Making beer in the name of science

Making beer in the name of science

Université Laval, making beer in the name of science.

The Quebec microbrewery beer market is booming due to an increased interest by Quebecers for the magic potion of the Gaulois.
The possibilities are limitless for a thriving homegrown industry.

Quebec_beersMore and more new micro -breweries are opening their doors in Quebec City and vicinity after “La Souche” in  Limoilou opened a little over a year ago. “La Voie Malté, (The malt route) just opened a new branch on Pierre- Bertrand Boulevard, and will soon be followed by three others: The 3 Brewers (Les Trois Brasseurs) on Grande Allée, “La Brasserie Generale” in Charlesbourg and “Microbrewery Bellechasse in Buckland, an hour south of the city.

So what is in this stuff that makes us want to drink it and what makes us so happy; well in fact the composition is quite simple. Only 4 basic ingredients are required: malt, water, hops and yeast. The malt is a mixture of barley, wheat, oats or corn, which gives it the taste and colour.

The water must be of a high quality to release the flavours of the other ingredients. The hops give beer its bitterness or sweetness and aroma. The yeast is used to produce the alcohol. Other ingredients can be added to the basic ones such as spices like coriander, sage, ginger, cinnamon, etc.

Different microbreweries have contacted several Universities in Quebec and across Canada to do tests and experiments with those ingredients to find new tastes and blends for future markets, all for the benefit of science supposedly.

University Laval (Québec City) is no exception. With the help from Benelux Montreal, students at the University are involved in the production, marketing and presentation of the “suds” we all like to drink.

Microbroue, which is the project name, aims to integrate the scientific knowledge from Marketing students, Microbiology students and the Food engineering Faculty”. All three departments are working together with Benelux to produce the best beer in the world, so to speak. So it’s beer making in the name of science.

Three different brews have been produced so far: the first in November 2011 is the ULAV’ Scotch Ale, 6.5 % ABV * 32.1 * IBU . The second in August 2012 is the Alerion Season, 6.6% ABV , 45 IBU, a summer beer using thyme, rosemary and sage. The third batch, made in November 2012 is the Scotch Ulav’Ale II, a new and improved ULAV Ale with 6.9% ABV , 32.1 IBU.

* ABV : Alcohol by Volume, the amount of alcohol contained in a drink.

IBU : International Bitterness Unit, measures the bitterness of beers.

Here are some interesting facts about beer and its drinkers.

– One out of 10 beers consumed in Quebec is an imported beer

– There were 209 brewing plants in Canada in 2009, 92 in Ontario , 49 in British Columbia, and 42 in Quebec

– Zythology is the study of beer and its production

– Cenosillicaphobie is the fear of an empty beer glass. (Really)

– The oldest recipe for beer was found on a stone dating back some 5000 years

– The first professional brewers were actually women

– Hops is part of the same family as marijuana

– There are more than 400 types of beers in the world

– The most expensive beer is the Old Bon Secours at $ 1,000

– The average American consumes 47.3 gallons of sodapop, 26.5 gallons of coffee and 23 gallons of beer each year

– In 2009, the average consumption of beer for a Canadian was 74 litres per year
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LifeinQuebec.com Staff Writer

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