One of life's simple pleasures for me is discovering new beer. It just so happens that beer is also a great rehydration liquid. So if anyone ever questions beer consumption after a good ride, just throw this research provided by Granada University at them:
The Spanish got it right: a new research made at the Granada University points that after a game of football or rugby, a beer is more efficient in rehydrating the body than water, even if you'll have a big belly.
Alcohol may be linked to cancer and other diseases but the carbohydrates, salts and bubbles that are found in beer could make fluids' absorption much easier. Not to mention beer is a package of vitamins and minerals coming from barley, hops and yeast.
"The rehydration effect in the students who were given beer was "slightly better" than among those given only water." said lead researcher Professor Manuel Garzon, of Granada's medical faculty.
"The carbon dioxide in beer helps quench the thirst more quickly, while beer's carbohydrates replace calories lost during physical exertion."
An in case you want a founding father to back you up, Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying:
Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
Camping and beer are a good match and I did get to indulge in a few new brews during my trip on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal tow path. The first beer, produced by Flying Dog Brewery, had an intriguing name: Raging Bitch Belgian-Style India Pale Ale. At 8.3% alcohol by volume it did prove to have a bitch affect on my senses and the flavor was very complex.
While drinking it a friend was staring at the bottle and said out loud, "That picture looks like something from Ralph Steadman." If you don't know who Ralph Steadman is, he is the artist that is probably best know for his collaboration with Hunter S. Thompson. We read closer and sure enough, it was Ralph Steadman. We carefully peeled off the label for keeping, but at the end of the trip we could not find it. Here's a capture of the picture and quote from the Flying Dog web site:
We were so pleased with our discovery that we got another Flying Dog brew later in the trip, Old Scratch Amber. With a steady hand and a Swiss Army knife we got a label off, and did not lose this one:
This Amber certainly scratched my itch and three of them went down ultra smooth - I felt very hydrated afterward.
Another nice thing about the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal tow path is that you are never far from places to eat and drink and the World Cup final took place during our trip and we wanted to watch. We stopped in Harpers Ferry to take in the game and discovered another new brand of brew produced by Mountaineer Brewing Company.
The Ale and Lager were nice, but I have to admit that after having Flying Dog, we felt ourselves thirsting for some more dog brew. Regardless, you won't go wrong with either. So, if you are looking for refreshment on the C & O, try something new and you should be a very happy, hydrated camper.
I'm originally from Oregon where the expression "Beer Means More Here" is well known, and according to the Oregon Brewers Guild, Portland has more breweries than any city in the world. Do you have beer recommendations or do you want to brag about your beer culture? Feel free to share in comments. After all, we all need to be hydrated.