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Beer vs Cider, how do these two widely known beverages compare? What are the similarities and differences that one should grasp before having the first sip? These beverages have been around for some time, and it’s vital to understand them deeply.
Beer vs Cider Overview
Beer and Cider (hard cider) are alcoholic beverages widely consumed globally, and each has its unique taste, characteristic, and benefits. Therefore, choosing between the two comes down to individual preference. That is why it is vital to understand the two better to make an informed decision.
You don’t want to walk into a liquor store and purchase a drink that does not suit your taste. Remember that most alcoholic beverages are produced differently. Some have a high alcoholic content, while others have lower content. The same applies to beers and ciders. So, you must stay informed, especially if you are new to alcoholic beverages.
Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverages in the world. It is sometimes referred to as a “staple” drink since you can find it in every corner of the world. Beer is produced from natural ingredients, such as brewing grains(usually malted barley), water, yeast, and hops. Water is the main component of beer, making up over 90%.
The brewing process is simple and can be carried out by anyone. First, treat the water (crucial to have the desired flavor) and then boil it. Next, add the hot water to the grains to extract the fermentable sugars (wort). Boil the fermentable sugars and add hops (boiling helps leach out oils from hops to balance the sweetness). Cool to an ideal temperature (80-100 degrees Fahrenheit), add yeast, and ferment for two weeks.
Beer comes in different styles and has varying alcoholic content. Typically, most beers have 3% to 12% ABV. However, other beers have a high alcohol content, such as Brewmeister Snake Venom (67.5% ABV) which should be consumed moderately. The different beer styles include Pale Ale, Pale Lager, Brown Ale, India Pale Ale, Stout, and Porter.
- Beer is known to lower the risk of diabetes
- Beer can help build strong bones
- Beer contains vitamins such as B vitamins which are essential to the body
- Hops found in beer can help reduce hair fall in men as well as reduce dandruff
- The bitterness in beer acids in hops found in beer can help improve digestion
- Excessive consumption of beer can lead to liver damage
- Beer can lead to high blood pressure
- It can also lead to hangovers and headache
Cider is also a beverage that has existed for over 2000 years and is widely available in European countries. It is an alcoholic beverage made from the expressed apple juice. The juice is extracted and infused with other fruit juices, such as pears, pineapples, Raspberries, and Blackberries, to enhance the flavor. You can also add spices such as candied ginger and vanilla bean.
Still, you can buy ready juice from a grocery store instead of crushing the apples to extract the juice. You need to ensure that the juice you are buying is pasteurized and does not contain any alcohol in them. Remember that you also need yeast to carry out this process. Next, add the juice to the fermenter, pitch the yeast, and wait for two weeks.
After two weeks, the yeast will have consumed the fermentable sugars in the juice to produce alcohol. The alcohol ranges from 4.5% to 7 % ABV. However, there are other ciders with high ABV. If you want to increase the ABV, add a little sugar to your apple juice before fermentation. The two types of cider include dry and hard cider.
- Ciders are gluten-free. This makes cider ideal for people who suffer from celiac diseases
- Ciders are ideal for fighting cancer and heart diseases
- The vitamins found in apples and other infused fruits help boost the immune system
- The brewing process is simple compared to that of beer. Cider brewing does not require boiling, which can be time-consuming
- Cider can help you relax by releasing endorphins hormones that relieve pain and reduce stress
- Drinking too much cider can lead to stomach disorders due to the high sugar content
- Like any other alcohol, excessive consumption of cider can lead to health issues, such as liver damage, heart disease, and cancer
Comparison Between Beer and Cider
Beer and cider have similarities and differences that every drinker should grasp before enjoying. This will help in making an informed decision before purchasing either of the two. The following are the similarities and differences:
- Both beer and cider are fermented using yeast and ferment for a period of time. Typically two weeks.
- Both contain vitamins and minerals. For instance, beer has B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium, while cider contains vitamin C, B vitamins, folic acid, and biotin.
- Both contain antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart disease. Antioxidants in beer come from hops, while those from cider come from apple skin that contains tannins.
- Both beer and cider can be infused with other fruits and spices to enhance the flavor. You can add blackberries, blueberries, ginger, and cherries to both beer and cider.
- Beer brewing involves boiling and cooling the wort before pitching yeast, unlike cider, where yeast is added directly to the apple juice and then fermented.
- Beer is made from water, malted barley, yeast, and hops, while cider is produced from fermented apple juice.
- Beer tastes bitter because it is infused with hops containing bittering agents. On the other hand, cider has a sweet taste since it majorly comes from fruits, such as apple.
- Beer and cider come in different colors. Depending on the malt used during fermentation, beer comes in dark pale, dark, and extremely dark colors. Cider, on the other hand, comes in light yellow or orange colors.
The Major Distinguishing Factor
The major distinguishing factor between beer and cider is the ingredients used during brewing. Beer is crafted from malted barley, water, hops, and yeast. On the other hand, cider is produced from fermented apple juice.
When to Drink Beer
The best time to consume beer is when you want to drink a bitter alcoholic beverage. This is because beer contains hop elements that taste bitter during brewing. You may also want to consume beer when you want something that has a high alcoholic content.
When to Drink Cider
The ideal time for drinking cider is when you want a sweet, alcoholic beverage. Cider is produced from juice extracted from apples that are rich in sugar. This makes cider have a sweet taste compared to beer.
Which Is Better: Beer or Cider
The better choice here is definitely cider, as far as health is concerned. Cider contains both vitamins C and B vitamins, which are essential in boosting the immune system. It also contains tannins that act as antioxidants. Cider is also gluten-free, making it ideal for those with celiac disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do People Drink Cider?
People drink cider because it contains polyphenols that act as an antioxidant. This helps fight against heart disease and cancer. Cider is also gluten-free, which is good for those with celiac disease. Other people drink cider because it is sweet when compared to beer.
Why Does Cider Make You Sleepy?
Cider can make you sleepy because it is an alcoholic beverage. Remember that alcohol has the ability to depress the central nervous system. It also has a sedative effect that makes you relax and sleep.
Is Beer Healthy?
Yes, beer can be healthy when consumed in moderation. The hops in beer contain antioxidants that can help carb heart disease and reduce cancer. Beer can also help strengthen bones in both men and women.
Beer and cider are popular alcoholic drinks, each with its flavor profile and brewing process. Beer is more widely consumed and offers a variety of styles. Cider, on the other hand, offers a refreshing alternative for those who prefer a sweeter taste. Grab what suits your taste and drink responsibly!