Origin of beer

Beer is one of the most traditional drinks in the world. A product that has not only withstood the passing of time, but also continues to attract more and more drinkers. It is not something strange, since this drink has been with us for many years.

Each Spaniard consumes an average of about 50 liters of beer per year. A fact that demonstrates the wide penetration that this drink has in our country. However, the truth is that it is not something exclusive to Spain, since beer has been present throughout the world since time immemorial. If you don’t know when beer was invented and where it came from, here you will find all the answers.

who invented beer

To find out where beer was invented, we have to travel through time and space. In time until the year 4,000 BC. And in space, to move to the ancient region of Mesopotamia, located in what is now the Middle East. From here come the first archaeological remains that speak of beer, whose recipe appears on a tablet found in an archaeological excavation. Regarding who invented the answer, the truth is that the question is more complex, since there are no clear data in this regard.

What is clear is that its invention was due to an accident. The story goes that someone mixed water with cereals and, after a period of fermentation, verified how that particular mixture became a pleasant alcoholic beverage. The Sumerians, who had a specific deity for beer, would take the recipe from here. This was made by introducing highly spiced barley loaves into jars of water, which were left to ferment.

the egyptian beer

Although the Sumerians laid the first stones in the world of beer, the truth is that it was the Egyptians who turned this drink into a basic necessity. In fact, beer was part of the basic diet of the population, especially the lower classes. These citizens drank it with the same fondness with which the rich enjoyed wine.

In this period, a barley beer is consumed that is somewhat more similar to the one we consume today. In addition, this is the first period in which the manufacture of beer is carried out on a massive scale, producing about 4 million liters a year during the mandate of Ramses II. Such was the cost at which the beer arrived that, on occasions, it was necessary to change the barley for spelled wheat. In fact, that barley was also used as currency.

Greek and Roman beers

The arrival of these two cultures meant a step backwards in the consumption and production of beer. Both Greece and Rome considered beer to be a drink for barbarians, being cornered in the face of the widespread consumption of wine, predominant in these cultures.

Precisely these barbarian peoples will be responsible for keeping beer consumption alive until the Middle Ages, in which the empire of Charlemagne, back in the 9th century, will return it to the forefront. Right at the end of this period, in the 10th century, plants began to be used to aromatize beer, also discovering a key element with which beer is made today: hops.

The modern age

The discovery of hops brought substantial income to the church which, until the mid-15th century, controlled its traffic. However, this ingredient was ideal for the beer to develop more body and last longer. This monopoly would not last long, as the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 would set the standards for brewing and “liberate” the hop trade. However, the monks would continue to innovate in the preparation of the drink, with the appearance of the Lager variety in 1599.

industrial age

Curiously, since that distant 16th century there were not many novelties until the arrival of the industrial revolution. In 1842, Pilsen beer was created , brewed in the region of the same name, at a time when the brewing process was being industrialized. The new machines make mass production much easier and, thanks to the new transport networks, it is also possible to take these beers anywhere in the world in optimal conditions. Ideal for beer lovers to enjoy their favorite “blonde” almost anywhere.

Back to the past

The last chapter of our history, for now, starts in 1970 and ends in our days. We talk about new trends in beer. One of them is the recovery of the traditional craft system, which was built in response to how beer is made today, using industrial methods. There are many companies that are dedicated to making beer in the traditional way, without applying the usual industrial processes. An interesting move to discover the flavors of yesteryear, albeit with the security of current technologies.

Another novelty is the one that affects what the beer is made of. The traditional formula of water, barley and hops now has thousands of variations, offering different and just as enticing flavors. Among these products are IPA or India Pale Ale beers . This English beer had disappeared years ago, but today it is back in fashion. The same goes for wheat beers, which are an interesting alternative to products made with barley, or flavored beers, which use all kinds of spices and ingredients to give the final product a different touch. Great news for those looking for alternatives to the usual beer.

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