A Brief History Of Beer: The Ancient Beverage
The earliest known alcoholic beverages are those made from rice, honey and fruit, but the first barley beer was most likely born in the Middle East. Hard evidence of beer production dates back to the Bronze Age, although people undoubtedly consumed beer much earlier. Archaeologists have uncovered ceramic vessels dating back to 3400 BC that are still stuck together with beer remains known as kui. The process, now recognized as brewing beer, began in China in the late Bronze Age, about 3,000 years ago. This year, the ancient Chinese brewed the world's first beer, and archaeologists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the Chinese capital Beijing described a priestess making the beloved ancient brew. However, the data have been interpreted to indicate that the date of brewing beer in Godin Tepe was around 10,000 BC, when agriculture first developed in the region, but it is likely that this practice took place much earlier.
A Bronze Age Beverage
Beer brewing has been commercialised in Europe, according to data from the Middle East, North Africa and South America. The evidence for beer production dates back to the late Bronze Age, about 4,500 years ago, but some interpret it as dating back several thousand years to around 10,000 BC. It is believed that the craft brewing of beer began when the grains used to make bread were left unsupervised and began to ferment. Scientists Jeremy Black and Anthony Green have written, without naming an authority, that alcoholic beverages probably originated from the fermentation of wheat, barley, rye, oats, and other cereals in the early days of the Roman Empire. In Mesopotamia, the oldest evidence of beer is believed to date back to the 4th century BC, when people drank the drink from reeds, straws and shared bowls.
The Beer Connection to Bread
A 3,900-year-old Sumerian poem in honor of the Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, contains one of the earliest known recipes for beer, in which the production of beer from barley is described as "bread." Ancient Egyptian beer, brewed in 1996 by the Courage Brewery from emerald wheat, is also mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh. According to a recent study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of California at Berkeley, recognition for one of the first beers ever produced was attributable to the ancient Chinese. The recipe, which dates back to 7000 BC, consists of a mixture of rice, wheat, barley, sugar, salt, yeast and water and was discovered in the form of a mould cake made from bread. The archaeologists worked with brewers to recreate the process of pureeing the mould cakes with rice and watching them add other ingredients to brew them over high heat. In the end, the drink looks and tastes like a Belgian ale, with brilliant colour and fruity notes. This great drink was invented in Belgium, which is undoubtedly the beer capital of the world. It is believed that beer had been known to the Sumerians and Babylonians for over 3,000 years.
Beer Recipes on Clay Tablets
The clay tablets indicate that brewing was a highly respected occupation in contemporary Iran, as there is evidence that the use of a container for fermentation yielded a much more reliable result. Although prey was a common product for many foods at that time, hops became a popular ingredient as it reduced the negative effects of fermentation. Hops finally found their way into the brewing process when the Germans began experimenting with them in the early 9th century AD and finally found their way into breweries throughout Europe and Great Britain in the following centuries. Although beer was an important part of civilized life, it did not have the same degree of purity as wine, especially when the German Purity Law stipulated that beer could not be brewed with water, malt and hops until the 15th century. Bitter substances were added in forms of other vegetable raw materials such as hops, barley, wheat, rye, oats and barley malt. These were later added to the recipe in the form of hops, barley, wheat, rye, oats and barley malt, and in some cases even water.
Beer was already important to the early Romans, but it became a drink suitable only for barbarians. Tacitus wrote disparagingly of the Teutons who brewed beer in his day, and beer was supplanted by wine as the preferred alcoholic beverage in republican times. It was even known that Thracians consumed rye beer in the 5th century BC, as Hellanicus of Lesbos said in an opera. This was a relatively recent innovation, which by today's standards was probably quite hard. Many other herbal blends were used, but the first beer was brewed with barley, wheat, barley flour, oats, sugar, water, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, thyme and other herbs. The rest was probably cereal porridge fermented to give the consumer an intoxicating effect, so he repeated the process. The Egyptians used beer for religious ceremonies, with the pharaoh directing the brewing schedule and distribution en masse. What remained was a mixture of malted barley residues and what the brewers called "brewing beer," a combination of barley, wheat, oats, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, thyme and other herbs.