Though beer brewing and the drinking of beer are believed to be part of human recreational activity since the dawn of civilization. The official records have been found existing 6000 years ago in Sumerian clay tablets. Beer is most likely to have been in use much before, maybe since Neolithic ages when cereal harvesting was started.
Let’s take a historic brewery tour.
Though it is not known how the making of beer was started, but it may have so happened that some grains or possibly bread got wet and fermented due to the presence of yeast in the air and became a pile of mush. Since food was very valuable and it was never wasted, someone may have tasted it to see if it could be used without any risk of dying. The earliest documents recording beer making have been found in ancient Sumeria approximately 6000 years ago. The drink is said to have made the people of Sumerian civilization “ecstatic, marvellous and elated” and was believed to be a present from the Gods.
The beer was not filtered in those days and it used to contain lots of residue and appeared cloudy. The Sumerians made use of straws to drink their beer in order to prevent consuming the bitter solids present in the beer.
Moving further in our brewery tour, it was by 2000 BC the descendants of Sumerians were brewing around twenty varieties of beer. These were distributed to citizens as ration on a daily basis. The quality and quantity would be based on their social standing. Beer was an essential economic commodity and was even used as payment towards wages. Later on Egyptians modified the taste of beer by introducing dates into brewing. Greeks and Romans consumed Beer till Wine gained popularity. Wine was believed to be the nectar handed over to man by the God Bacchus himself. Romans declared Beer to be the drink of barbarians and relegated it to the edges of Roman Empire where making wine was not possible.
The Teutons who were Germanic groups were brewing beer by 800 B.C. Later the Catholic Church began brewing beer. The abbeys became brewing centres and modifications were made to the brewing process. Slowly many religious communities were able to flourish due to Beer as the proceeds from selling Beer was used for their activities. It is said that Charlemagne had trained few people to brew and designated it a staple item. Beer at this point was considered by Christians too as a gift from the Gods which changed by the 19th century when rampant drinking gave rise to alcoholism and its bad effects.
Beer was a staple diet in the Middle Ages as it was safer than drinking water which contained disease causing bacteria due to very bad sanitation. The ability of Beer to intoxicate was also a benefit to the average person living a tough life.
In Germany mass production methods and a set of standards was introduced by 9th century for brewing German Beer which spread throughout Europe. Louis Pasteur’s discovery of yeast as the agent of fermentation and discovery of pasteurization in 1800’s brought significant developments. The automatic bottling and refrigeration was also introduced.
The 18th amendment introduced Prohibition in response to rampant alcoholism creating many problems. These were the dark days as the people brewing at home were treated as criminals. Prohibition ended in 1933.
Today a beer connoisseurs brews a variety of high quality custom beers.. If you fancy a brewery tour,.