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The History of Beer

The History of Beer

Beer has been the most consumed alcoholic beverage in history and its popularity isn’t decreasing any time soon. It is very difficult to trace back the exact moment when beer was invented but we have some clues. Around 10000 years ago the mankind evolved from hunters to farmers and settled. Farming produced a lot of grain that was later used to make bread. Because food was still scarce people used to consume it even after it was bad. We know that grain ferment after a while and it is believed that this is the moment people discovered the joy of alcohol.

The oldest writing attesting the existence of beer dates back 6ooo years ago in Sumeria and it was a poem dedicated to partying. Due to its effects, beer was considered a gift from the gods that made people feel happy and blissful. The beer wasn’t filtered back then, and ancient Sumerians used to drink it through a straw. Ancient Babylonians adopted a recipe and developed new types of beer. All citizens of Babylon were guaranteed a daily portion of beer, proportional with their social status. Beer was used to barter, and portions of workers’ wages were paid in beer.

Egyptians also adopted the recipe and created a sweeter version, adding dates. Romans used to drink a lot of beer until the wine became popular amongst them. After that, they considered beer a drink of the primitive people. Soon, beer was widely found only in far-away corners of the Roman Empire where wine couldn’t be produced. Germanic groups started brewing beer in 800 B.C.

The Catholic Church began an extensive brewing process in the Early Medieval Ages. The church still considered that beer was a gift from God. During the Medieval Ages it was way safer to drink beer rather than water. The brewing process eliminated the dangerous bacteria that were in the water. As a result, beer was consumed by people of all ages and has been for many years an important part of the daily diet alongside with bread. Hops started being cultivated in Germany in the 9th century and new brewing methods and recipes appeared. In 1516 The Beer Purity Law appeared in Germany and was soon a standard of quality for beer throughout Europe. The recipes of large breweries were strictly checked in order to guarantee the quality of the German beer.

In the 1800s Louis Pasteur introduced the process of pasteurization that allowed beer to be stored and transported for a longer period of time. Soon after, the Prohibition era banned all types of alcohol, including beer. Fortunately, the ban was lifted in 1933. During WWII a lighter beer was produced and managed to become very popular amongst women that stayed home during the war. After the war both the new and the traditional type became very popular once again. Beer has been with us since the beginning of our evolution and will remain one of the most loved alcoholic drink enjoyed all around the world.

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