5 Health Benefits of Art

Creating art is a fun creative outlet. Aside from being a creative activity, creating art is very beneficial for your health. Here are just a few ways art is beneficial for your health!

  1. Relieves Stress

Whether you’re painting, sculpting clay, or drawing, creating art is extremely relaxing. This relaxing state is great for people who are stressed. In some ways, creating art is like meditating. People often get lost in a meditative trance while they create art, which allows them to stop overthinking about stressful things in their life.

  1. Creative Thinking

Creative thinking occurs during every step in the process of creating and viewing art. When you create art, you learn how to freely express yourself in a creative and unique way. On the other hand, viewing art allows you to creatively think of interpretations and stories behind specific art pieces.

Creative thinking is important for a variety of reasons. Firstly, creative thinking stimulates general healthy brain activity. Also, creative thinking will help you become a quicker, more efficient, and unique problem solver.

  1. Sense of Accomplishment

There’s nothing better than feeling proud of yourself after creating a unique piece of art. Even if the artwork you create isn’t up to par with a masterpiece from a famous artist like Picasso, you should still be proud of yourself that you finished a one-of-a-kind art piece.

Feeling accomplished also improves confidence and self-esteem, which is beneficial to your emotional health.

  1. Increases Brain Activity

Like previously stated, creating and viewing art increases brain activity. When you create art, cells in your brain connect in ways they haven’t connected before. This increases critical thinking and overall intelligence.

As for viewing art, your brain is stimulated at a higher level than it is during other mundane activities. In other words, your brain is forced to create new cell connections, which enhances plasticity.

  1. Eases Chronic Condition

Overall, art has been proven to ease chronic health conditions. After all, therapists often use art as a way to treat their patients. Art promotes freedom of expression and creative thinking in a safe and effective way. This allows patients to develop self-identity and take their mind off the ailments of their illness.

The Art of Tree Pruning

As if I don’t have enough on my plate with home brewing and all, I decided to take up a new hobby last month!

Our landscape has been a bit overgrown lately, and I’ve been developing my green thumb skills to spruce things up a bit. Or, downsize rather. A good friend of mine owns a tree service company in Charlotte NC and he paid a visit to our property. He’s actually the one who pointed out that our landscape needed a little love and he taught me a little bit about the art of tree pruning.

Why is this important and relevant to brewing beer, you might ask? Well, we grow a lot of plants and trees on premises and we use the fruit, herbs, and flowers to flavor the beverages we brew. (As a matter of fact, we’ve been looking into starting a hop farm someday, so this is definitely a skill we’ll need to have. But that’s another post for another day.) Regardless, when your backyard looks like this, it’s definitely time to take up gardening as a hobby …

overgrown yard

We had some bigger trees that were in desperate need of pruning. Good thing Drew brought his tools and decided to give us a lesson! I learned a lot of interesting things and will be applying this going forward to ensure we always have a healthy landscape and a good supply of healthy plants to cultivate for brewing purposes. 🙂

Why should you have your trees pruned?

There are many reasons, but the main ones are: to clean up your landscape, to bring life back to a weakened or dying plant, or to promote flowering. Failing to prune your trees can result in their health being compromised or make landscape maintenance a horrible and dreaded chore for you in the future. It’s best to keep up with pruning every so often to ensure these things don’t happen.

Tree pruning promotes growth.

Sounds weird, right? But have you ever heard someone say that cutting your hair will make it grow faster? I think the principle is similar here. Plants by their very nature prefer to grow in an upward direction. It’s how they respond to gravity and light. The top of the plant is called the “leader” and it prefers to remain higher than all other branches, which are called laterals. In order to do so, it produces a hormone that prevents the lateral branches from growing. When the leader is pruned or cut, it starts the growing process.

There are 2 basic pruning methods.

A thinning cut, which is considered the best method, consists of selecting and removing a single branch all the way back to a lateral stem. The reason why this method is preferred is because it encourages even growth at all levels of the plant instead of just at the top. The second method is known as the shearing method which involves cutting all branches. This starts a cycle of raging hormone production that causes excessive growth and creates a dense cover over the tree that shades the interior part. The tree then becomes more susceptible to disease and pests and will eventually decline—unless the cycle is broken.

While shearing can be an effective pruning method for winter, it still necessitates thinning immediately afterwards to allow for proper light and airflow.

In short, for your trees to be healthy, you want them structured properly. This is the art of tree pruning. It is both an art and a science and a balance of both is essential to a healthy foliage canopy.

That basically sums up the knowledge I gained over the last few weeks. If you have more questions about tree maintenance, our friend Drew at TreeBien Tree Care is a professional Charlotte NC arborist and a great resource! Check out his website and feel free to give him a call.

The History of Beer Glasses

Early breweries were frequently prohibited to offer free beer or other benefits to their customers, but found that providing free beer glasses was a great way to compensate clients as well as additionally to advertise for themselves. At some point, artists for the breweries started doing thorough etchings on the sides of the glasses or steins and even established an approach of shooting enamel paint onto the beer glasses. These enameled glasses continue to be some of the most uncommon beer antiques, although they were made later compared to the others.

The development of glass might have been one of the most important facet of the means beer glasses are made today. As beer glasses ended up being more prominent, customers might in fact see what they were consuming and demand a lighter and more appealing look and taste. This resulted in the purification of beers; individuals not wanting the coarse pieces that were commonly found in the earlier beers of the breweries. With this brand-new, much more aesthetically pleasing wave of beer glasses, it felt like beer steins got on the escape.

Beer has been with the human race for a very long time. As beer itself changed, expanded, and also boosted, so did the way in which we drank it. The earlier vessels utilized for alcohol consumption included earthenware, pottery, wood, and even sewn-together items of natural leather. As time went on, man saw tiny improvements in the quality of their beer glasses. Early Europeans living during the time of the Bubonic plague saw the production of beer steins, which had a confined top to maintain flies from getting into in the mixture and making the person unwell.

The development of glasses continued and produced a range for all kinds of different beers. It was initially made use of to fit the top of a Martini shaker, however bartenders quickly found that as the brew moved out of the beer faucets, the pint glass was the best vessel because it allowed for some of the carbonation to be launched and allowed the aroma of the beer to be a lot more noticeable.

5 Reasons to Avoid Macro Brews

If you’re new here, you may have noticed that we’re into craft beer. Our craft beer journey started several years ago and we have never looked back.

For many reasons, microbrews are so much better than macro brews—those being your popular mass-produced brands like Budweiser, Miller, Coors, etc. Those big boys are trying hard to survive in the midst of a booming craft beer industry these days. They’ve come out with all sorts of gimmicky products in an effort to measure up, like this one for example:

bud-light-platinum

Hard as they try, these wannabe’s just aren’t cutting it, and we recommend avoiding macro brews altogether, for many reasons. Here’s 5:

#1. Support local business. Big, mass-production breweries like Anheuser Busch shouldn’t be allowed to take more business away from smaller companies, especially when the quality of their beer is watered down in an effort to increase profit margins. If you like the idea of supporting local business, craft beer is for you.

#2. Appreciation above over-consumption. Macro breweries make their money by using cheap, low-quality ingredients, mass-producing substandard beer, and pushing over-consumption on the market. People don’t drink Bud Light to appreciate it. They drink it to get drunk (in most cases.) If you’re drinking craft beer, chances are you’re doing it for appreciation. Brewing craft beer is a unique art. The final product usually pairs well with food and is best appreciated in smaller quantities.

#3. Unnatural ingredients. There’s a reason why craft beer tastes better. Microbreweries don’t use chemicals or unnatural preservatives in their brewing. Therefore, it’s also much healthier for you. Some macro brews contain harmful additives like caramel coloring and corn syrup. (Gag me with a spoon…)

#4. Lower ABV! If you are looking to get a buzz, you won’t have to drink nearly as much craft beer to get there. Macro brews have a lower ABV, usually around 4-5%. On the other hand, some craft beers have an ABV of 10 or even 12%—as much as a bottle of wine! Again, it’s all about appreciating the beverage, not consuming as much of it as humanly possible just to get drunk and pass out.

#5. Taste. Ever heard Bud Light described as “piss water”? Yeah, in our opinion, that pretty much sums it up. Macro brews just don’t taste good. That’s all there is to it. You’re gonna get a much better selection, a higher variety, and great taste from craft beer than you will from crappy mass-produced beer. There’s a reason why you have to shove a lime wedge into that bottle of Corona to make it even remotely palatable.