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Q&A Fun for Philly Beer Geek Geniuses

Do you think you know a lot about beer? Here’s a little Q&A fun to accompany your late evening beer. Cover the answers and see how many you know, Genius.

Q. In the mid-1960s, artist Jasper Johns famously cast two beer cans in bronze; then painted them to convey his perspective about physical versus perceived reality. What beer was the subject of his artistry?

A. Ballantine’s Ale.

Founded in 1840 in Newark, New Jersey, by Scotsman Peter Ballantine, Ballantine’s Brewing Company expanded to become the 4th largest brewing company in the United States at its height.

Q. What German term is sometimes used to describe wheat beers in Belgium? What are they called in south Germany?

A. The Belgians may refer to wheat beers by the German word Weisse, or white; in south Germany, they are called Weizen, or wheat. However, these beers are more commonly known as Witbier in Belgium.

Q. What German writer is well known for nourishing himself with a black beer from Köstritz when he was ill and unable to keep anything else on his stomach?

A. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who lived from 1749 to 1832. That beer helped him live to the ripe old age of 83.

Q. According to Patrick E. McGovern of the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, what is the principal yeast used by humans in making alcoholic beverages?

A. Saccharomyses cerevisiae.

S. cerevisiae became abundant because it can proliferate in the absence of oxygen. One other strong characteristic is that, due to the alcohol it produces, it destroys other organisms that may feed on the same sugars.

Q. Artist Eric Henningsten won a poster competition in 1900 in Denmark for an ad he called “Thirst.” What brewing company did this illustration represent?

A. Tuborg.

Q. Beer glasses come in all shapes and sizes. The classic ballon is typically used for Abbey beers, while the flute is used for Bieres Brut. What distinctive shape is Scotland’s national emblem and is commonly used to serve Scotch Ale?A. The Thistle.

Q. What unique style of brown ale had its origins in the city of Oudenaarde in Belgium?

A. Oud bruin, or old brown. These beers are fermented with a blend of house and wild yeast, to give it a distinctive sour edge.

Q. In the Czech Republic, which beers are referred to as “ladies beers”?

A. Cerné, or dark beers, are relatively low in alcohol content, usually at 3.8% ABV. They are therefore popular among the women.

Q. In ancient Egyptian culture, what was the hieroglyphic symbol for food, and what did it depict?

A. A pitcher of beer and a cake of bread. These symbols signified good health, and ancient Egyptians often greeted each other with the phrase, “bread and beer.”

Q. Traditional milky white beers of Africa are typically made of the fermented grains of sorghum and are commercially sold under the name of Chibuku. Why is it often called Shake Shake?

A. The liquids inside the waxed-cardboard containers tend to separate, and must be shaken to restore its thick consistency. It is grainy and is the consistency of a yogurt shake.

Q. When a Franconian says to drink your beer on top of the cellar, what does he mean?

A. He means to drink in the beer garden. Horse chestnut trees were planted in the gardens above the beer cellars and kept the earth cool with their shade. This would help to keep the beer cellars cool, too.

Q. What determines the IBUs in a beer?

A. IBUs are determined by the amount of hops used in a beer and their alpha acid content. Alpha acids can be the result of breeding, weather, age of the hops, and the hop regimen used.

Q. Prince Charles has a range of beers produced by the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation using organic cereals, historic malts, and organic rye and oats from his home farm. What is the name of his line of beers?

A. Dutchy Originals, brewed at Wychwood in Oxfordshire, England.

Q. What was the term used by the Wall Street Journal to describe “wet-hopped beers,” those brewed with hops picked fresh from the vine and rushed to the brew kettle?

A. Beer Nouveau. These beers eventually became known as Harvest Ales.

Q. 1986 brought Toronto’s first brewpub on the scene. What was the name of this brewpub?

A. Amsterdam Brewing Company, named for the original location.

Q. What city in southern Brazil is referred to as the Brazilian Beer Capital?

A. Blumenau, founded by Germans in 1850. It holds an annual “Oktoberfest,” similar in tradition to the October Festival held each year in Munich, Germany.

Beer is marvelous at combining a region’s culture with the traditions of societies that have existed for generations. As the food that nourished the body and mind of these peoples, it has earned a place of honor throughout the world.


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