In the buff?
"It involves soaking malt barely" I guess that's so the endosperm can fly free?
Beer is as old as civilization. Civilization as we care to remember it, anyway. It was mankind's first stride into biotechnology. It helped push nomadic tribes into agriculture. It founded nations. It got Charlie Bamforth a job. Bamforth, a PhD, DSc, chair of the Department of Food Science & Technology at the University of …
"Good beer production is long and difficult. It involves soaking malt barely, boiling the solution with hops, cooling and fermenting with yeast and the release of Co2 and ethyl alcohol."
Err, better not mention that last bit too loud, otherwise we'll have people calling for beer to be banned for contributing to global warming...
Contrary to what Budweiser would have you believe, a good beer can mature and get better for years once bottled. Like wine you have to start with a good beer if you are going to age it. Fuller's actually has a session once a year where they test the current year's premium brew against all previous years (currently >10 I believe) for quality.
When bottled, beer is pasteurised and exposed to oxygen which makes it start to degrade in quality.
I would assume that if the Fullers anecdote is correct, their beer is stored in its pre-bottled state and kept maturing - a state in which it can keep improving for many years, depending on the beer.
Or the brewers of Gales Prize Old Ale, or O'Hanlons Thomas Hardy Old Ale. They'll both improve for a good decade, possibly two.
The trick is that you don't have to pasteurise (kill) beer before bottling it. In fact there's a name for it: "bottle conditioned beer". Then just leave it in a cool and dark cellar to mature for a while. How long is going to depend on a mix of how good a brewer you are (it won't improve forever) and how much self control you have (before you drink it).
The good professor might know the best time to drink the mass produced pale yellow(remind you of anything) but he shows a remarkable lack of knowledge about bottled beer and its history!!
The original budweiser beer was and still is brewed in Czechoslovakia and is sold under the name budvar,,,I would suggest that for those of you in the states you try and get hold of some and then drink the same amount that you would normally do of american budweiser not only will you find that there is a different, more mature taste; you might find its effect somewhat different!
A lot of British and particularly Belgian beer is bottled without it being pasteurised (which is basically heating it up and then cooling it) which kills of the yeast and results in a "dead" liquid that will not evolve any further. This resulting live beer still has live yeast in it and it continues to mature and gain complexity and will eventually end up with a vey fine sediment in the bottom of the bottle.
But then if you look at the full title of his professorship I think the game is given away "Bamforth, a PhD, DSc, chair of the Department of Food Science & Technology at the University of California and Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences"
Does make you wonder whether his teaching is totally free from commercial influence?
"A study showed that people who bought wine at a grocery store also bought things like tofu and low fat yogurt and lettuce leaves," said Bamforth. "People who bought beer bought things like burgers, minced beef and cigarettes. Now just imagine how unhealthy they would be if they didn't drink beer."
Says all you need to know. Thinks Wine = Posh, Beer = Slob. Personaly I find that with traditional English food (Stew, Pie etc) a good Beer (A nice heavy winter Ale) Is far more appropriat than Wine.
Typical Amarican atitude though. "Our stuff is the best, and what other nations do MUST be an inferior copy. Im not checking, but it must be because im from the USA!"