Trivia

Hard

In The Medieval Era, All Beers Had A Strong Taste Of?

Honey
Iron
Smoke
Lemon
A 16th century engraving of beer brewers at work.
Jost Amman/Wikimedia

Answer: Smoke

Today, if you drink a beer and it has a strong smokey taste, that’s by design—the brewmaster wanted you to taste that smoke and they went out of their way to introduce it. Prior to the advent of the Industrial Revolution, however, the taste of smoke in your beer was just part of the beer experience.

Why were the beers of yore smokey like strong Scotch? Part of the beer brewing process (both then and now) is malting. Malting is the process of germinating grains to cause them to sprout and, in the process, release sugars that are critical for the fermentation and brewing process. Once the malting process is started, however, it must be stopped and the grains dried before they begin to rot and mold (mold might be integral to some food production processes, but beer is not one of them). Historically, the only way to accomplish that was to dry the malted grains over a fire and, by natural extension, the malt ended up smoked.

The arrival of the Industrial Revolution made it possible, through the use of coal-driven heat exchangers, to apply heat to the malt without bathing the malt in smoke. Today, very few beers around the world (and next to none outside of Norway and Germany) are produced with traditional smoke-dried methods.

Trivia

Easy

The Only Other Animal In The Giraffidae Family Besides The Giraffe Is The?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Of These Halloween Movies Was Critically Panned, But Became A Cult Classic?

Trivia

Hard

Steel Salvaged From Scuttled German Military Ships Is Prized For Use In What?

Trivia

Hard

Which Microcontroller Was Named After A King?

Trivia

Very Hard

The First Sitting U.S. President To Receive A Speeding Ticket Was?

Trivia

Hard

The Largest Flying Creature In History Was The?

Trivia

Hard

Iconoclastic Comedian George Carlin Was Also The Narrator For Which Of These Children’s Shows?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Of These Chemicals Is Considered The Most Bitter Compound In Existence?

Trivia

Easy

What Is The Most Ubiquitous Animated Image File Type?

Trivia

Easy

The First Netiquette Proposal Called For What To Lead To A Network Ban?