The Germans brewed beer as early as 800 BC, and their early methods were similar to those of the ancient Sumerians.
As Nelson makes clear in his book "Old Europe", today's recognized beer brewing techniques were developed in Germany and influenced further development across the continent. Women were also among the first brewers in Germany, but beer was produced around 2000 BC and even earlier by men. As an art form in Europe, this brewing tradition goes back to Trappist monks and lives on in today's breweries. Many of the European brewing traditions began in the Middle Ages with the introduction of brewing in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The Christian era, when the monks took up craft brewing and sold beer in their monasteries, continued.
Visit some of Ireland's oldest breweries and sample the famous beer of John Smithwick. Visit such old abbeys as St. Patrick's Abbey in Dublin and the Abbey of Saint Patrick in Limerick, Ireland. In keeping with its centuries-old tradition of spontaneous fermentation, Belgium maintains an old brewing style in its Trappist monasteries, where silent artisans in robes evoke elegant new brewing permutations. The classic brewing countries of the Old World include Belgium, England, Germany, Ireland and Scotland, with the iconic Pilsner beer style originating in Bohemia. Britain built its fortunes on beer, while Central Europe, Scandinavia and America concentrated on lager. In Europe and the United States, breweries built large commercial empires at the end of the 19th century.
Belgium: Famous for Beer
Much of Belgium's beer history is associated with Trappist factories, brewed and inspired by monks who migrated to Belgium from other parts of Europe. Many beer lovers are in awe of the history of beer in Belgium, especially its history as a beer country. American craft brewers have been taken over by new breweries in countries such as Japan and Scotland, and many of their beers are in demand. England is known for its classic ales, but it is home to some of the world's most popular craft beer brands such as Great American Beer Company (GABF) and Stone Brewing Company.
Many of the best craft breweries in England, especially in London and Manchester, brew beer aged in whiskey barrels.
Beer IS History
Taken as a whole, then, the history of beer production shows that beer is history. Brewing is an act that is inscribed in the human psyche and has evolved into a truly creative art. In ancient Egypt many brewed, and beer was one of the favorite drinks, and the Vikings thought that the pumpkin of a man in the palace where the brave warriors were after their death was golden. Roman historians mention in the first century of our time that Celts, Germans and other people also consumed liquid bread. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the perception that beer was inferior to wine changed dramatically. In the Middle Ages, the brewing process for beer was promoted by ancient Celts and monks, who added various aromas and ingredients, so that the stronger and stronger the beer, the more varied its taste. Nowadays, commercial beer is brewed in modernity, and it is generally believed to be the most popular beer in Europe.
Christianity and Beer: Brewed With Passion
The advent of Christianity led to an enormous increase in beer brewing, with monks playing an important role in beer production. This changed in the Middle Ages, when Christian monks in Europe brewed with passion. The modern Pilsner we drink today, flavoured with malted barley and hops, was the beer produced by these European monks.
In the 12th century the monks had spread their recipes and the beer was changed forever. In Germany, the taste of barley was compensated with hops, which enjoyed great popularity. The abundance of hops in Germany became an important export to Europe and an important source of beer in the Middle Ages. In Belgium, which is undoubtedly the beer capital of the world, this great drink was invented in the late 14th century with the invention of the first barrel. The Sumerians and Babylonians are believed to have known about beer for 3,000 years, and clay tablets suggest that brewing was a highly regarded occupation in what is now Iran. There is evidence that the use of a fermentation container yielded much more reliable results.
Whereas in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Rome there was to some extent large-scale brewing, most of it was produced by peasant families. But from the 5th century onwards, monasteries in Europe began to produce their own beer using precise and highly systematic brewing methods. Unlike the educated class, the monks kept records of their breweries and curated specific recipes, which they gradually improved through constant trial and error. The addition of hops to the malt was another improvement that the monks encountered and for the first time created a beer that would be familiar to modern drinkers.