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The Lois Beer Club

Viewing life through the bottom of a Pilsner Glass

Posts Tagged ‘Beer History’

Ancient Beer Recipe

World’s Oldest Written Recipe (and it’s for Beer!)

This is a very special recipe on several different levels. First, at 4,000 years old, it’s the oldest known written recipe. Second, it was handed down by a god.
Although the recipe was said to have been given to men by the Sumerian god Enki, the written version was found contained in a hymn dedicated to the beer goddess Ninkasi. Beer was the national fermented drink of ancient Babylonia.
In the beginning, beer was probably an accidental by-product of the bread making process. Ancient Sumerians preserved grain by baking it, usually in the form of bread. When this bread got wet, it fermented into a kind of liquid beer. Over time, honey and other spices were used to flavor the brew. The resulting beer was strong. It was also full of pieces of bread and other more or less solid materials, making it a hard to drink. The Sumerians’ solution was to drink their beer through a straw.
Beer was so important in the ancient world that laws were passed governing it. Beer was even part of the pay of workers in Mesopotamia, Egypt and other ancient civilizations. The Babylonians are known to have made at least sixteen different kinds of beer and used a variety of grains, including barley and wheat, along with honey. Beer was also mentioned in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
If you’d like the recipe, you can find it here

       

Why Beer? Well…. Why Not?

Throughout history humans have brewed some type of drink similar to beer.  Due to water that was down right nasty in flavor and after effects people had to learn methods to dissenfect their means of hydration.  Fermentation became the perfect combination of a nondiarreal thirst quencher and liquid amusement.  As we grew smarter we also became aware of the further health benefits of ales, stouts and lagers.

None other than Cliff Clavin can better explain the phenomenon of beer …

Cliff explains beer to Norm

Cliff explains beer to Norm

“Well you see, Norm, it’s like this . . . A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first.    In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”

America’s Oldest Brewery

The following is reproduced from a company brochure.
Yuengling of Pottsville: America’s Oldest Brewery.

In spite of the demise of countless breweries throughout the country, Pennsylvania’s popular Yuengling Brewery survives as a thriving business and historic treasure. It owes its ongoing success to the remarkable combination of pride and determination, tradition and innovation evidenced throughout its challenging history.

Nestled among the rolling Appalachian foothills, the D.G. Yuengling and Son Brewery is located in Pottsville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Today, the company proudly boasts an unmatched record of continuous operation since 1829 and the longest uninterrupted history of management by a single family in the country.

A History of Innovation

Did The Mayflower Run Dry?

 

If The Mayflower Had Been Carrying More Beer, It Might Never Have Landed At Plymouth Rock

When the Pilgrims sailed for America, they hoped to find a place to settle where the farmland would be rich and the climate congenial. Instead, they found themselves struggling with the stony soil and harsh winters of New England. And all because of a shortage of beer.

An entry in the diary of a Mayflower passenger explains the unplanned landing at Plymouth Rock: “We could not now take time for further search…our victuals being much spent, especially our beer…”

That may have been the last time America’s settlers ran short of beer. They soon learned from their Indian neighbors how to make beer from maize. Local breweries sprouted up throughout the colonies, and experienced brewmasters were eagerly recruited from London. By 1770 the American brewing industry was so well established that George Washington, Patrick Henry, and other patriots argued for a boycott of English beer imports. The Boston Tea Party almost became the Boston Beer Party.

Ancient Beer History

A concise timeline of beer history by Prof. Linda Raley, Texas Tech University.

 

BEER HISTORY

 

Ancient History

 

 

Historians speculate that prehistoric nomads may have made beer from grain & water before learning to make bread.

Beer became ingrained in the culture of civilizations with no significant viticulture.

Noah’s provisions included beer on the Ark.

4300 BC

, Babylonian clay tablets detail recipes for beer.

Beer was a vital part of civilization and the Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Hebrew, Chinese, and Inca cultures.

Babylonians produced beer in large quantities with around 20 varieties.

Beer at this time was so valued that it was sometimes used to pay workers as part of their daily wages.

Early cultures often drank beer through straws to avoid grain hulls left in the beverage.

Egyptians brewed beer commercially for use by royalty served in gold goblets, medical purposes, and as a necessity to be included in burial provisions for the journey to the hereafter.

Different grains were used in different cultures:

a) Africa used millet, maize and cassava.

b) North America used persimmon although agave was used in Mexico.

c) South America used corn although sweet potatoes were used in Brazil.

d) Japan used rice to make sake.

e) China used wheat to make samshu.

f) Other Asian cultures used sorghum.

g) Russians used rye to make quass or kvass.

 

h) Egyptians used barley and may have cultivated it strictly for brewing as it made poor bread.

1600 BC

Egyptian texts contain 100 medical prescriptions calling for beer.

If an Egyptian gentleman offered a lady a sip of his beer they were betrothed.

(Thirsty for More?)