Beer is one of the most common and the oldest alcoholic beverages in the world. The precise origin of the first production of the fermentation of a cereal in order to make the beer has not been precisely determined. Given the climatic circumstances that were occurring after the recession of the last glaciation known in the parts of the world, we tend to believe that beer was part of the food habits across the world since the time when agriculture has been present to meet the food needs of the people before pre-glaciation period.
Cereal fermentation was known in prehistoric times, with wild millet in the form of a pasty drink, called braga or bosa, which is one of the earliest precursors of beer, very similar to kaffir beer in some parts Of Africa. In Asia the most common cereal in food is rice. There is archaeological evidence in the Neolithic period of rice fermentation resulting in Jiǔ qū in China and Koji in Japan.
These rice fermentations also converted their sugars into beverages like Jiǔzāo, which is now used as an ingredient of many condiments in dishes of Chinese cuisine, just as wine is used in Western cuisine. Approximately in VIII century BC, the fermented rice, mǐ jǐu with an almost exact formula to Japanese sake, reached great popularity in China.
The man began to cultivate the cereals between the XI and the VII century BC in the area of Mesopotamia. It is then quite probable that both bread and beer were created at the same time. It is only a question of proportions. If more flour were added than water and allowed to ferment, bread was obtained. If the proportion was inverted by putting more water than flour and allowed to ferment, beer was obtained.
The earliest evidence of bakery and brewery appears in Mesopotamia, but it would be ideal to seek an affiliation with identical procedures discovered in the rest of Europe. The first cultures in charge of cultivation were natufian culture, the Euphrates Valley in Syria (Abu Hureyra and Mureybet) as well as Turkey. It is possible that the means used to store the first beer were organic like animal skins, wood, or heavily woven baskets.
The cereal grains used in the breadmaking were frequently wetted in water in order to be softened and thus facilitate their milling. It is possible that some remains of these porridge would ferment until it was detected casually that their drink was flavored sweet and slightly comforting. It is possible that they were heated with red stones, or by simple proximity with an oven, allowing the infusion of the cereals.
Beer made of barley was historically popular among the ancient Elamite, Egyptian and Sumerian people. The earliest evidence of beer production dates back around the 4th millennium BC and were found in Godin Tepe in the old Elam (now Iran). The same evidence has been found Hacinebi Tepe in archeological regions located to the south of Turkey. It is a plausible hypothesis that the birth of agriculture leads to a processed food, such as fermentation. This supposes that this type of drinks can be older.
There were two main types produced in the case of beer, a barley beer called sikaru or liquid bread and another of Spelt called kurunnu. That is to say, it was what we now call kuas, which is not properly considered beer, although it is an alcoholic fermented drink from cereal.
Some place it together with the appearance of bread between 10000 and 6000 BC. since it has a similar preparation adding more or less water. It seems that the primitive beers were denser than the present ones, similar to the present African pombe, of equally primitive cultures.
The phenomenon of fermentation was conceived as an act proceeding from the divinities with a strong magical character. This is how beer was conceived as a sacred drink and pleasing to the gods and texts that describe an offering in which beer is a sacred drink are not uncommon and during the festivals, unleavened bread was eaten for seven days, the bread without yeast along with beer. This religious belief spread to Ancient Egypt in which there are religious bonds of drinking as an invention of the Osiris deity. The symbolism associated with this drink was spread along the Nile.
When the beer was produced in large quantities, it also appreciably lowered its quality. This is how in many places of the classical Mediterranean beer appeared as a tavern drink. The only place where it seems that beer did not have much role was in ancient Greece, where wine dominated. Greece, geared more to the wine, did not produce beer, but it consumed a lot, especially for the festivities in honor of Demeter and during the Olympic Games, during which it was forbidden the consumption of wine. The drink arrived in Greece via Phoenician traders.
Even the Etruscans and Romans preferred wine, but there were famous people who fostered the beer. Throughout the rest of the basin, beer was the popular drink and at the same time sacred. Specifically, in Rome, in the underworld, it was consumed in enormous quantities. And to elaborate it they had to start vineyards, which created an important conflict with the wine adepts.
Originally, beers were usually made with a cereal predecessor of wheat called Spelt. But wheat and barley were quickly imposed on the brewery. The wheat, more pleasant in its solid form, was reserved for baking and barley for beer. Interestingly, even in very remote times barley was not served raw. Some breads were made, cooked at different levels and kept very well. To make the beer, the bread was crushed and mixed with water. After heating and cooking the mixture, it was allowed to ferment for a few days.
There are many graphic and documentary testimonies in the region of Mesopotamia that describe how consumers used a cane to drink beer without touching the bread pieces. The beer was equally important in Ancient Egypt, where the population drank from childhood, even considering it as a drink and a medicine. Physico-chemical analysis of pot residues from Abadieh and Hierakonpolis, a cemetery near the Nile in Upper Egypt as well as in Naqada shows that large-scale fermentations of cereal malts were already carried out in the period 3500-3400 BC. There is documentary evidence in the archaic period of Egypt.
The process of brewing initially was simple, and its knowledge came from the Sumerian cultures as a mass of bread, wheat and barley were soaked and enriched with the sugar from the dates that began to ferment, with the resulting liquid was poured into containers where it was sealed for consumption. It was customary to flavor the contents with some fruit or grass. It is possible that the proportion of each of the three cereals gave a certain social character to the drink, using proportions for daily use, others for storage, others to consume in the other-life according to religious beliefs.
From the sealing and inclusion of the fermented dough inside special vessels, there are evidences like level lines with traces of foam or floating dry residues. It is known by the existence of diverse hieroglyphic texts that there were diverse types of beer. Detailed study of the traces of various vessels show starch granules that have previously been attacked with amylase. The malting of the cereal was a voluntary process which was introduced by the Egyptians, and distinguished their drink clearly from the Sumerian.
Beer was an integral part of the culture of Ancient Egypt, reaching the range of drink-food associated with its identity. Bread and beer were a staple food for most of the population. It is precisely one of the earliest cultures to offer documented archaeological evidence about controlled agricultural production of cereals. In addition, large-scale brewing was an important daily artisan activity in several towns.
Being an integral part not only of food participating as a staple, but also of religious activities. The standard model used in the production of beer is known for the abundant artistic interpretation found on the walls of some buildings such as the tombs, as well as in the techniques currently used in the elaboration of drinks that have survived with an example is the boza.
The popularity of the beer can be seen in artistic inscriptions in which you can see street vendors in the market dealing with beer, with inscriptions date from the New Empire (1550 - 1170 BC) in the city of Ajetatón. Excavations in Egypt show how bakeries and beer factories were nearby.
This beer is historically referred to as Nekhen-Hoffman, in the area of the bakery as it is currently made in Sudan. This type of beer was consumed in the Nubian and Coptic villages of ancient Egypt and its technique of elaboration has been preserved over time getting to consume in modern Egypt.
Even a low-alcohol beer diluted with water and honey was administered to babies when mothers had no milk. For the Egyptians, beer had a mystical character, however there was a big difference compared to the Babylonians as the production of beer was not homemade, but had become a huge industry, with pharaohs who had even the factories.
Apart from the considerations that may exist for beer as a food, it was also used as a medicine, with an Egyptian papyrus with a list of almost twenty recipes of different beers applicable to different diseases. The religious implications of beer are being developed as food for the afterlife. In some tombs factories included small scale breweries and bakeries Egyptian, in order to stock up in the past.
The Egyptians began their brewery with breads like the Sumerian, but apparently they were the inventors of malting. And in both Mesopotamia and Egypt, large quantities of beer were made of many different types identified by their color, which indicates that they already controlled the degree of roasting of the breads or grain.
To this evidence provided by the analysis of remains is the existence of the discovery of Sumerian clay tablets with inscriptions in cuneiform writing dated from the 45th year of the Shulgi dynasty of Ur in 2050 BC, describe the reception of a beer called alulu. The description in great detail, signed by the Sumerian writer Ur-Amma is grateful for the reception and praising the qualities of this type of Sumerian beer, supposes to be one of the first written evidences on the drink.
Beer has had great social importance until recently. The nutrition of a Babylonian was constituted mainly of beer, grain, fruit, vegetable and onion, a diet slightly different from most modest people of antiquity. Many wages were collected in grain or directly in beer. The people with more purchasing power did not change the consumption although sophisticated it as they filtered the beer, making it more dense and more expensive.
The Hellenistic period of Egypt made the culture of the beer expand by the Mediterranean. It is possible that the ancient Greeks had the knowledge of brewing beer from Babylon. The poor drank beer near river beds, while the rich had gold tubes to do the same service. Another indication of the social importance of beer is the fact that in those countries, brewers had no obligation to participate in wars. Instead they were obliged to follow the armies to ensure the supply of beer. As it was a drink of first necessity, beer, throughout history, was object of diverse lusts by the powerful people who in some case made it a monopoly.
It also loaded the commerce with important taxes or established laws of exclusive use of some cereal to favor a monopoly of this cereal. Some clashes and riots are described at various times and in different places when this pressure proved to be unbearable. The oldest law regulating the production and sale of beer is, without question, the Code of Hammurabi (1728-1686 BC) condemning to death those who did not meet the manufacturing criteria set (Annacquava beer) and who opened a local sales without authorization. In Mesopotamia beer also had a religious meaning as it was drunk at funerals to honor the dead and offered to appease the Gods.
To the north of the Pyrenees, the Middle Ages were the golden age of beer, and producing it was a favorable business that extended the practice even to the friars. A conflict of interest was soon established between the lay producers who had to pay taxes of all kinds and the monacal processors who had raw materials in large quantities and on very advantageous terms thanks to various tax exemptions, a flagrant case of unfair competition. By the fifteenth century, lay producers had to invent a new type of beer, that is cheaper, to allow them to survive despite the competition from the friars.
It was in the monasteries during the Middle Ages, there was a leap in the production of the drink. Even the nuns had among their tasks to produce the beer, which in part was intended for the sick and pilgrims.
According to the earliest known recipe found in the papyrus of Zosimos of Panopolis (3rd century), the Egyptians made the beer from barley breads that were not cooked enough to ferment in water. This beer was known as zythum, a drink made up of barley and wheat, prepared with very ripe fruit, which is Greek, but at a later stage. In classical Greek zythum was a word used for a food that has been fermented through yeast.
The Greeks knew kykeon, composed of water, flour and mint an intermediate between drink and food accompanied by grated goat cheese. Used as a sacred drink in the Eleusinian mysteries, kykeon was also a popular brew, especially for the peasants. In spite of everything the most common drink among the Greeks was the wine. For the Greeks, as it was later for the Romans, drinking alcohol was synonymous with drinking wine. Wine production was always simpler, less expensive and already began to have a tradition of several centuries in many European countries. Beer was drunk in the western and northern provinces.
In Hispania the astures consumed the zythos. The colder climates of these villages, so far from the Mediterranean, did not allow the cultivation of the vine, and the most popular drink was beer. Formerly in the East was used rice and also bamboo. In the bamboo, as of the sugar cane, what is fermented is its sap, but not its fruit. Such is the Tanzania's own Ulanzi. It cannot be considered an alcoholic fermented cereal. Older alcoholic beverages may be derived from milk.
Various cereals such as sorghum, millet, cassava are used. This is the Ajon, the native drink of Uganda. In some countries, such as Tanzania, beverages were made with bananas fermented and mixed with millet as the mbweje.
Beer itself appears in Europe in the thirteenth century, in that the concept of beer includes the bitterness of hops. The malt had already been invented before. The real drivers of the spread of the drink in Europe, however, were the Germanic and Celtic tribes. The invasion of the British Isles by the Germanic tribes denominated Anglo- Saxon made drink popularized in this territory in the fifth century. The Anglo-Saxons consumed a drink fermented exclusively from the barley called beor, a kind of barley wine, a drink that was already popular in the Celtic villages that existed before, considered a drink of the heroes of the Valhalla.
The latter in particular settled in Gaul, in Britain, and especially in Ireland, where there is even a legend according to which the Irish are descended from a people of demigods called Fomoires who had the power and immortality thanks to the secret of brewing, that was taken from them by the hero of Magmeld.
The oldest archeological remains of beer production in Europe were discovered at the site of the Cova de Can Sadurní in the municipality of Begas (Barcelona, Spain). The Neolithic remains were found in a stratification between 5500 and 4000 BC. Undoubtedly, this finding displaced what was previously believed to be the oldest brewing discovery in Europe at the Ambrona Valley site, within the municipality of Miño de Medinaceli (Soria, Spain), dating from Around the XXV century BC. Archaeological evidences of brewing have also been found in the Genó field, in Aitona (Lérida, Spain) dated from about XII century BC.
The Celts knew the brewing and carried this knowledge with them when they spread throughout the Iberian peninsula, where its use and elaboration developed very soon. Over the centuries, especially since Romanization, the Mediterranean was consolidated basically as a wine area while beer was produced in northern and central Europe and took the form of what we understand today as beer. The first century was a period of wine expansion in Europe, several decrees of Roman emperors favored its commercialization, reducing taxes on other beverages.
In this way, the use of the malt is extended as main ingredient and also begins to introduce the use of the hops as flavoring. This cannabáceas plant confers to the beer its characteristic bitter taste, and at the same time favors the preservation. One of the first brewery that served the travelers is the abbey of St. Gallen of Geisingen located on the banks of the Danube. Beer consumption did not break the rules of fasting during periods of abstinence. Its elaboration also respected the monastic rules that were emerging in the monasteries of medieval Europe.
In 1516, Duke William IV of Bavaria drafted the first law which fixed what was meant by beer. This law of purity (Reinheitsgebot) established that only water, barley malt and hops could be used to make beer. In England, however, Henry VIII banned the use of hops, under the pressure of the brewer's guild and that continued for some time more in Scotland. English brewers were slow to accept hops.
The beer began to recover its social presence in Spain from the reign of the emperor Carlos I, that brought with him brewers teachers of Germany. Back then, beer was still a seasonal product. The beer called lager, however, receives that name because of its possibility of storage. It was made in autumn, to be consumed in spring. Low fermentation and low temperature favors conservation. It actually fermented slowly while it was stored. At present all the beers, even those of high fermentation, are storable and they have expiration date that reaches about three years. Lager has undergone a semantic change, and has come to mean beer of low fermentation.
The possibility of preserving beer is not due to so much to the invention of electric refrigerators as to preservatives other than hops, and to the possibility of making large-scale and easily sealed containers. The industrial cookie cutter appear in the nineteenth century. Before they were made by torch. Canned beer begins in 1933 in the United States, after the abolition of the dry law.
The barrels of beer that replaced amphorae virtually disappeared. One cannot speak of a true brewing industry until the nineteenth century, when small factories rather than artisan and industrial ones begin to appear.
The word beer comes from German Bier. The term has replaced the strong old drink, which indicated the beer made without hops. From the same German word derives French bière. They are related with English beer and Dutch bier. The origin of the same Germanic word from the old high German bior is uncertain that may be from Vulgar Latin biber from the Latin verb bibere, or resulting directly from protogermanic beuwoz, from beuwo or barley.
In English we use, in addition to beer, another term for beer called ale. Ancient English sources distinguish between the two words, but do not define what is meant by beer during that time, although it is possible that it refers to mead. The form of old English beor disappeared soon after the Norman conquest in response to the introduction of hops that is not widely used for another two hundred years, and the term re-entered the English language only centuries later, referring exclusively to malt drink with hops.
Until then the term ale referred specifically to beer without hops, although this is no longer the current definition of the word and in fact it indicates the high fermentation beers. It is believed that ale derives directly from the Indo-European root alu or potato, and is arrived at present form through the Germanic word aluþ. The same root is the origin of Swedish öl and the Danish and Norwegian øl. From these was given to the Baltic languages like Latvian and Lithuanian alus and those balto finnic like Finnish olut and OLU in Estonia.
In Spanish and Portuguese and their dialects, the drink is called cerveza or a similar term to this form, which is derived from the Latin Cervesia as well as French cervoise. The Latin form is likely to wreck the pre-Indo as a waxy Mediterranean or Caelia, fermented beverage used in Roman Spain. The Proto-Indo-European root ḱerh₃ or satiating, nourishing is the same word as cereal, the Latin verb grow and Ceres, the Roman goddess of fertility and patroness, among other things, the collected. Another interpretation is that the term comes from a Gallic voice.
The Proto-Slavic term pivo, literally drink is the word for beer in most of the Slavic languages, with minor phonetic variations exist between language to language. In ancient greek the drink was non-traditional in Greece and the word for the Egyptian beer was ζῦθος zythos perhaps ζύμη Zyme, leaven, for that Phrygian or trace βρῦτον Bryton.
Since almost any substance containing carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch, can go naturally in fermentation, it is likely that similar drinks to beer were invented independently of one another by different cultures in every part of the world. Many do not recognize as beer that was drank by the first inhabitants of Europe as the first beers still contained within them the products from which came the starch like fruits, honey, herbs and spices.
In England in particular, the beer became a national drink as the water used for its production was boiled and then sterilized. The development of hydrometers and thermometers changed brewing, allowing the brewer more controls on the process and further notions on the final result. In addition, during the same period, specific studies were carried out on yeast, which enabled to produce the bottom-fermented beer, by far the most widespread in the world.
It is produced through the alcoholic fermentation with strains of sugars derived from starchy sources, the most widely used of which it is the barley malt, or germinated and dried barley, often simply called malt. They are then used wheat, corn, rice and to a lesser extent oats, barley and rye. Other plants used less are the root of cassava, the millet and sorghum in Africa, the potato in Brazil and agave in Mexico.
To produce beer, malt is immersed in warm water where, thanks to the action of certain enzymes present in the radicle, which is formed during the germination, the starches are converted to fermentable sugars. The malted grains are passed through hand mills. The obtained flour is soaked to form the so-called wort. This mixture allows the barley to be fermentable and the sugars are transformed into alcohol. The excess honey was used to clean the honeycombs.
For flavoring herbs were added like thyme, sage, mint, rosemary and sage.This sugary juice can be flavored with fruit or more commonly with hops. Subsequently it is employed a wild yeast that starts the fermentation and leads to the formation of alcohol, together with carbon dioxide, which is for the most part ejected, and other waste products resulting from the anaerobic respiration of yeast. In this process we use ingredients, traditions and different production methods.
Beer is consumed in hundreds of varieties in local establishments such as bars, taverns, pubs, biergartens and special festivals, as well as various celebrations throughout the world like the Oktoberfest. One of the last innovations of the 21st century is microbrewery.
After settling in India, Britain had a large number of troops and civilians who demanded beer. However, the long, hot journey was too difficult for ales. The ships normally left London, crossed south beyond the equator along the coast of Africa, surrounded the Cape of Good Hope and then crossed the Indian Ocean to reach Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. The temperature fluctuations were enormous, and the sea of southern Africa gave rise to an extremely violent journey.
The first shipments to India carried porter style beer, the preferred beer in London, which usually came out of date, moldy and sour. The solution to the beer problem finally came from a recipe created by Bow Brewery in East London. Hodgson began shipping India pale ale during the 1790s. The Indian version was a variation of his pale ale, which Londoners had drunk since the mid-1750s.
The pale ales were so called because they were lighter in color than the popular brown ales and the porters and stouts. Thanks in part to Hodgson's recipe, the Indian brewing market expanded enormously. In 1750, about 1480 barrels left England for India while in 1800, 9,000 barrels were exported and there was an increase of about 7,500 barrels in shipments for years. The success of the India Pale Ale (IPA) was soon copied by the Salt, Allsopp and Bass breweries, which boasted they were the first to copy Hodgson's style.
The expansion of the Indian beer market caused by Hodgson's IPA ultimately led to the construction of the first Asian breweries. In late 1820 Edward Dyer left England to create the first Indian brewery in Kasauli in the mountains of Himalaya. Dyer set up more breweries in Solan, Shimla, Murree, Rawalpindi and Mandalay. Another businessman, HG Meakin added more in Ranikhet, Dalhousie, Chakrata, Darjeeling and Kirkee.
The development of techniques and methods from China in the seventh century eventually produced a sake of better quality. The sake became very popular. Over the next five centuries sake-making techniques constantly improved. Wheat beer was already popular in China during the Han Dynasty.
Pilsener beer is the predominant beer in world markets in the late twentieth century. It is gold colored devised by German brewers located in the Czech city in Plzeň in Bohemia. Improving brewing and its globalization promotes a new association of beer drinkers, and beer festivals arise as a transformation of agricultural festivals. Two of the best known are held in Germany, the first is called Oktoberfest and the second in Cannstatter called Volksfest.
Beer consumption in traditionally brewing countries declined slowly since the last decades of the 20th century due to changes in the population's eating habits, competition with other market drinks such as wine or social attitude towards alcoholic beverages.
However, for other fermented beverages, such as wine, a beverage derived from the grape, we have been able to accurately determine their origin due to the archaeological evidence of fermentative grape residues found in the Hajji Firuz Tepe deposits in the Zagros Mountains in the region that today occupy Iraq and Iran showing that wine was already being made before 8000 BC in the Neolithic period, but specialists say that wine has been produced for the first time, perhaps accidentally, from 9000 to 10000 years ago in the area of the Caucasus.
The oldest known winery is dated to the year 6000 BC in caves of Areni in Armenia. Subsequently, wine consumption spread to the West, reaching Anatolia and Greece and to the south, arriving until Egypt, already celebrated in Bahariya.
Some historians point to their probable origin with the birth of agriculture in 10000 BC in the Upper Paleolithic. The fossil record of grapevines date back 2 million years ago. It is thought that the discovery was accidental due to fermentation that naturally occurred in containers where the men placed the grapes.
It seems in fact that the first wine was produced entirely by chance as was the case for the leavened bread for the adventitious forgotten fermentation of grapes in a container. The oldest traces of vine cultivation were found on the shores of the Caspian Sea and Eastern Turkey.
Wine was considered a drink of the upper classes, while beer was the drink of the lower classes. In ancient Greece people drank wine mixed with water and kept it in skins of goat. In Egypt, Greece and Rome, Dionysus or Bacchus (god of vineyards) was worshiped. The peasants made their own beer, called brytos.
Outside the Indo-European family, particularly among the Semitic languages, in Arab and Ethiopian it is the wain, the Assyrian inu and Hebrew Yayin one proto-Semitic form wainu. The term is also in the Indo-European languages of Asia Minor (wiyan in Hittite and Luvita) and Caucasus (Armenian). The word, along with viticulture, traveled to the western Mediterranean, and is in Greek woînos, the Albanian vēnë and the Latin vinum. In Celtic it is Gwin, Germanic Wein and from these to the Finnish viini and the Slav went to Lithuanian vynas.
However the wine produced in those days in the Mediterranean was very different from the drink we know today. Because of wine-making and storage techniques especially boiling, the wine turned out to be a syrupy substance, that is very sweet and alcoholic. It was therefore necessary to stretch it with water and add honey and spices to get a nicer taste.
Otherwise, the Celtic peoples already before contact with the Roman produced light and refreshing wine and kept them in wooden barrels rather than in the jars. Another theory considers that the root is close to the Sanskrit word vain or love, which also gave rise to the words Venus and Venera. Such a semantic relationship would be due to the old belief in the aphrodisiac powers of wine. When the Vikings came to continental America they named the lands they discovered Vinland (land of wine), given the abundance of vines found there.
The majority consumption of wine is usually made as a beverage. In some countries the wine is often reduced by water with soda and ice cubes during warm days, such as the German Weinschorle, the so-called quebrados in Argentina, usually red wines with a strong tannin content, the punch With Chilean Culen. Sometimes it is served with a mixture of fruits cut in pieces, such is the zurracapote, a kind of sangria, the burgundy of Chilean strawberry, etc.
Sometimes they mix with juices like mimosa with orange juice. In Northern European countries in the crudest moments of winter is usually Glühwein and the Feuerzangenbowle, Nordic glögg. Spiced wines are famous since the Roman Empire, and one of the best known is the Conditum Paradoxum. With less ancient tradition, but no less popular are the mixtures like the calimocho which is a cocktail mixture of red wine and a carbonated drink in equal parts. With this name is popularly known in Spain, also as mochete, Rioja libre or Jote.
It is also customary for white wines to be drunk fresh and for red wines to be drunk at room temperature. As for the champagne, it is popular and fun to make as much noise to uncover the bottles.
The precursors of rum date back to antiquity. It is believed that the development of fermented drinks produced from the juice of sugarcane begun in ancient India or China, and from there it spread. An example of these ancestors is the brum. Produced by the Malays, the brum dates back thousands of years ago. The rum is an alcoholic beverage, prepared from sugarcane by fermentation, and subsequently may be or not subjected to aging processes, usually in barrels of oak.
Be that as it may, from the sociological point of view it is evident that the consumption of beer and wine was widespread in early societies.