Tim Hampson's Beer Blog

The quest for the perfect beer

Archive for February 2015

The Greeks are coming – and they are bringing good beer with them

leave a comment »

BeerbartenderGreece is not a country normally associated with a beer culture, but there are people who think that notion should be consigned to ancient history.

And when it comes to promoting good beer in Greece Beerbartender is doing more than most

Yes, the beer revolution has come to Greece and people there  are embracing it with enthusiasm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeerBartender founder Nicola Radisis, pictured left, says the “dark years for beer in Greece belong to the past.

“Since 2008, I can say that the beer revolution has begun. Each year we see one or two new microbreweries making their appearance.

“The economic recession, has turned Greeks towards local products. They are treating their own goods with more respect. Every microbrewery in Greece has its fans. Some more than others. For example Septem microbrewery, is considered to be a pioneer, because of the quality it provides and the success it has.

“Ten years ago, the Greek consumers used to drink only lagers and imported beers, mostly European. Today, with the help of the internet, Greeks have access to thousands of beers.

“The latest trend are beers with higher IBUs than the ordinary pilsners or ales, with IPA’s being the most beloved. Home brewers try to replicate those styles and participate in competitions with their brews.

However, he concedes that there is still much work to be done.

Our work, at BeerBartender, is very difficult. We face a lot of uncertainty, from the breweries. The main reason for that is that they don’t know their products and don’t have a certain marketing plan.

“This is a new market for Greece and it needs it’s time to stabilize. On the other hand, consumers, accept our efforts, follow us and contact us in order to co-operate for their businesses. As BeerBartender, we try to be in touch with the whole world. To share news and information and raise the respect for beer.

Septem“Happily, beers like Delphi, which is a new Pilsner or Septem Porter and many more, raise the status of the Greek brewing community.

“Even if the beer revolution has started, a lot has to be done. Beer was never the national drink for the Greeks.

“However, I believe the future has much to give,” said Radisis.

Volka beer

Go to http://beerbartender.gr/en/ to find out more about Beerbartender and its annual awards to find Greece’s best beers.

Advertisements

Written by timhampson

February 5, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

We really shouldn’t shy from shouting the health benefits of beer.

leave a comment »

Beer_is_goodHopping could become a new health craze.

Forget the idea, long trumpeted in the media, that a glass of red wine is the only alcohol good for your health.

In moderation, wine isn’t harmful to you and nor is beer. However, more and more scientists are showing that there are substances in beer which could bring a health benefits above and beyond the adage that a glass of red wine is good for the heart.

Found in hops, is a substance called Xanthohumol, which could bring a whole range of health benefits.

Now scientists are reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that Xanthohumol from hops could protect brain cells from damage — and potentially slow the development of disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

In lab tests, the researchers found that the compound could protect neuronal cells and potentially help slow the development of brain disorders. The scientists conclude Xanthohumol could be a good candidate for fighting such conditions.

Xanthohumol, commonly referred to as Xn, was isolated compound and scientists tested its effects on cells from rats. They observed a “previously unrecognized mechanism underlying the biological action of Xn,” which suggests that Xanthohumol “might be a potential candidate for the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders.”

This latest research adds to an increasing long list of peer reviewed research to test the health benefits of beer

Beer and hop in basketIn 2010, researchers at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg discovered that Xanthohumol could also help protect against breast and prostate cancers.

“Research is still early but in trials we hope to further demonstrate that Xanthohumol actively prevents prostate cancer development,” says Clarissa Gerhauser of the Heidelberg centre. If successful, Xanthohumol may one day be developed as a cancer-fighting drug.”

And in 2013 researchers at Oregon State University said evidence is mounting that Xanthohumol may have cancer-preventing properties.

The researchers isolated the compound in a petri dish model. The experiment found it can actually slow down the process that leads to cancer formation.

And now some scientists are researching if the same substance could slow the onset of type 2 diabetes.

So hop to it and enjoy a glass of healthy beer.

Tim Hampson’s Tweets can be found @beerhero

His published work includes The Beer Book, World Beer, Haynes Beer Manual, Haynes Whisky Manual, Eyewitness Companion Beer, Great Beers, 101 Beer Days Out, London’s Riverside Pubs, London’s Best Pubs, London’s Best Style Bars, Room at the Inn.

He is currently chairman of the British Guild of Beer Writers.

Written by timhampson

February 3, 2015 at 10:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,