Brief History of Beer

Beer brewing as well as drinking are some of the activities that have been part of human life ever since civilization came round. Beer brewing is among the oldest processes that are known to man. About 10,000 years ago, man started changing their lifestyle from being nomadic hunters and gatherers to settling down in the same spot doing cultivation. This brought forth grain, which is a vital ingredient when making beer. Barley grain was cultivated from 6000BC by ancient Babylonians and Egyptians. The brewing process started off as an accident when barley loaves were found to have fermented after they were left outside in the rain. Here is a brief history of beer.

Oldest Documentation of Beer
There is evidence showing that the oldest written documentation on beer can be traced back to six thousand years ago. This is during the olden civilization of Sumeria. This beverage made the olden Sumerians feel “wonderful, blissful and exhilarated”. This could be the reason why beer was widely considered to be a gift from the gods. In those olden days, beer was not well filtered and thus contained a cloudy appearance due to the high residue it contained. The Sumerians used to drink their beer using straws in order to avoid the bitter solids.

Ancient Babylonians, who were descendants of the Sumerians used to brew around 20 diverse beer varieties by the year 2000BC. Every person was entitled to some portion of beer depending on their social standing. It formed an important part of the early economies as it was used in barter trade and workers were paid their wages using beer. This efficiently eliminated the need for having a middleman.

Improved Beer Brewing
Egyptians improved the beer making tradition by altering the taste of beer by adding dates. The Romans and Greeks used to make beer. However, when wine became more popular, the Romans saw beer as the Barbarians’ drink. Wine was considered as ambrosia given to man by god Bacchus directly thereby limiting the chance of beer becoming popular. This led to beer being found in the Roman Empire edges where it was difficult to import or cultivate wine.

Beer was brewed by a number of Germanic groups from 800 B.C. Later on the Catholic Church was involved in beer brewing as its abbeys were instrumental in improving the methods that were being used to brew it. A number of religious communities were able to exist due to beer as they used to sell it and live on the profits generated. Back then beer was not only taken for intoxication purposes but also for quenching thirst as it was considered much safer than the available drinking water due to poor sanitation.

Beer Brewing Standards
In Germany, soon after the hops were introduced in the 9th century, the brewers created some set of standards on German beer and started mass-brewing it. German brewers formulated the Reinheitsgebot or the Beer Purity Law in 1516. It guaranteed a German beer drinker with an assured level of quality. It consisted of a number of ingredients like hops, water, malted wheat and barley as well as yeast. The 1800s brought along several significant advancements in beer brewing like the role of yeast in the fermentation phase by Louis Pasteur and the pasteurization process.

Final Words
The modern beer drinker today has a lot of choices to choose from. There are both lighter and heartier beers today ever since the World War II when light beer was brewed due to food shortage. There are so many methods of beer brewing available today. All the above information sums ups the brief history of beer.

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