Fancy a paint?

 Beyond the fizz and flavour

What can you do to stay healthy and prevent a stroke? Fancy a pint?
Aquiet pub, some country music, a good friend by the side and a chilled glass of draught beer.  That is Captain Puneet Pareek’s favourite fantasy. He is a lucky guy, he chuckles. Because, it frequently does come true.

The high flying airlines pilot says a pitcher draught beer is the best thing to come back to after a long and tiring flight. If it can be enjoyedat a riverside English pub, nothing could be better. Can’t think of anyone who would disagree. Except, maybe, his wife. Beer is the new lifestyle drink for many of us, including those who grew up with conservative notions that alcohol is bad. “Particularly for those people. Because you can look stylish with a glass of beer and yet not feel guilty about having a hard drink,” says Manisha Rawat, media marketing manager with a reputed Delhi based publication. Rawat was introduced to beer at Oxford, as an MBA student and though she admits she is not very fond of it, she does have a glass once in a while. “In England, everybody is drinking beer in the afternoons and weekends are meant for pubbing,”shesays. “Thingshaven’t really caught on to that extent in India.”

Not for lack of trying, one would say. From coveted bikini calendars to fashion
events toDJnights to rock concerts to talent hunts, Kingfisher, easily one of India’s
popular beers, has a hand in it all. And SABMiller India, the brewing company
that offers brands like Haywards 5000, Foster’s, Royal Challenge, Haywards
Black, Castle Lager, Indus Pride and Peroni Nastro Azurro, is doing its bit too.

Only this year, they showcased New Beginnings, a group exhibition of artworks
and paintings of emerging and upcoming contemporary artists. They also held a
poolside party at a leading Delhi hotel where guests got to take a dip in the pool,
enjoy Foster’s and feast on a sumptuous cial expert with a nationalised bank, going
into flashback mode all the way back to his Hansraj College days when beer and kebabs
were a coveted Sunday treat. More than a decade later if he’s still beering, the reasons are clear. “It’s casual, refreshing and perfect accompaniment to lunch. Try having a whisky instead and immediately you will start sending distress signals to a lot of people”. The pub culture has not really caught on in India but it is picking up steadily. We haven’t come to the stage where activities revolve around beer festivals and tastings, beer crawls from pub to pub and couture events where food and beer are paired. But things are oving in that direction. In places like Bangalore there are clubs like Hash Harriers that pair a run with a drink (which makes it barbeque. You can see that brewing companies are working hard to link beer with lifestyle. Why? Says Sundeep Kumar, Director, Corporate Affairsand Communication, SAB Miller India, “Beeris a funbeverage that can add to the entire experience of a creative and lifestyle event.” Fizz and flavour We know it’s marketing strategy but guzzlers tend to agree. “Beeris lighter, it is not considered a hard drink and can be enjoyed in the afternoons without any fears of being branded an alcoholic,” smiles Pareek.

“You can drink it over a long period of time, and it takes a lot to get sozzled. It is almost a soft drink.” No wonder, most youngsters get introduced to beer in college. Ahyes,”saysManendraSingh, finan- healthy too),andinvite teetotallers aswell,
which only makes their circle bigger. On the net it’s easy to find virtual bars, without
cigarette smoke (a major crib with most pub hoppers) where topics like organic breweries, Oktoberfest recipes and pairing of beer and food are avidly discussed.
Raising a toast It’s a growing culture and never visible better than when retired Brigadier BS Bisht, SM,VSM,at close to 70, strokes his moustache and sits down with his paratrooper son’s junior colleagues who pop open a bottle of beer since its afternoon.
“Pour it slow son, we wouldn’t want to lose the fizz,” he says.And they comply willingly.
Flavour, fizz, age no bar. That’s the power of beer camaraderie.

What makes beer one of the world’s most misunderstood drinks? Beer myths. So outrageous that they can easily drive you to drink! Here we bust some of those.

Myth No 1
I don’t drink beer, I drink lager: However smart you think you sound, actually, you drink beer every time you raise a glass of lager. Beer is a drink made from
grain, and spiced with hops. The most widely available type of beer world wide is ager. Yes, it’s beer. what did you think it was?

Myth No 2
Lager is better because it’s lighter: In colour? Body? Taste? Not necessarily any of the above. The first lagers were mahogany in colour. Some are very full-bodied, or hoppy. The term “lager” just means that the brew was fermented and matured at cool temperatures.

Myth No 3
Women don’t like beer: Now that would certainly upset Sister Doris, the Bavarian nun who makes Mallersdorf lager, or even Lady Catherine Maxwell Stuart, whose Traquair House brewery, in the Scottish Borders, produces a fine strong ale. The best of women drink beer. So does the Queen Mother (you need still more convincing?).The matriarch has been photographed with pints of both Young’s and Fuller’s bitters.

Myth No 4
Beerdoesn’tgowithfood: Really? Try telling that to the Belgians, who have restaurants devoted to cuisine a la biere. Or, treat yourself to a porter with oysters; a Pilsner Urquell with fish; a Duvel with asparagus: a Samuel Smith’s Nutbrown Ale with a crunchy salad; a Trappist Chimay Grande Reserve with cheese; an Imperial Stout with a chocolate dessert...

Myth No 5
Darkbeer is stronger:Whatever you have been led to believe Can’t beer it any more by racially inclined writings, let me assure you that colour has nothing to do with strength—in humansor in beer. Golden Duval has 8.5 per cent alcohol volume; the famously black Guinness stouthas4.2percent.The colour in beer comes from the toasting the malts, and not alcohol.

Myth No 6
Beer shouldn’t be bitter: Why drink it, in that case? Have a glass of water instead! The bitterness of a beer comes from hops which are there in all beers to balance the sweet malts and to act as a preservative. Some beers have a lot of hops, like India Pale Ales and some beers have less hops, like Wheat Beers. Hops add flavours and aromas, like pine, citrus, and earthiness. Hops are why people say beer is an acquired taste, but they also make beer delicious.

Myth No 7
The best beers come in green bottles: And green goblins live on Mars? Fact is, brown bottles protect the beer from light much better than green bottles. This myth comes from when there was a shortage of brown glass in Europe after World War II. European beers were bottled in green instead, so green bottles came tore present imports. This no longer holds true. And anybody who says that needs to be hit on the head with a bottle. Green or brown? We don’t care.

Myth No 8
Ice-cold beer is the best: Only if you live in Alaska.This is a myth perpetuated by commercial breweries—trying to sell their lite beers. Fact is, flavour diminishes
when beer is served icecold. On the same logic that applies to food. It may make for a
thirst-quenching, refreshing beverage, but often bears little resemblance to traditional beer. Several beers, such as Guinness, are considered undrinkable when icy cold.

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