The last thing hedonists participating in Oktoberfest this week need to hear is that beer can make you smarter. While that’s not true—as far as we know—new research suggests that a certain compound found in one of the main ingredients of beer can actually improve cognitive function.
Researchers at Oregon State University discovered that doses of xanthohumol, a flavonoid found in hops, improved memory and thinking in a lucky group of mice. Flavonoids are a class of compounds present in plants, known to have numerous health benefits. Last year, researchers discovered that a flavonoid found in celery and artichokes could potentially fight pancreatic cancer.
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Profiled by Maria Devan for PGA
Pours a fiery copper orange. This beer is aglow with light and with radiance. A fat tan head of foam fell well and left a ring and some spots of lace to look at. Inside the glass it is as serene as a perfect pane of colored glass.
The nose is bready. Dark crusty bread that is lightly toasted. There is a baked grain sweetness on this plus a sweetness from caramel. No fruity esters, no hops, wonderfully clean.
Taste is tantalizing and smooth. All that malt but no heaviness. The body is thin and the lighter side of medium,. The malt is crisp. A brief hint of chocolate comes out as it warms but remains largely and delightfully unfullfilled. It envelops the palate just as it’s light sweetness comes up to rescue you. The finish on this one is malty, breaddy and dry with a light touch of bitterness from subtle hops. Perfect.
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”
Maria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is frequent reviewer of beer and a beer lover deluxe.