While filling kegs, my mind often wanders off into non-beer related realms. The other day I was thinking about centaurs, you know from Greek mythology- half man/half horse. My first thought was I don’t know how they were created but I bet a horse, not a human, gave birth to the first one, because imagine it the other way around, not gonna work. I’ve read my fair share of fantasy fiction and it seems that centaurs eat a lot of food and can drink quite a bit of beer in one sitting. Do they have two stomachs, a human and a horse? Or do they just have the one big horse stomach? You never read about centaurs putting down three pounds of bacon, so it makes me think they couldn’t digest meat in their horse stomachs. But if you had to eat enough grain for a a horse everyday through a human mouth your teeth would be ruined. I don’t know what the nutritional needs of the average horse is, but I know they eat a lot.
Another thing that bothered me about centaurs is that they are always depicted as these big buff men, but it doesn’t make sense to me. Why are they so ripped? Physiologically there are a lot of issues to figure out. Going back to the eating, do they bend over and graze all day, which would kill your human back/neck? Or are they harvesting grain and they shoving it in their little human mouths 20 hours a day? Mostly I picture centaurs running around shooting arrows and stabbing people with spears. It makes sense that their horse body is strong but the human body doesn’t. I can’t imagine a centaur doing a push-up or chin-up, it would be impossible. So how is their human torso so strong then? It makes me think that the traditional image of centaurs is all wrong. They should be a strong horse body with a wimpy human torso attached with really bad teeth prancing about the forest. That’s another thing about the common image of centaurs running around the forest; horses don’t live in forests, they live in plains. Oats, barley, ect. don’t grow in forests, so if centaurs live in forests it makes the eating thing even more confusing.
One thing that is certain to me is that centaurs would probably make awesome brewers. First of all to drink enough beer to get a horse body drunk they would have to make their own just to make it affordable. Secondly, if I was a centaur I would plow my own field and grow my own barley and oats (for oatmeal stout). I recently learned from Kevin, the head brewer at Chuckanut, that cows can more efficiently digest spent grain from brewing than raw grain. For the centaur spent grain from brewing would mean eating less (and wearing down less molars) while making beer. Also if a centaur made more beer than they could drink they could easily distribute it themselves. I think it would be cool to drink a few beers with a centaur. I wonder if he could give me a ride home afterwards? Yiamas! (Cheers in Greek, pronounced yia-mas).