TO OUR HEALTH: The captain, crew and passengers aboard the Mayflower and other vessels of that era depended on beer to curtail the spread of Scurvy, a wasting disease caused by a vitamin-depleted diet. Historians seem to be in agreement that the Mayflower docked short of its original destination because the supply of beer was exhausted. Another fact about bringing beer to the New World was that the shelf life of beer was longer than that of beer!

TO THE WISE PHYSICIANS OF OLD: A medical handbook dating back to 1600 B.C. lists beer as an ingredient in more than one hundred medicines widely used at that time.

TO OUR PEARLY WHITES: At a London, England hospital, cadaver teeth were soaked in fourteen distinctly different liquids for an extended period of time. Fruit juices raised havoc, creating pits and decay. Those soaked in beer were perfect in all respects.

TO LOUIS PASTEUR: Yes, he is credited with the pasteurization of milk. But his real claim to fame is that he found a way to preserve beer and wine. He earned the title of “The Father of Modern Brewing.”

TO A HEALTHY BREAKFAST: Like those enjoyed by the ladies of Henry VIII’s court. With a shortage of drinkable water, each of his ladies was allotted a gallon of beer daily for her breakfast enjoyment.

TO DIETING WITH BEER: Quick! Reach for a brew! Most beer has about 144 calories in a 12-ounce serving. With 12 ounces of whiskey, you’d be looking at 780 calories. And just 3 ounces of after-dinner-liquor will sit squarely on your not-so-teeny hips, weighing in at a whopping 300 calories.

THE ALE FAMILY – Generally, all ales are expressive and complex in flavor, with a pleasing fruitiness not found in lagers. Ales are made with ale yeast, which ferments at the top of the wort, and lengthy aging is not critical as it is in lagers. Called the beers of antiquity, ales come in a wide range of styles and flavors. The color variations are products of color additives, flavorings and the ingredients themselves. The four featured beers this month from Clubs of America’s Great American Beer Club are all members of the ale family, and each has its own personality. The common thread, though, is that they are all destined to be among your favorite brews!

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Theresa Zapiecki
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