Here’s something that you might crinkle your nose at. Did you know that people purposefully added salt to their beer in the past?
Although the practice may appear strange and even disgusting, there must be a reason why people add salt to their beer, right?
People salt their beer for a plethora of purposes, including improved flavor, reduced gassiness, and so on. So, should you give it a try?
Let’s see if adding salt to beer is worthwhile.
The History of Salting Beer
There are various theories on how salting beer got started.
Although salting beer is thought to have originated in Mexico, there are accounts of it being done in the United States during Prohibition.
The addition of salt to beer in today’s society is the product of generational teachings passed down through the family.
Salt, combined with lime, became a traditional technique in Mexico to help enhance the flavor of beer.
Brewers were seeking ways to save money during Prohibition, so they began utilizing rice and corn, which rendered the beer flavorless. To improve the flavor of this dull beer, beer consumers began to add salt to it.
Customs and traditions, like anything else, seem to be passed down through the generations.
Even though today’s beer is superior, today’s salt users may have learned the habit from their parents, who may have learned it from their ancestors, and so on.
Because salt causes carbon dioxide bubbles to join together, Maritime regions have been utilizing it to help the head of their beer bloom.
Where Did The Use of Salt Beer Start In The US?
The concept of beer salt originated in Mexico, where it is customary to season beer with salt and lime to improve its flavor.
The tradition was carried over to Texas, where it was perfected. A specific product was made that blended the flavors together to make it easier to use.
Beer salt has greatly grown into the product we know today since the tradition arrived in Texas.
Roger Trevino Sr. discovered the original beer salt while traveling through Mexico.
Roger revived the Latin habit of adding lime and salt to beer by combining the citrus flavor with salt to make beer salt.
When you order a beer in Texas nowadays, it’s customary to get a beer “dressed-up,” which is a beer with a lime and salt rim.
Beer salt is becoming a popular choice for beer lovers outside of Texas, thanks to a variety of flavors and wide availability (thanks to Amazon and your local specialty stores).
What Exactly Are Beer Salts?
Not all salts are made equal when it comes to adding salt to beer.
The one undeniable impact of salting is that it alters the flavor of your beverage. In fact, you can purchase salts that are specifically designed to enhance the flavor of mediocre beer.
Beer salt has a coarser texture than regular table salt. Beer drinkers in Central and South America have always used it to enhance flavor.
Some beer salts are little more than coarse salts. They have distinct components to create a particular flavor profile. Lemon and lime are popular choices, as they add tanginess to the beer.
Sometimes, beer salts can even be flavorless!
How To Make Your Own Beer Salts
You will need:
- A measuring cup
- An airtight container
- Some Coursely ground kosher salt
- A Resealable Ziploc bag
- Powdered lime
- Combine 1 ½ tablespoon of course salt and four packets of powdered lime in a resealable bag.
- Seal it up and give it a good shake.
- Do a taste test and make some changes to your liking.
- Store your mixture in an airtight container and use it when needed.
How To Add Salt To Beer
Salt can be used as a natural flavor enhancer. There’s no wrong way to salt your beer, whether you’re drinking it from a bottle, can, or glass.
Because of the potential health hazards, be careful how much salt you use!
When it comes to adding salt to a bottle, here are a few options:
Rubbing Beer Salt Around The Rim
Lime can be used to moisten the bottle rim, allowing the beer salt to adhere to it. If necessary, repeat between swigs.
Adding Beer Salt Directly Into The Bottle
If you only want to apply salt once and don’t want to have to do it before each sip, this is an excellent method to use.
Adding salt to a can works similarly to adding salt to a bottle.
You can either sprinkle salt directly into the can or use lime to sprinkle salt around the can’s mouth.
When pouring salt on your can, take care not to cut yourself on the can’s open edge.
Why Do People Put Salt In Beer?
It Can Be A Part of The Brewing Process
Some brewers actually add salt to their beer during the brewing process. Rather than tasting salty, the intention is that it balances out the flavor.
Usually, this is done by artisan brewers who want to try out new flavors. Former Future’s Salted Caramel Prim and Porter and Perennial’s Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout are two examples of this practice.
Other options aren’t as “dessert-y” as those examples. Monkey Paw is a Himalayan pink salt-infused IPA from San Diego brewers.
It also contains coconut and is intended to be served as a complement to Thai cuisine.
Fonta Flora, a brewery in North Carolina, uses salt in a variety of their beers, as well as other unusual ingredients, including oyster shells, sunflower seeds, and lime.
All of this suggests that salt has a long history in certain types of beer. That, however, is not the same as putting salt directly into a pint of beer.
It’s A Supposed Hangover Cure
Some people may believe that by adding salt to their beer, they will be able to avoid the after-effects of binge drinking.
Admittedly, excessive alcohol use dehydrates the body and lowers salt levels. Could supplementing with salt chloride while drinking help to mitigate the effects?
There are various viewpoints on this.
According to some, adding salt to your beer reduces the danger of dehydration. They cite folks who work in extremely hot locations and who frequently take salt tablets as examples.
In hot weather, when people sweat and lose moisture and sodium, supplementing it in this way makes sense. You may get cramps and other unpleasant symptoms if your sodium levels fall too low.
It Supposedly Speeds Up Intoxication
Higher salt levels may cause your body to absorb alcohol more quickly. It does this by widening the gap at the bottom of your stomach, known as the duodenal sphincter.
As a result, more alcohol passes through the small intestine more quickly, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream.
As a result, some people advise avoiding alcoholic beverages with high salt content.
I haven’t been able to uncover any information on how much salt you’d need to consume in order for this to happen.
Is a pinch of salt in your beer going to make a difference? It’s difficult to say whether this is true or not.
It Adds Bubbles To Your Beer
Salt does one undeniable thing for your beer: it makes it bubble. A pinch of salt will help you achieve a large foamy head on your beverage.
However, those bubbles will vanish fast. They also won’t improve the fizziness of your beer. In fact, it’s likely to be bland. Because the salt combines with the carbon dioxide in the liquid, the bubbles rise to the surface.
If you want a beer with a more robust head, go for one that has this attribute naturally. High malts will accomplish this without the use of salt. You also won’t end up with a flat brew.
It Lets You Drink More
Some argue that salting their beer helps them consume more alcohol. This could be appealing if your goal is to consume as much booze as possible. Is it, however, effective?
The concept is similar to that of lowering gas in the stomach. You can make the brew flatter by adding salt. You can drink more beer by “flattening” the beer.
But, if all you want to do is drink more alcohol without having to care about the flavor, why not switch drinks?
Beer has a lower alcohol concentration than hard liquor. And you may taste it the way the distiller meant it to be tasted, without needing to use salt.
It Makes You Less Gassy
Another reason to add salt to your beer has to do with the foaming effect. The theory is that by releasing the gas from the beer as foam, you would consume less gas.
And, if you understand what I’m saying, that means you’ll produce less gas later!
It makes sense in certain ways, as long as you don’t mind drinking flat beer. However, there are better ways to lessen your beverage’s gaseous aftertaste.
The most effective method is to ensure that your glass is spotless and cooled before pouring your drink. Pouring into the glass at a 45-degree slant will also help.
Some carbon dioxide will be driven out as the beer touches the side of the glass. As a result, it will never make it to your stomach.
This method of pouring will also result in a good head. As a result, the aroma of your beer will be preserved, improving the drinking experience.
Fewer Trips To The Bathroom
More salt in your body means you can hold more water. So, instead of going to the restroom every hour, season your beer with a pinch of salt.
You won’t have to go to the restroom as often. It would be far more effective for your hydration if you chose to mix some water in throughout the night, though.
It Changes The Flavor Of Your Beer
Salt is used to enhance the flavor of some beers and to give flavor to beers that aren’t particularly delicious.
But what if you’re sipping a particularly tasty and flavorful beer? Salt could potentially have the opposite effect.
It has the tendency to overshadow your favorite flavors. On the other hand, I t can help to alleviate some of the necessary bitterness.
As a result, I don’t recommend adding salt to your favorite beers solely for the sake of flavor. You’re welcome to add salt to good beers for other reasons, but be aware that it may alter the beer taste.
If you ask some folks why they put salt in their beer, they’ll say something like, “Well, my dad did it.”
Our ancestors’ reasons for adding salt are frequently forgotten in the annals of history. Those who add a pinch of salt to their glass are nevertheless moved by familial devotion!
It’s probable that it was a convenient way to deal with bland beer back in the day. Some also say that it improves the mouthfeel.
Brewers used to add salt to beer regularly until licensing restrictions changed. The sodium made drinkers thirsty, just as it did when taverns served salty dishes.
As a result, they drank more beer, enhancing the profits of the brewers. Sneaky, sneaky.
When brewing procedures changed, it’s conceivable that folks who had become accustomed to drinking salty beer missed the flavor. Salt was the obvious solution.
Related Reading: Brewery Story – Check Them out Here
There are upsides and downsides to adding salt to your beer, just as there are to most things in life. If you’d like to start drinking beer with salt, it’s at your discretion.
In some situations, adding salt to beer can be a terrific idea. But please remember that you don’t need beer salts to enjoy your favorite beers even more. They could ruin the experience for you.
As previously stated, excellent beers can still be salted; nevertheless, don’t expect better flavors. It would be better to experiment with beers that aren’t to your tastes.
Salt is best added to beers that have a neutral flavor profile. Alternatively, if you’re nursing a beer that doesn’t taste great, salt just might help you finish it.