Tuesday Beer Trivia: Wood and Beer

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Put your knowledge of all things beer and wood to the test in this week’s Tuesday Beer Trivia quiz.

Throughout history, wooden barrels have been used as a utility to store beer, but today the barrel has evolved into as much of an ingredient as hops and malts.

This week’s trivia questions are all taken from the new Brewers Publication book Wood & Beer: A Brewer’s Guide by Dick Cantwell and Peter Bouckaert.

After you take the Beer Trivia quiz below, scroll down to the “Beer Trivia Answer Explanations” section to learn more about the beer and wood.

Beer Trivia Answer Explanations

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Question 1: Amphorae were made of hardened clay and were large enough to hold a mercantile amount of contents, being constructed for both strength and mobility. These were commonly used in Asia and through out the Mediterranean region for thousands of years. (Wood & Beer, page 2)

Question 2: Oak is the dominant wood for barrels. Compared to other woods, it is light, malleable and has high tensile strength. It also has beneficial flavor compounds that include wood, coconut, vanilla, sweetness, butterscotch, clove and other spice/smoke. (Wood & Beer, page 37)

Question 3: In sensory analysis, the following 5 “groups” contribute the flavors we most commonly associate with oak as they show up in beer: vanillin, lactones, furfurals, diacetyl and guaicol & 4-methylguaicol (Wood & Beer, page 117)

Question 4: False. More time is typically required–months to years–for aging beers on wood, whether they are sour or not. (Wood & Beer, page 149)

Question 5: A tightly closed barrel can give up 2-5% of its contents in a year, and affects the amount and rate at which the barrel’s character is instilled in the beer. (Wood & Beer, page 130)