Nepal's Traditional Alcoholic Beverages and Crafting Artisan with Sustainability!
Alcohol is not new. It’s older than history and, for many historians, mankind’s story began when alcohol was first brewed in Asia.
There aren’t records to tell us precisely when this happened, but by 4000 B.C. there was a lot of beer being consumed throughout the east(Rice farmers in China and Southeast Asia were making Rice beer).
In order to create beer from wet grains and water, a brewer (even 6,000 years ago) had to be careful about cleanliness and had to boil the grains and perhaps even add a few flowers (most brewers use hops flowers today) or even some tree bark to the mixture to keep it from spoiling.
Alcohol is a preservative. It inhibits oxygen’s slow destruction of many aromas, flavors, nutrients and vitamins in foods and medicines. And people use alcohol topically because it kills pathogens and bacteria.
Historically People often consumed wine mixed with water. Adding water to wine wasn’t a scheme intended to dilute wine’s impact rather, water was dangerous, filled with bacteria and pathogens and as likely to . But humans need water to live and until about two centuries ago nobody knew why some water made people sick and some water didn’t.
Even 5,000 years ago, people knew that if you added Alcohol to even the most suspicious water, that water wouldn’t make people sick.
Wine and beer were indispensable to human life, especially when those humans were residents of the new cities and towns that would later become the sites of laws, rules, rulers, writers, musicians, artists, religious leaders and, eventually, historians. Those early historians wrote about alcoholic beverages, and today we can read about beers and wines grown starting from Asia to worldwide, northern Africa (where the Egyptians invented straws to assist them in drinking their cloudy, viscous beers), in Mexico and Latin America (home of pulque, Fermented Agave), in Turkey, in western Africa, in Europe...
As the alcohol level rises, the longevity and purity increase. At some point, early civilizations
discovered how to make high-proof distilled spirit. A distilled spirit is far stouter in alcoholic strength and purer than any wine or beer and, importantly, such concentrated alcohol is impervious to most of nature’s challenges, whether from bacteria, pathogens, seasonal climate changes or even time.
Here we come to the POINT; It's almost clear that although Home Brew and Distillation is Nepal is ILLEGAL it's impossible to Control as it's directly Linked to our Culture and Social Life.
We can know from the history that Prohibition is never the solution for the Alcohol (Ethanol) but Safe Alcoholic Beverages Production is the main Challenge worldwide.
Nepalese Local home Distillers with less knowledge (Even NO idea behind SCIENCE of Alcohol) of the Safe production and consumption are always at high risk of FATAL Methyl alcohol poisoning which is also produced during fermentation and found in almost every distilled spirits (Unless Separated during Distillation and importantly, Sad but True most of our Traditional Distilling Pots don't have options to Separate the Distilled spirits at various points) Resulting in death numbers rising every year, this is one of the common problem Worldwide specially in Developing Countries like ours.
I'm always worried about The Alcohol Poisoning and Quality of Locally Produced Alcoholic Beverages in Nepal as personally working for the BAR and Beverage Community for quite long time. This topic may be Debatable but, here I just want to Learn and Make Concerned People AWARE about the Traditional Home Brewing and Distillation...
I'm in Search of the Community related to Home Brewers/Distillers ,Nepalese Beverage historians, Lab techs, chemists and all other experts to Discuss and collect possible solution about "Nepal's Traditional Alcoholic Beverages and Crafting Artisan with Sustainability!"
Hope this Topic Reaches to Concerned People and if You know someone who may be interested or May Contribute, Always Welcome...
- 1 replies
- TTech Nepal @technepal2020-06-04 15:21:25.549Z
This is a very insightful post. I really loved the way you came up with the background and then went on to explain some of the challenges for Micro Brewers and the lack of regulations thereby contributing to many deaths that often go unnoticed. Instead of banning the homebrew and distillation, there could be some regulations and quality control measures in place, hence encouraging small businesses to thrive. I believe with more education and inputs from the experts, this industry will really challenge our perception of "local" raksi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and hopefully, some experts will jump in here to give their insights.