炎炎夏日,啤酒正當令啤酒好喝,啤酒要怎麼喝?

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1981 / 9月

文‧盧惠芬 圖‧曉陽


在所有的酒類當中,啤酒營養最為豐富,而有「液體麵包」之稱。冰鎮後的啤酒,可口又解渴,是夏季最受歡迎的飲料。台灣啤酒僅有六十年的釀造歷史,起步雖晚,成績卻佳,曾多次在國際評酒會中獲獎。民國六十七年,更得到第十七屆世界啤酒評選會的金牌。我國善飲者愛飲國產啤酒,國內市場消費量極大,每年暑期幾乎都是供不應求。它為什麼能這樣受到消費者的歡迎?


世界性的健康飲料

啤酒,是一種全球性的飲料,世界各地都有它的愛好者。啤酒的真正起源已不可考,只是諸多證據顯示它應源於史前時代,且早已受人喜愛。譬如:歐洲各地挖掘新石器時代遺物的地點,曾發現許多釀造啤酒的器皿;五千年前索馬利亞人已在石碑上明確地刻下釀造啤酒的方法;埃及的法老王不但把啤酒當藥、獻神、甚至還拿來陪葬。

啤酒之所以能流傳久遠及廣受喜愛,主要是因為氣味芳香、清涼消暑。炎熱的夏日堙A三五知己人手一杯冰啤酒,談笑間一飲而盡,酒液清涼地滑入胃腹之中,剎時暑氣全消,齒頰間留有啤酒特殊的芳香和甘甜。

即使是牛飲鯨吞,因啤酒的酒精含量僅約百分之三,也不易喝醉。因此啤酒乃成為少數不傷人體、值得推廣的酒類之一。而且,啤酒還含有豐富的氨基酸、醣分、維他命和礦物質,一瓶零點六公升裝的啤酒含熱量高達三百卡路里,與每公分食物相較,甚至高於白米、麵粉、雞肉、鴨肉、牛肉、豬肉、蛋、奶粉等高營養食品。此外,啤酒還有促進血液循環、降低血壓及利尿等功效,堪稱為「健康飲料」。

酒在中國人日常生活中佔很重要的地位。祭祀要以酒饗鬼神,烹飪要用酒來調味,情緒不佳要藉酒消愁,好友相聚更是要飲酒助興,從沒有一個中國人能與酒脫得了關係。

目前國產酒的種類很多,包括:啤酒、米酒、紅露酒、嘉賓酒、紹興酒、高粱、大麴、茅台、竹葉青……等數十種。我國負責菸酒產銷的台灣省菸酒公賣局,預計民國七十年酒類總收入將達新台幣二百八十一億二千六百二十萬元,其中啤酒最受歡迎,佔銷售總量的百分之五十八。

每年暑期都是供不應求

台灣啤酒由建國、中興、成功三個酒廠負責釀造,年產量共約三千五百萬打。產量雖然年有增加,但近來台灣經濟繁榮,國民消費能力提高,啤酒的需求量也隨之大增,總是供不應求。所以除了少數銷到香港、美國充當樣品外,幾乎悉數內銷。然而,每年暑期菸酒公賣局仍要進口外國啤酒,以補充國產啤酒的不足。今年也照例自荷蘭、新加坡、韓國、美國、菲律賓等國,進口三百三十四萬打啤酒。進口啤酒與國產啤酒售價相若,但國人仍偏愛國產品,總覺得外國啤酒味道不夠醇厚,所以在啤酒市場上,仍以國產啤酒銷路最佳。

偏愛國產啤酒,並非國人敝帚自珍的心理作祟,因為很多外國人也喜愛台灣啤酒,如有機會來台,一定大量飲用,回去後還念念難忘,可見其必有獨到之處。

台灣啤酒雖然馳名遠近,但釀造歷史卻極短。民國八年建國啤酒廠設立,是台灣釀造啤酒之始,比外國已落後幾千年。草創時期,一切從簡,當時建國啤酒廠只是數間木造小屋,全以人工釀造,啤酒的品質、衛生亦不合國際標準。起步慢、設備差、技術落後,原料又仰賴進口,在一切均不如人的狀況下,是什麼奇蹟使得台灣啤酒在短短的六十年間,發展成全世界最受歡迎的啤酒之一?

起步雖晚,後來居上

其實台灣啤酒的研製過程並沒有奇蹟,也沒有創造奇蹟的傳奇人物。有的只是許多默默貢獻精力、智慧的無名英雄。六十年的光陰染白了多少華髮,匯集的成果是設備與配方都改進了,台灣啤酒的品質也提高了,全自動的機械化操作更使品質管制到最精確的地步。

建國啤酒廠廠長曹文煥,研製啤酒已有二十年,他說:「不斷地更新設備,是改良啤酒品質最有力的措施。例如:最早的醱酵桶和貯酒桶都用木製,且全由人工清洗,既費時、費力又不夠乾淨。後來改成鋁桶,但鋁面不夠光滑,所以近年來又換成不鏽鋼桶,且全由機器清洗,又快又乾淨。」

「工欲善其事,必先利其器。『器』除了指設備外,還包括配方。」建國啤酒廠副廠長黃培焜說。他是酒類試驗所前化驗室主任,研究啤酒配方逾三十年。酒類試驗所下轄三個酒廠的實驗室,一群無名英雄埋首其中,默默耕耘。他們參考外文資料,不斷改進化驗分析方式,定時提出報告,然後據以改良配方。改進工作循序漸進,每次的改變都微乎其微,令一般飲用者難以察覺。幾年後,或許有人猛一回首,還深感不解:啤酒什麼時候變得這麼好喝了?

不斷研究改進,實施嚴格品管

配方的改良是使台灣啤酒日漸醇厚、爽口的基礎,但要生產每一瓶都符合國際標準的啤酒,仍有賴嚴格的品質管制。釀酒用的活酵母必須在無菌室中培養,只要有一個野酵母的孢子或乳酸菌侵入,啤酒的味道和顏色就會變得如同酸牛奶。所以品管工作尤其艱難與重要。

品管的項目包括糖度、色度、酸鹼值、室溫、空氣含量……等,共三十七種。每天在八點、十點、十四點、十八點時,四度循項檢驗,一發現不合規格的產品,立刻實施「配酒」——將過量與不及的酒互相調和。其嚴格品管、追求絕佳風味的認真態度,可由下列事例略窺一二:殺菌必須是攝氏六十四度,因為此時恰可殺死酵母,又可不傷及啤酒原味;原本透明的酒瓶改成棕色,以免陽光直接曝曬。黃副廠長說:「三十七道關卡,重重檢驗,不合規格的啤酒絕出不了工廠大門。」

原料的優劣也直接關係啤酒風味。啤酒是世界性飲料,各國釀造的主要原料都是大麥芽、啤酒花,副原料則依各地所產而異,例如美國啤酒用玉米、糖漿,台灣啤酒則加蓬萊白米。黃副廠長說:「蓬萊米有種獨特的香味,或許這就是使台灣啤酒特別香醇的秘方。」

不斷追求風味改良的同時,台灣啤酒更奉行「衛生第一」的信條。各酒廠實驗室每天早上要抽取化驗——除了原料、製品、還包括空氣,然後將結果直接送交廠長,一切合格方可開始作業。

除了乾淨,啤酒廠還有個特色:溫差極大。繞廠一周,忽熱忽冷,活像洗了次「三溫暖」。

釀製過程每一步都講究

釀酒的第一步驟是「糖化」。將大麥芽和蓬萊白米分別輾碎去皮,然後加水混合,使其在適當的時間、溫度下,將所含的酵素和澱粉轉化成糖。再放入啤酒花,在攝氏一百度的高溫下煮沸,此時的合成品稱為「麥汁」。

接著要醱酵。醱酵是將麥汁冷卻到攝氏六度,添加酵母,使糖分解成酒精和二氧化碳,這是釀造啤酒最主要的過程。七天後,釀成「青啤酒」,此時啤酒的型態初具,醱酵室中已經酒香四溢。

接著,將青啤酒盛入密閉的貯酒桶,在攝氏零下的低溫中貯藏八星期。啤酒漸趨成熟,酒「味」逐漸醇厚,這是「貯酒」。

最後一道手續是「過濾」:濾去沈澱物及大部分酵母,使得品質均勻,看起來清澈明亮,為啤酒增「色」不少。曹廠長說:「釀造啤酒是技術,也是藝術,愛講究色、香、味俱全。」

經過糖化、醱酵、貯酒、過濾四個步驟,歷時約兩個半月,就有了酒香撲鼻,清涼爽口的生啤酒,這時還是冰涼的,正好喝呢!生啤酒風味固佳,但因含有活性酵母,會繼續醱酵,頂多只能保存一星期。所以大部分啤酒都再經過殺菌處理,雖然對風味略有影響,但半年內仍可維持新鮮香味。只要妥善保存,三年五載後仍可飲用。

喝啤酒大有學問

保存啤酒沒什麼大學問,放在冰箱或室溫中均可,但不要時而冰箱,時而室溫,而且應儘量避免陽光曝曬。一般酒都是越陳越香,唯有啤酒愈新鮮愈好喝,所以必須「速戰速決」。打開瓶蓋,若能散發出清新芳香的味道,酒滴沾在舌上有種甘甜的感覺,就是新鮮的好啤酒。

要品嘗啤酒的絕佳風味,不但要重視酒質,還得講究酒溫、斟法及酒杯。啤酒的主要原料(大麥芽與啤酒花)都是寒帶植物,具有清涼消暑的功效。許多人喝啤酒只是因為它生津解渴,但若想細細品嘗它的絕佳風味,就有多重講究了。在溫度方面,酒溫太高,二氧化碳散逸快,失去輕鬆涼爽的感覺;酒溫太低,則香味、泡沫又無法發揮。所以夏季約在攝氏十度,冬季約十二度,最為適宜。

正確的啤酒倒法是:從杯口將酒垂直注入,二氧化碳逐漸溢出,與氧化合成為泡沫。許多人喜歡將酒杯傾斜,以求儘量減少泡沫是錯誤的。因為泡沫有隔離作用,可阻止二氧化碳繼續溢出,以免啤酒變苦。所以啤酒最好是隨倒隨喝,和著泡沫,一次「乾杯」。酒杯也不要太大,大約每瓶能倒四杯最適宜。杯子必須非常乾淨,因為油漬是最好的泡沫消除劑,能使酒味加速變苦。杯中仍有餘酒時,不要再斟,否則新倒的酒與原已變苦的酒相混,風味也就差了。

即使是最新鮮、剛倒的啤酒,也有淡淡的苦味。不會喝酒的人,總奇怪為什麼許多人喜歡喝「苦苦的」啤酒?然而深得其中三味者說:「啤酒初入口時雖是苦的,一口吞下去後,舌間卻留下一股甘香。所以喝啤酒也算是『先苦後甘』。」

積極擴廠增產,世人同飲台灣啤酒

目前,菸酒公賣局已有增加生產的全盤計畫,除了擴充舊廠設備,還將在台灣南、北部各增設大型啤酒廠一座。預計到民國七十三年時,台灣啤酒的年產量將達八千萬打,不但能充分供應國內市場,更可運銷世界各地,讓所有愛飲台灣啤酒者,都能一償心願。

〔圖片說明〕

P.14、P.15

圖1:天氣好熱,來,咱們喝杯啤酒。圖2:控制好時間,溫度,在糖化室中讓原料轉化成糖,這是釀製啤酒的第一步。圖3:醱酵是釀酒最重要的過程。醱酵後,啤酒的形態初具,已有白色泡沫,酒香也瀰漫室中。圖4:啤酒是夏季消暑的最佳飲料,尤其和著泡沫,一口乾杯,更是涼入心脾。圖右上角為台灣啤酒參加第十七屆世界啤酒評選會榮獲的金質獎章。

P.16、P.17

圖1:啤酒過濾機可濾去雜質,使啤酒清澈、透明。圖2:台灣啤酒分罐裝和瓶裝兩種,同樣受消費者歡迎。圖3:實驗室中,有專人不斷地進行化驗分析,務使台灣啤酒的品質日新又新,風味更佳。圖4:從原料處理,到裝瓶、打蓋,台灣啤酒完全機械化一貫作業。

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EN

Taiwan Beer: The Brew that Cheers

Chrissie Lu


Ever since ancient times, alcoholic beverages have played an important role in the daily lives of the Chinese. There are many references to them in Chinese literature. One famous poet Lee Pai wrote enthusiastically about a three-way conversation with the moon, his shadow and himself while blissfully intoxicated.

Although such drinks are still appreciated today, they are used more for social occasions, as a condiment in cooking, and to propitiate the gods during celebrations and funerals. As in the west, alcohol is also used as a social lubricant at parties.

In Taiwan, the sole distributor of liquor, the Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau produces 31 kinds of drinks, including the most well-known types, Taiwan beer, rice wine, Mao Tai and bamboo wine. The bureau anticipates that sales this year alone will be worth more than US$700 million, with beer accounting for more than half of this figure.

In 1978, Taiwan beer was entered in the 17th World Selection organized by the Monde Selection SPRL of Geneva. The beer won gold and silver medals, showing that its quality is up to international standards. In an unofficial beer sampling contest sponsored by a Hong Kong newspaper in 1977, judges expressed a preference for Taiwan beer over 16 other entries from Asia and Australia, showing that the brew has won international recognition.

Strict quality control: one reason for the frothy, rich consistency of Taiwan beer is that production is kept up to international standards through a strict quality control system. Brewing requires supplies of yeast cultivated in a bacteria-free environment. If only one foreign body enters the brew during the processing, the resulting drink may resemble sour milk. From this it can be realized that quality control is important, but difficult to achieve.

The traditional ingredients used in brewing beer are hops and barley. In many cases, the barley is wholly or partly replaced by other cereals, depending on where the beer is made. In the U.S., for instance, corn and molasses are sometimes used as a base, while in Taiwan, a special kind of white rice is responsible for the brew's distinctive taste and aroma.

The first step in making beer is to chop the barley and white rice into small pieces. The residue is soaked in water, and at the appropriate time, sugar specially prepared from an enzyme action on starch is added. The resulting mixture is boiled and then cooled to 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Yeast is added to aid fermentation and produce carbon dioxide which aerates the beer.

The beer is stored in barrels for eight weeks to give the brew a chance to mature. Finally, the sediment and large pieces of yeast are filtered out and the beer takes on its familiar clear and golden consistency. Says on manager at the brewery: "Brewing beer is not only a skill, it is also an art."

Unlike spirits and wine, which improve with age, beer is best drunk fresh from the brewery. Experts say that if a newly opened beer retains its clarity and effervescence for three minutes after it is opened, and tastes sharp on the tongue, then it is fresh.

The glass into which the beer is poured should always be spotlessly clean, since any impurities will certainly spoil the taste. Beer should be poured so that it flows smoothly down the side of the glass to allow the carbon dioxide to effervesce and produce a clean white "head."

Experts give the following recommendations for drinking beer: "Take one sip at a time. Enjoy the cool fresh taste as it flows through the teeth and over the tongue to impart a rich, full-bodied flavor. Fantastic!"

Not only does beer have a fine flavor, but it also is rich in nutriments such as sugar, vitamins and minerals. At present, the Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau is planning to expand its facilities in both the north and south of the island. By the time these plans are complete, a surge of exports will allow people overseas to share the enviable experience of drinking Taiwan beer.

[Picture Caption]

1. Pull up a chair and let's have a couple of beers!
2. Controlling timing and temperature is a vital element in the brewing process. 3. Fermentation under way. 4. Foamy beer is a good thirst-quencher during the summer time. At right is the gold medal awarded to Taiwan Beer at the 17th International Beer Competition.

1. After fermentation, the beer is crystal clear. 2. Taiwan Beer can be purchased both in bottles and cans. 3. In the laboratory, analysis is constantly being carried out to find better ways of producing finer tasting and higher quality beer. 4. All parts of the brewery, from production to bottling and canning, are completely automated.

 

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