Sauce has recently been made available, manufactured by Heinz. Kraft also licenses the name for its Barbecue sauce product, Bull's-Eye Barbecue Sauce.
In March 2010, Guinness began test marketing Guinness Black Lager, a new black lager, in Northern Ireland and Malaysia. As of September 2010, Guinness Black Lager is no longer readily available in Malaysia. In October 2010, Guinness began selling Foreign Extra Stout in 4 packs of bottles in the United States.
What Diageo calls the "perfect pint" of Draught Guinness is the product of a "double pour", which according to the company should take 119.53 seconds. Guinness has promoted this wait with advertising campaigns such as "good things come to those who wait". Despite this, Guinness has endorsed the use of "Exactap", marketed by DigitalDispense USA LLC, owned in a trust by its American inventor. The "Exactap" is the fastest beer dispense system in the world and can deliver a perfectly presented Guinness, with no overfilling, in just 4 seconds. There are over 600 "Exactaps" in use in Dublin stadia alone.
Draught Guinness should be served at 6°C (42.8°F), while Extra Cold Guinness should be served at 3.5°C (38.6°F).
A pint of Guinness should be served in a slightly tulip shaped pint glass (as opposed to the taller European tulip glass or 'Nonic' glass, which contains a ridge approx 3/4 of the way up the glass). To begin the pour, the server holds the glass at a 45° angle below the tap and fills the glass 3/4 full. On the way out of the tap, the beer is forced at high speed through a five-hole disc restrictor plate in the end of the tap, creating friction and forcing the creation of small nitrogen bubbles which form a creamy head. After allowing the initial pour to settle, the server fills the remainder of the glass until the head forms a slight dome over the top of the glass.
In April 2010, Guinness redesigned the Guinness pint glass for the first time in a decade. The new glass is taller and narrower than the previous one and features a bevel design. The new glasses are planned to gradually replace the old ones.
When Guinness is poured, the gas bubbles appear to travel downwards in the glass. The effect is attributed to drag; bubbles that touch the walls of a glass are slowed in their travel upwards. Bubbles in the centre of the glass are, however, free to rise to the surface, and thus form a rising column of bubbles. The rising bubbles create a current by the entrainment of the surrounding fluid. As beer rises in the centre, the beer near the outside of the glass falls. This downward flow pushes the bubbles near the glass towards the bottom. Although the effect occurs in any liquid, it is particularly noticeable in any dark nitrogen stout, as the drink combines dark-coloured liquid and light-coloured bubbles.
A study published in 2012 revealed that the effect is due to the particular shape of the glass coupled with the small bubble size found in stout beers. If the vessel widens with height then bubbles will sink along the walls – this is the case for the standard pint glass. Conversely, in an anti-pint (i.e. if the vessel narrows with height) bubbles will rise along the walls.
Guinness is frequently used as an ingredient in recipes, often to add a seemingly authentic Irish element to the menus of Irish-themed pubs in the United States, where it is stirred into everything from french toast to beef stew.
A popular, authentic, Irish course featuring Guinness is the "Guinness and Steak Pie." The recipe includes many common Irish herbs, as well as beef brisket, cheeses, and a can of Guinness.
The Guinness harp motif is modelled on the Trinity College Harp. It was adopted in 1862 by the then proprietor, Benjamin Lee Guinness. Harps have been a symbol of Ireland at least since the reign of Henry VIII. Guinness registered their harp as a trademark shortly after the passing of the Trade Marks Registration Act of 1875. It faces right instead of left, and so can be distinguished from the Irish coat of arms.
Since the 1930s in the face of falling sales, Guinness has had a long history of marketing campaigns, from award-winning television advertisements to beer mats and posters. Before then, Guinness had almost no advertising, instead allowing for word of mouth to sell the product.
Guinness's iconic stature is partly due to its advertising.][ The most notable and recognisable series of advertisements was created by S.H. Benson's advertising, primarily drawn by the artist John Gilroy, in the 1930s and 1940s. Benson created posters that included phrases such as "Guinness for Strength", "Lovely Day for a Guinness", "Guinness Makes You Strong," "My Goodness My Guinness," (or, alternatively, "My Goodness, My Christmas, It's Guinness!") and most famously, "Guinness is Good For You". The posters featured Gilroy's distinctive artwork and more often than not featured animals such as a kangaroo, ostrich, seal, lion and notably a toucan, which has become as much a symbol of Guinness as the harp. (An advertisement from the 1940s ran with the following jingle: "Toucans in their nests agree/Guinness is good for you/Try some today and see/What one or toucan do.") Dorothy L. Sayers and Bobby Bevan copywriters at Benson's also worked on the campaign; a biography of Sayers notes that she created a sketch of the toucan and wrote several of the adverts in question. Guinness advertising paraphernalia, notably the pastiche booklets illustrated by Ronald Ferns, attract high prices on the collectible market.][
Many of the best known Guinness television commercials of the 1970s and 1980s were created by British director, Len Fulford.
In 1983 a conscious marketing decision was made to turn Guinness into a "cult" beer in the UK, amidst declining sales. The move was judged successful, halting the sales decline, and Guinness has arguably][ been marketed as a cult beer in the UK and America ever since. The Guardian described the management of the brand:
In the late 1980s and early 1990s in the UK there was a multi-award-winning series of "darkly"][ humorous adverts, featuring actor Rutger Hauer, with the theme "Pure Genius", extolling its qualities in brewing and target market.][
The 1994–1995 Anticipation campaign, featuring actor Joe McKinney dancing to "Guaglione" by Perez Prado while his pint settled, became a legend in Ireland and put the song to number one in the charts for several weeks. The advertisement was also popular in the UK where the song reached number two.][
In 2000, Guinness's 1999 advertisement Surfer was named the best television commercial of all time in a UK poll conducted by The Sunday Times and Channel 4. This advertisement is inspired by the famous 1980s Guinness TV and cinema ad, "Big Wave", centred on a surfer riding a wave while a bikini-clad sun bather takes photographs. The 1980s advertisement not only remained a popular iconic image in its own right but also entered the Irish cultural memory through inspiring a well known line in Christy Moore's 1985 song "Delirium Tremens". Surfer was produced by the advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO; the advertisement can be downloaded from their website.
Guinness won the 2001 Clio Award as the Advertiser of the Year, citing the work of five separate ad agencies around the world.
In 2003 the Guinness TV campaign featuring Tom Crean won the gold Shark Award at the International Advertising Festival of Ireland, while in 2005 their Irish Christmas campaign won a silver Shark. This TV ad has been run every Christmas since 2003 and features pictures of snow falling in places around Ireland, evoking the James Joyce story The Dead, finishing at St. James's Gate Brewery with the line "Even at the home of the black stuff they dream of a white one".][
Their UK commercial noitulovE, first broadcast in October 2005, was the most-awarded commercial worldwide in 2006. In it, three men drink a pint of Guinness, then begin to both walk and evolve backward. Their 'reverse evolution' passes through an ancient homo sapiens, a monkey, a flying lemur, a pangolin, an ichthyosaur and a velociraptor until finally settling on a mud skipper drinking dirty water, which then expresses its disgust at the taste of the stuff, followed by the line "Good Things Come To Those Who Wait". The official name of the ad is "Noitulove" – which is "Evolution" backwards. This was later modified to have a different endings to advertise Guinness Extra Cold, often shown as "break bumpers" at the beginning and end of commercial breaks. The second endings show either the homo sapiens being suddenly frozen in a block of ice, the ichthyasaurs being frozen while swimming, or the pool of muddy water freezing over as the mud skipper takes a sip, freezing his tongue to the surface.][
Two further advertisements in 2006 and early 2007, "Hands" and "St. Patrick's Hands" were created by animator Michael Schlingmann for Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. They feature a pair of hands, animated in stop motion under a rostrum camera. "Hands" focuses on the 119.53 seconds it takes to pour a pint and "St. Patrick's Hands is a spoof of "Riverdance",][ with the animated hands doing the dancing.][
Guinness's 2007 advertisement, directed by Nicolai Fuglsig and filmed in Argentina, is entitled "Tipping Point". It involves a large-scale domino chain-reaction and, with a budget of £10m, is the most expensive advertisement by the company so far.
And in 2009, the "To Arthur" advertisement, which started with two friends realising the long history,][ hail each other by lifting up their glass and saying "to Arthur!". The hailing slowing spread throughout the bar itself to the streets outside, which accuminates][ to around the world. The advertisement end with the voiceover, "Join the worldwide celebration, of a man named Arthur".
The event][ is now known as Guinness Arthur's Day. "Arthur's Day is a series of events and celebrations taking place around the world to celebrate the life and legacy of Arthur Guinness and the much-loved Guinness beer which Arthur brought to the world." It took place for the third time at 17:59pm on 22 September 2011.][
Sales of Guinness in Ireland and the United Kingdom declined 7% in 2006. Despite this, Guinness still accounts for more than a quarter of all beer sold in Ireland.
Guinness has a significant share of the African beer market, where it has been sold since 1827. About 40% of worldwide total Guinness volume is brewed and sold in Africa, with Foreign Extra Stout the most popular variant. The Michael Power advertising campaign was a critical success for Guinness in Africa, running for nearly a decade before being replaced in 2006 with "Guinness Greatness".][
The beer is brewed under licence internationally in several countries, including Nigeria, the Bahamas, Canada, and Indonesia. The unfermented but hopped Guinness wort extract is shipped from Dublin and blended with beer brewed locally.][
The UK is the only sovereign state to consume more Guinness than Ireland, and the third largest Guinness drinking nation being Nigeria, followed by the USA. The United States consumed more than 950,000 hectolitres of Guinness in 2010.
The Guinness Storehouse is a popular tourist attraction at St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin where a self-guided tour includes an account of the ingredients used to make the stout, and a description of how it is made.][ A pint of Guinness is offered which the visitor may pour after a demonstration by one of the staff. There are videos showing how Guinness is tested by a panel of tasters and the visitor is instructed in tasting the beer.][ The tour includes such items as the historical coopering trade within Guinness, a section dedicated to advertising and merchandising by Guinness, and a section dedicated to historical artefacts and footage][ relating to Guinness. The tour finishes with a pint of Guinness (if it has not already been drunk at one of the other bars)in the Gravity Bar. Two other bars, a coffee shop and a restaurant are available to visitors during the tour and a range of Guinness merchandise is available to purchase.][
In the book 'The thirsty Dragon' by Lyn Ebenezer it claims that Guinness originated from North wales, she suggests that an Arthur Price, who was a Welshman, created a drink believed to have been called 'porter' and took the recipe with him to Ireland. Later on he hired a servant called Richard Guinness, Richard became a father and as a respect for Arthur he named his child after him and Price became young Arthur's godfather. Arthur Guinness following his fathers footsteps opened up a brewery and possibly used the same ingredients. ] [
Blood alcohol content (BAC), also called blood alcohol concentration, blood ethanol concentration, or blood alcohol level is most commonly used as a metric of alcohol intoxication for legal or medical purposes.
Blood alcohol content is usually expressed as a percentage of alcohol (generally in the sense of ethanol) in the blood. For instance, a BAC of 0.10 means that 0.10% (one tenth of one percent) of a person's blood, by volume (usually, but in some countries by mass), is alcohol.
In order to calculate estimated peak blood alcohol concentration (EBAC) a variation, including drinking period in hours, of the Widmark formula was used. The formula is:
where 0.806 is a constant for body water in the blood (mean 80.6%), SD is the number of standard drinks containing 10 grams of ethanol, 1.2 is a factor in order to convert the amount in grams to Swedish standards set by The Swedish National Institute of Public Health, BW is a body water constant (0.58 for men and 0.49 for women), Wt is body weight (kilogram), MR is the metabolism constant (0.017), DP is the drinking period in hours and 10 converts the result to permillage of alcohol. Regarding metabolism (MR) in the formula; Females demonstrated a higher average rate of elimination (mean, 0.017; range, 0.014-0.021 g/210 L) than males (mean, 0.015; range, 0.013-0.017 g/210 L). Female subjects on average had a higher percentage of body fat (mean, 26.0; range, 16.7-36.8%) than males (mean, 18.0; range, 10.2-25.3%). Additionally, men are, on average, heavier than women but it is not strictly accurate to say that the water content of a person alone is responsible for the dissolution of alcohol within the body, because alcohol does dissolve in fatty tissue as well. When it does, a certain amount of alcohol is temporarily taken out of the blood and briefly stored in the fat. For this reason, most calculations of alcohol to body mass simply use the weight of the individual, and not specifically his water content. Finally, it is speculated that the bubbles in sparkling wine may speed up alcohol intoxication by helping the alcohol to reach the bloodstream faster. A study conducted at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom gave subjects equal amounts of flat and sparkling Champagne which contained the same levels of alcohol. After 5 minutes following consumption, the group that had the sparkling wine had 54 milligrams of alcohol in their blood while the group that had the same sparkling wine, only flat, had 39 milligrams.
In most jurisdictions a measurement such as a blood alcohol content (BAC) in excess of a specific threshold level, such as 0.05% or 0.08% defines the offense. Also, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) define the term "binge drinking" as any time one reaches a peak BAC of 0.08% or higher as opposed to some (arguably) arbitrary number of drinks in an evening.
Known as pleasure zone, the positive effects exceed the negative at concentrations typically between 0.030–0.059% blood ethanol concentration (BEC), but the contrary becomes true at higher volumes (0.08% as defined by NIAAA); especially concentrations typical of binge drinking.
A BAC of 0.080 or more is considered "legally intoxicated" for driving in most American states. Likewise, ≤0.050 is considered NOT impaired in most states. In the State of Washington a driver can get charged with DUI (Revised Code of Washington 46.61.502 - Driving Under The Influence of Alcohol/Drugs) even if the person's BAC is under .08. The charge of DUI for anything under the .08 BAC threshold is based on whether or not the driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is affected by alcohol, drugs or any combination thereof.
There are several different units in use around the world for defining blood alcohol concentration. Each is defined as either a mass of alcohol per volume of blood or a mass of alcohol per mass of blood (never a volume per volume). 1 milliliter of blood is approximately equivalent to 1.06 grams of blood. Because of this, units by volume are similar but not identical to units by mass. In the U.S. the concentration unit 1% w/v (percent mass/volume, equivalent to 10g/l or 1 g per 100 ml) is in use. This is not to be confused with the amount of alcohol measured on the breath, as with a breathalyzer. The amount of alcohol measured on the breath is generally accepted to be proportional to the amount of alcohol present in the blood at a rate of 1:2100. Therefore, a breathalyzer measurement of 0.10 mg/L of breath alcohol converts to 0.021 g/210L of breath alcohol, or 0.021 g/dL of blood alcohol (the units of the BAC in the United States). While a variety of units (or sometimes lack thereof) is used throughout the world, many countries use the g/L unit, which do not create confusion as percentages do. Usual units are highlighted in the table below.
For purposes of law enforcement, blood alcohol content is used to define intoxication and provides a rough measure of impairment. Although the degree of impairment may vary among individuals with the same blood alcohol content, it can be measured objectively and is therefore legally useful and difficult to contest in court. Most countries disallow operation of motor vehicles and heavy machinery above prescribed levels of blood alcohol content. Operation of boats and aircraft are also regulated.
The alcohol level at which a person is considered to be legally impaired varies by country. The list below gives limits by country. These are typically blood alcohol content limits for the operation of a vehicle.
It is illegal to have any measurable alcohol in the blood while driving in these countries. Most jurisdictions have a tolerance slightly higher than zero to account for false positives and naturally occurring alcohol in the body. Some of the following jurisdictions have a general prohibition of alcohol.
In certain countries, alcohol limits are determined by the Breath Alcohol Content (BrAC), not to be confused with blood alcohol content (BAC).
"0.01" Blood alcohol content is the hundredth decimal part of the one thousandth part of a liter. (Please note that this "0.01" is measured in permille and not percentage as the "0.1" example in introduction and numbers in 1 Effects at different levels.)
In digesting these numbers it must be remembered that one milliliter is the thousandth part of a liter. Therefore 1% of a milliliter is 0.00001-Liter. Expressing blood-alcohol concentration as "0.01" is naming the hundredth part of a thousandth part.
As final example, a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08, being the 0.08 "part" of a milliliter (ITSELF the thousandth part of a Liter) therefore names an absolute blood-alcohol volume of 0.00008-Liter (within every liter of blood).
Each country or state may define BAC differently. For example, the state of California in the United States legally defines BAC as a ratio of grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, which is equal to grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood.
Since measurement must be accurate and inexpensive, several measurement techniques are used as proxies to approximate the true parts per million measure. Some of the most common are listed here: (1) Mass of alcohol per volume of exhaled breath (for example, 0.38 mg/L; see also breath gas analysis), (2) Mass per volume of blood in the body (for example, 0.08 g/dL), and (3) Mass of alcohol per mass of the body (for example, 0.0013 g/Kg).
The number of alcoholic beverages (drinks) consumed is often a poor measure of blood alcohol content because of variations in sex, body weight, and body fat.
An ethanol level of 0.10% is equal to 22 mmol/l or 100 mg/dl of blood alcohol. This same 0.10% BAC also equates to 0.10 g/dL of blood alcohol or 0.10 g/210L of exhaled breath alcohol or 0.476 mg/L of exhaled breath alcohol. Likewise, 0.10 mg/L of exhaled breath alcohol converts to 0.02% BAC, 0.022 g/dL of blood alcohol or 0.022 g/210L of exhaled breath alcohol.
Blood alcohol tests assume the individual being tested is average in various ways. For example, on average the ratio of blood alcohol content to breath alcohol content (the partition ratio) is 2100 to 1. In other words, there are 2100 parts of alcohol in the blood for every part in the breath. However, the actual ratio in any given individual can vary from 1300:1 to 3100:1, or even more widely. This ratio varies not only from person to person, but within one person from moment to moment. Thus a person with a true blood alcohol level of .08% but a partition ratio of 1700:1 at the time of testing would have a .10 reading on a Breathalyzer calibrated for the average 2100:1 ratio.
A similar assumption is made in urinalysis. When urine is analyzed for alcohol, the assumption is that there are 1.3 parts of alcohol in the urine for every 1 part in the blood, even though the actual ratio can vary greatly.
Breath alcohol testing further assumes that the test is post-absorptive—that is, that the absorption of alcohol in the subject's body is complete. If the subject is still actively absorbing alcohol, their body has not reached a state of equilibrium where the concentration of alcohol is uniform throughout the body. Most forensic alcohol experts reject test results during this period as the amounts of alcohol in the breath will not accurately reflect a true concentration in the blood.
Alcohol is absorbed throughout the gastrointestinal tract, but more slowly in the stomach than in the small or large intestine. For this reason, alcohol consumed with food is absorbed more slowly, because it spends a longer time in the stomach. Furthermore, alcohol dehydrogenase is present in the stomach lining. After absorption, the alcohol passes to the liver through the hepatic portal vein, where it undergoes a first pass of metabolism before entering the general bloodstream.
Alcohol is removed from the bloodstream by a combination of metabolism, excretion, and evaporation. The relative proportion disposed of in each way varies from person to person, but typically about 95% is metabolized by the liver. The remainder of the alcohol is eliminated through excretion in breath, urine, sweat, feces, milk and saliva. Excretion into urine typically begins after about 40 minutes, whereas metabolisation commences as soon as the alcohol is absorbed, and even before alcohol levels have risen in the brain.
Alcohol is metabolized mainly by the group of six enzymes collectively called alcohol dehydrogenase. These convert the ethanol into acetaldehyde (an intermediate that is actually more toxic than ethanol). The enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase then converts the acetaldehyde into non-toxic Acetic acid.
Many physiologically active materials are removed from the bloodstream (whether by metabolism or excretion) at a rate proportional to the current concentration, so that they exhibit exponential decay with a characteristic halflife (see pharmacokinetics). This is not true for alcohol, however. Typical doses of alcohol actually saturate the enzymes' capacity, so that alcohol is removed from the bloodstream at an approximately constant rate. This rate varies considerably between individuals; Another sex based difference is in the elimination of alcohol. Persons below the age of 25][, women persons of certain ethnicities, and persons with liver disease may process alcohol more slowly, also false positive of High (BAC) reading are related to patients with proteinuria and hematuria, due to kidney-liver metabolism and failure. (for example, Hematuria 1+ protenuria 1+ ) Also have impaired acetaldehyde dehydrogenase; this causes acetaldehyde levels to peak higher, producing more severe hangovers and other effects such as flushing and tachycardia. Conversely, members of certain ethnicities that traditionally did not use alcoholic beverages have lower levels of alcohol dehydrogenases and thus "sober up" very slowly, but reach lower aldehyde concentrations and have milder hangovers. Rate of detoxification of alcohol can also be slowed by certain drugs which interfere with the action of alcohol dehydrogenases, notably aspirin, furfural (which may be found in fusel alcohol), fumes of certain solvents, many heavy metals, and some pyrazole compounds. Also suspected of having this effect are cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), and acetaminophen (Tylenol) (paracetamol).
Currently, the only known substance that can increase the rate of metabolism of alcohol is fructose. The effect can vary significantly from person to person, but a 100g dose of fructose has been shown to increase alcohol metabolism by an average of 80%. Fructose also increase false positive of High ratio (BAC) reading to Patients with proteinuria and hematuria, due to kidney-liver metabolism.
Alcohol absorption can be slowed by ingesting alcohol on a full stomach. Spreading the total absorption of alcohol over a greater period of time decreases the maximum alcohol level, decreasing the hangover effect. Thus, drinking on a full stomach or drinking while ingesting drugs which slow the breakdown of ethanol into acetaldehyde will reduce the maximum blood levels of this substance and thus decrease the hangover. Alcohol in non-carbonated beverages is absorbed more slowly than alcohol in carbonated drinks.
Retrograde extrapolation is the mathematical process by which someone's blood alcohol concentration at the time of driving is estimated by projecting backwards from a later chemical test. This involves estimating the absorption and elimination of alcohol in the interim between driving and testing. The rate of elimination in the average person is commonly estimated at .015 to .020 grams per deciliter per hour (g/dl/h), although again this can vary from person to person and in a given person from one moment to another. Metabolism can be affected by numerous factors, including such things as body temperature, the type of alcoholic beverage consumed, and the amount and type of food consumed.
In an increasing number of states, laws have been enacted to facilitate this speculative task: the blood alcohol content at the time of driving is legally presumed to be the same as when later tested. There are usually time limits put on this presumption, commonly two or three hours, and the defendant is permitted to offer evidence to rebut this presumption.
Forward extrapolation can also be attempted. If the amount of alcohol consumed is known, along with such variables as the weight and sex of the subject and period and rate of consumption, the blood alcohol level can be estimated by extrapolating forward. Although subject to the same infirmities as retrograde extrapolation—guessing based upon averages and unknown variables—this can be relevant in estimating BAC when driving and/or corroborating or contradicting the results of a later chemical test.
On Monday March 26, 2012, a man was found in a ditch in Indiana, USA with a BAC of 0.552%.
In November 2007, a driver was found passed out in her car in Oregon in the United States. A blood test showed her blood alcohol level was 0.550%. She was charged with several offenses, including two counts of driving under the influence of an intoxicant, reckless endangerment of a person, criminal mischief and driving with a suspended license. Her bail was later set at US$50,000, since she had several previous convictions for similar offenses.
In December 2007, a driver was arrested in Klamath County, Oregon, after she was found unconscious in her car which was stuck in a snow bank with its engine running. Police were forced to break a car window to remove her. After realizing she was in alcohol-induced coma, they rushed her to the hospital where a blood test showed her blood alcohol level was 0.720%. She reportedly was released from the hospital the next day. She was subsequently charged with drunk driving.
In July 2008, a driver was arrested after he ran into a highway message board on Interstate 95 in Providence, Rhode Island. A breath test showed his blood alcohol level was at 0.491% and he was raced to the hospital where he was sedated and placed in a detoxification unit. He was subsequently charged with driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest. He was later sentenced to one year probation, a $500 fine, 40 hours of community service and a one-year loss of his driver's license. The police later stated that his blood alcohol level was the highest they had ever seen for someone who hadn't died of alcohol poisoning. It was later estimated that the driver had consumed 10–14 drinks over the course of 1–2 hours, based on the standard levels of elimination which as documented previously can vary by up to 300%.
In December 2009, a South Dakota woman was found behind the wheel of a stolen car with a measured blood alcohol content of .708%, almost nine times the state's limit of .08%, thus becoming the highest recorded level of alcohol toxicity for the state. After she was hospitalized, she was released on bond and subsequently found in another stolen automobile while under the influence.
In August 2012, an Iowa man was arrested for driving under the influence. Breathalyzers and subsequent lab tests confirmed a BAC of .627%, over 8 times the legal limit for driving. At that blood alcohol level, he was conscious, yet incoherent and unable to answer simple questions.
There have been reported cases of blood alcohol content higher than 1.00%. In March 2009, a 45-year-old man was admitted to the hospital in Skierniewice, Poland, after being struck by a car. The blood test showed blood alcohol content at 1.23. The man survived but did not remember either the accident or the circumstances of his alcohol consumption. One such case was reported by O'Neil, and others in 1984. They report on a 30-year-old man who survived a blood alcohol concentration of 1,500 mg/100 ml blood after vigorous medical intervention.
In South Africa, a man driving a Mercedes-Benz Vito light van containing 15 sheep, allegedly stolen from nearby farms, was arrested on December 22, 2010, near Queenstown in Eastern Cape. His blood had an alcohol content of 1.6 g/100 ml. Also in the vehicle were five boys and a woman who were also arrested.
In 2004, an unidentified Taiwanese woman died of alcohol intoxication after immersion for twelve hours in a bathtub filled with 40% ethanol. Her blood alcohol content was 1.35%. It was believed that she had immersed herself as a response to the SARS epidemic.
In Poland, a homeless man was found sleeping half-naked on January 28, 2011, in Cieszyn. His blood had an alcohol level of 1.024%. Despite the temperature of −10 °C and extremely high blood alcohol content the man survived.
In December 2004, a man was admitted to the hospital in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, after being struck by a car. After detecting a strong alcohol odor, doctors at a hospital conducted a breath test which displayed the man's blood alcohol content at 0.914. The man was treated for serious injuries sustained in the crash and survived.
In February 2005, French gendarmes from Bourg-en-Bresse, France, conducted a breath test on a man who had lost control of his car. He had an alcohol content of 0.976. He was not injured in the accident but was charged with a €150 fine and his driving license was canceled.
In 1982, a 24-year-old woman was admitted to the UCLA emergency room with a serum alcohol concentration of 1.5 (1,510 mg/dL), corresponding to a BAC of 1.33. She was alert and oriented to person and place. Serum alcohol concentration is not equal to nor calculated in the same way as blood alcohol content.
In 2012, Oct 26th a man from Olszewo-Borki community, Poland, who died in a car accident, had 2.23%; however, the blood sample was collected from a wound and thus possibly contaminated.
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Draught beer, also spelt draft, is beer served from a cask or keg rather than from a bottle or can. Canned draught is beer served from a pressurised container containing a widget. Smooth flow (also known as cream flow, nitrokeg or smooth) is the name brewers give to draught beers pressurised with a partial nitrogen gas blend.
Until Joseph Bramah patented the beer engine in 1785, beer was served directly from the barrel and carried to the customer. The Old English word for carry was dragen which developed into a series of related words, including drag, draw, and draught. By extension, the word for carrying or drawing a beer came to mean the serving of the beer and, in some senses, the act of drinking, or a drink of beer itself, regardless of serving method. By the time Bramah's beer pumps became popular, the use of the term draught to refer to the act of serving beer was well established and transferred easily to beer served via the hand pumps.
"Draught" is the usual spelling in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. "Draft" is the usual spelling in North America, although it may be spelt both ways in Canada and Australia. "Draught" and "draft" can each be pronounced or depending on the region the speaker is from.
In 1691, an article in the London Gazette mentioned John Lofting, who held a patent for a fire engine: "The said patentee has also projected a very useful engine for starting of beer, and other liquors which will draw from 20 to 30 barrels an hour, which are completely fixed with brass joints and screws at reasonable rates".
In the early 20th century, draught beer started to be served from pressurised containers. Artificial carbonation was introduced in the United Kingdom in 1936, with Watney’s experimental pasteurised beer Red Barrel. Though this method of serving beer did not take hold in the U.K. until the late 1950s, it did become the favoured method in the rest of Europe, where it is known by such terms as en pression. The carbonation method of serving beer subsequently spread to the rest of the world; by the early 1970s the term "draught beer" almost exclusively referred to beer served under pressure as opposed to the traditional cask or barrel beer.
In Britain, the Campaign for Real Ale was founded in 1971 to protect traditional - unpressurised beer and brewing methods. The group devised the term real ale to differentiate between beer served from the cask and beer served under pressure. The term real ale has since been expanded to include bottle-conditioned beer.
Keg beer is a term for beer which is served from a pressurised keg. Keg beer is often filtered and/or pasteurised, both of which are processes that render the yeast inactive.
In brewing parlance, a keg is different from a cask. A cask has a tap hole near the edge of the top, and a spile hole on the side used for conditioning the unfiltered and unpasteurised beer. A keg has a single opening in the centre of the top to which a flow pipe is attached. Kegs are artificially pressurised after fermentation with carbon dioxide or a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas.
Keg has become a term of contempt used by some, particularly in Britain, since the 1960s when pasteurised draught beers started replacing traditional cask beers.
Keg beer was replacing traditional cask ale in all parts of the UK, primarily because it requires less care to handle. Since 1971, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has conducted a consumer campaign on behalf of those who prefer traditional cask beer. CAMRA has lobbied the British Parliament to ensure support for cask ale and microbreweries have sprung up to serve those consumers who prefer traditional cask beer.
Pressurised CO2 in the keg's headspace maintains carbonation in the beer. The CO2 pressure varies depending on the amount of CO2 already in the beer and the keg storage temperature. Occasionally the CO2 gas is blended with nitrogen gas. CO2 / nitrogen blends are used to allow a higher operating pressure in complex dispensing systems.
Nitrogen is used under high pressure when dispensing dry stouts (such as Guinness) and other creamy beers because it displaces CO2 to (artificially) form a rich tight head and a less carbonated taste. This makes the beer feel smooth on the palate and gives a foamy appearance. Premixed bottled gas for creamy beers is usually 75% nitrogen and 25% CO2 . This premixed gas which only works well with creamy beers is often referred to as Guinness Gas, Beer Gas, or Aligal. Using "Beer Gas" with other beer styles can cause the last 5% to 10% of the beer in each keg to taste very flat and lifeless.
Cask beer should be stored at 12°C (54°F). Once a cask is opened it should be consumed within 3 days. Keg beer is given additional cooling just prior to being served either by flash coolers or a remote cooler in the cellar. This chills the beer down to temperatures between 3°C and 8°C. Cask beer is served at the cellar temperature of 12°C.
In the UK, the term keg beer would imply the beer is pasteurised, in contrast to unpasteurised cask beer. Some of the newer microbreweries may offer a nitro keg stout which is filtered but not pasteurised.
The words "draft" and "draught" have been used as marketing terms to describe canned or bottled beers, implying that they taste and appear like beers from a cask or keg. Commercial brewers use this as a marketing tool although it is incorrect to call any beer not drawn from a cask or keg "draught". Two examples are Miller Genuine Draft, a pale lager which is produced using a patented cold filtering system, and Guinness stout in patented "Draught-flow" cans and bottles. Guinness is an example of beers that use a nitrogen widget to create a smooth beer with a very dense head. Guinness has recently replaced the widget system from their bottled "draught" beer with a coating of cellulose fibres on the inside of the bottle. Statements indicate a new development in bottling technology enables the mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide to be present in the beer without using a widget, making it according to Guinness "more drinkable" from the bottle.
In some countries such as Japan, the term "draft" applied to canned or bottled beer indicates that the beer is not pasteurised (though it may be filtered), giving it a fresher taste but shorter shelf life than conventional packaged beers.
Lager (German: ) is a type of beer that is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures. Pale lager is the most widely-consumed and commercially available style of beer in the world. Bock, Pilsner and Märzen are all styles of lager. There are also dark lagers, such as Dunkel and Schwarzbier. The term Lager is a cognate of ligrs, Gothic for "place of lying (down)".
While cold storage of beer, "lagering", in caves for example, was a common practice throughout the medieval period, bottom-fermenting yeast seems to have emerged as a hybridization in the early fifteenth century. However, in 2011 an international team of researchers writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claimed to have discovered that Saccharomyces eubayanus, a yeast native to Patagonia, is responsible for creating the hybrid yeast used to make lager.
Based on the numbers of breweries, lager brewing displaced ale brewing in Bohemia in the period from 1860 to 1870, as shown in the following table:
The rise of lager was entwined with the development of refrigeration, as refrigeration made it possible to brew lager year-round (brewing in the summer had previously been banned in many locations across Germany), and efficient refrigeration also made it possible to brew lager in more places and keep it cold until serving; the first large-scale refrigerated lagering tanks were developed for Gabriel Sedlmayr's Munich brewery by Carl von Linde in 1870.
The average lager in worldwide production is a pale lager in the Dortmunder or Pilsner styles. The flavor of these lighter lagers is usually mild, and the producers often recommend that the beers be served refrigerated. However, the examples of lager beers produced worldwide vary greatly in flavour, colour, and composition.
In colour, helles represent the lightest lager, rating as low as 6 EBC. Darker German lagers are often referred to as Dunkels.
The organism most often associated with lager brewing is Saccharomyces pastorianus, a close relative of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
In strength, lagers represent some of the world's most alcoholic beers. The very strongest lagers often fall into the German-originated doppelbock style, with the strongest of these, the commercially-produced Samichlaus, reaching 14% ABV.
Lagers in certain countries often feature large proportions of adjuncts, usually rice or maize. Adjuncts entered United States brewing as a means of thinning out the body of U.S beers, balancing the large quantities of protein introduced by six-row barley. Adjuncts are often used now in beermaking to introduce a large quantity of sugar, and thereby increase ABV, at a lower price than a formulation using an all-malt grain bill. There are however cases in which adjunct usage actually increases the cost of manufacture.
Pale lager is a very pale to golden-coloured lager with a well attenuated body and noble hop bitterness. The brewing process for this beer developed in the mid 19th century when Gabriel Sedlmayr took pale ale brewing techniques back to the Spaten Brewery in Germany and applied it to existing lagering brewing methods. This approach was picked up by other brewers, most notably Josef Groll who produced Pilsner Urquell. The resulting pale coloured, lean and stable beers were very successful and gradually spread around the globe to become the most common form of beer consumed in the world today.][
The main elements of the lagering method used by Sedlmayr and Groll are still used today, and depend on a slow acting yeast that ferments at a low temperature while being stored. Indeed, the German term '' means 'storage'. While first marketed as '' in Austria and Germany, the term is now quite uncommon in the German-speaking countries where today one would simply ask for '' (pale lager), '' (dark lager) or specific varieties, particularly those with a distinctive character such as .
Lagers would likely have been mainly dark until the 1840s; pale lagers were not common until the later part of the 19th century when technological advances made them easier to produce. Dark lagers typically range in colour from amber to dark reddish brown, and may be termed Vienna, amber lager, dunkel, tmavé, schwarzbier, or Baltic porter depending on region, colour or brewing method.
Vienna or amber lager was developed by brewer Anton Dreher in Vienna in 1841. Austrian brewers who emigrated to Mexico in the late 19th century took the style with them. Vienna lager is a reddish-brown or copper-colored beer with medium body and slight malt sweetness. The malt aroma and flavor may have a toasted character. Despite their name, Vienna lagers are generally uncommon in Europe today but can be found frequently in North America, where it is often called pre-Prohibition style amber lager (often shortened to "pre-Prohibition lager"), as the style was popular in pre-1919 America. Notable examples include Great Lakes Eliot Ness, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Devils Backbone Vienna Lager, and Yuengling Traditional Lager.
Tmavé is Czech for "dark", so is the term for a dark beer in the Czech republic - beers which are so dark as to be black are termed černé pivo, "black beer". Dunkel is German for "dark", so is the term for a dark beer in Germany. With alcohol concentrations of 4.5% to 6% by volume, dunkels are weaker than Doppelbocks, another traditional dark Bavarian beer. Dunkels were the original style of the Bavarian villages and countryside. Schwarzbier, a much darker, almost black beer with a chocolate or liquorice-like flavour, similar to stout, is mainly brewed in Saxony and Thuringia.
Beer and breweries by region
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Pale lager is a very pale to golden-coloured beer with a well attenuated body and a varying degree of noble hop bitterness. The brewing process for this beer developed in the mid 19th century when Gabriel Sedlmayr took pale ale brewing techniques back to the Spaten Brewery in Germany and applied it to existing lagering methods. This approach was picked up by other brewers, most notably Josef Groll of Bavaria who produced Pilsner Urquell in the city of Pilsen in the Czech Republic. The resulting pale coloured, lean and stable beers were very successful and gradually spread around the globe to become the most common form of beer consumed in the world today, and includes the American beer Budweiser, the world's highest volume selling beer.][
Bavarian brewers in the sixteenth century were required by law to brew beer only during the cooler months of the year. In order to have beer available during the hot summer months, beers would be stored in caves and stone cellars, often under blocks of ice.
In the period 1820-1830, a brewer named Gabriel Sedlmayr II the Younger, whose family was running the Spaten Brewery in Bavaria went around Europe to improve his brewing skills. When he returned, he used what he had learned to get a more stable and consistent lager beer. The Bavarian lager was still different from the widely-known modern lager; due to the use of dark malts it was quite dark, representing what is now called Dunkel beer or the stronger variety, Bock beer.
The new recipe of the improved lager beer spread quickly over Europe. In particular Sedlmayr's friend Anton Dreher used the new lagering technique to improve the Viennese beer in 1840–1841, creating Vienna lager. New kilning techniques enabled the use of lighter malts, giving the beer an amber-red rich colour.
Pale lagers tend to be dry, lean, clean-tasting and crisp. Flavours may be subtle, with no traditional beer ingredient dominating the others. Hop character (bitterness, flavour, and aroma) ranges from negligible to a dry bitterness from noble hops. The main ingredients are water, Pilsner malt and noble hops, though some brewers use adjuncts such as rice or corn to lighten the body of the beer. There tends to be no butterscotch flavour from diacetyl, due to the slow, cold fermentation process.
Pale lager was developed in the mid 19th century when Gabriel Sedlmayr took some British pale ale brewing techniques back to the Spaten Brewery in Germany, and started to modernise continental brewing methods. In 1842 Josef Groll of Pilsen, a city in western Bohemia in what is now the Czech Republic, used some of these methods to produce Pilsner Urquell, the first known example of a golden lager. This beer proved so successful that other breweries followed the trend, using the name Pilsner. Breweries now use the terms "lager" and "Pilsner" interchangeably, though pale lagers from Germany and the Czech Republic with the name Pilsner tend to have more evident noble hop aroma and dry finish than other pale lagers.
With the success of Pilsen's golden beer, the town of Dortmund in Germany started brewing pale lager in 1873. As Dortmund was a major brewing centre, and the town breweries grouped together to export the beer beyond the town, the brand name Dortmunder Export became known. Today, breweries in Denmark, the Netherlands, and North America brew pale lagers labelled as Dortmunder Export.
A little later, in 1894, the Spaten Brewery in Munich recognised the success of these golden lagers and utilised the methods that Sedlmayr had brought home over 50 years earlier to produce their own light lager they named helles, which is German for "light coloured", in order to distinguish it from dunkelbier or dunkles bier ("dark beer"), which is another type of beer typical for the region, being darker in colour and sweeter than helles.
Examples of helles include Löwenbräu Original, Spaten Premium Lager, Weihenstephaner Original Bayrisch Mild, Hofbräu München Original, Augustiner Bräu Lagerbier Hell and Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Helles.
The earliest known brewing of pale lager in America was in the Old City section of Philadelphia by John Wagner in 1840 using yeast from his native Bavaria. Modern American-style lagers are usually made by large breweries such as Anheuser-Busch. Lightness of body is a cardinal virtue, both by design and since it allows the use of a high percentage of rice or corn.
Though all lagers are well attenuated, a more fully fermented pale lager in Germany goes by the name Diet Pils. "Diet" in the instance not referring to being "light" in calories or body, rather its sugars are fully fermented into alcohol, allowing the beer to be targeted to diabetics. A marketing term for a fully attenuated pale lager, originally used in Japan by Asahi Breweries in 1987, "karakuchi" , was taken up by the American brewer Anheuser-Busch in 1988 as "dry beer" for the Michelob brand, Michelob Dry. This was followed by other "dry beer" brands such as Bud Dry, though the marketing concept was not considered a success.
Premium lager is a marketing term sometimes used by brewers for products they wish to promote; there is no legal definition for such a product, but it is usually applied to an all malt product of around 5% abv. Anheuser-Busch also uses the terms "sub-premium" and "super-premium" to describe the low-end Busch beer and the slightly higher-end Michelob.
Spezial is a stronger style of pale lager, mostly brewed in Southern Germany, but also found in Austria and Switzerland. Spezial slots in between helles and bock in terms of flavour characteristics and strength. Full-bodied and bittersweet, it is delicately spiced with German aroma hops. It has a gravity of between 12.5° and 13.5° Plato and an alcohol content of 5.5 - 5.8% abv. The style has been in slow decline over the last 30 years, but still accounts for around 10% of beer sales in Bavaria.
Pale lagers that exceed an abv of around 5.8% are variously termed bock, malt liquor, super strength lager, Oktoberfestbier/Märzen, or European strong lager.
Bock is a strong lager which has origins in the Hanseatic town Einbeck, Germany. The name is a corruption of the medieval German brewing town of Einbeck, but also means goat (buck) in German. The original bocks were dark beers, brewed from high-coloured malts. Modern bocks can be dark, amber or pale in colour. Bock was traditionally brewed for special occasions, often religious festivals such as Christmas, Easter or Lent.
Malt liquor is an American term referring to a strong pale lager. In the UK, similarly-made beverages are called super-strength lager.
Oktoberfest is a German festival dating from 1810, and Oktoberfestbiers are the beers that have been served at the festival since 1818, and are supplied by six breweries: Spaten, Löwenbräu, Augustiner-Bräu, Hofbräu-München, Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr. Traditionally Oktoberfestbiers were the lagers of around 5.5 to 6 abv called Märzen - brewed in March and allowed to ferment slowly during the summer months. Originally these would have been dark lagers, but from 1872 a strong March brewed version of an amber-red Vienna lager made by Josef Sedlmayr became the favourite Oktoberfestbier. The colour of Märzen and so Oktoberfestbier has become even lighter since the late 20th century, with all Oktoberfest beers brewed in Munich since 1990 being golden in colour; though some Munich brewers still produce darker versions, mostly for export to the USA.
Oktoberfestbier is a registered trademark of the big six Munich breweries, who call themselves the Club of Munich Brewers. Oktoberfestbier is also known as Munich Beer, and - along with Bavarian beer - is protected by the European Union as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).