Did Beer Save the World?
International Beer Day
Friday, August 6, 2021
Once a year on the first Friday in August, we celebrate Internationally Beer Day, so gather with friends and enjoy a beer. You might even share a few of these historical points about beer or you might gather and watch “How Beer Saved the World,” a fun ‘historical’ account of beer.
Facts & Myths:
Beer is considered the oldest alcoholic beverage.
One of the oldest written records of beer is a Sumerian poem which worships the goddess of beer, Ninkasi, along with a brewing recipe by the Sumerians dating back to 1800BC.
Cleopatra VII was hated by many of her subjects primarily because she imposed a beer tax.
The Chinese made their beer from grapes, honey, and rice instead of the cereal and barley brews found in Mesopotamia.
Unlike the beer of today, no hops were used in beer making until the 13th century
Almost everyone drank beer in the Middle Ages, from morning breakfast to evening.
Beer during the Middle Ages was safer to drink than water throughout Europe.
Hops help preserve as well as flavor beer.
German brewers in the 13th century discovered the correct proportions of hops to grain to keep the beer stable for six months and not spoil.
Westverlen Brewery in Germany is a 182 year-old brewery founded by the Trappist monks of the Abbey of Saint Sixtus. They are still making and selling what is considered the world’s best beer, Westverlen 12.
The steam engine industrialized beer brewing in 1765. The invention of the hydrometer and thermometer around the same time improved brewing methods substantially.
Prior to Prohibition, there were thousands of breweries in the U.S.
Breweries in the U.S that survived Prohibition survived by producing malt extracts such as sugar, soda, and ice cream.
The word beer comes from an old Germanic languages ‘bier’.
The first permanent structure built by the Pilgrims was a brewery.
Congress including a ration of one quart of Spruce Beer or Cider per man per day during the Revolutionary War.
In 1876 Louis Pasteur publishes “Studies on Beer,” showing how yeast can be controlled.
Near beers were brewed during Prohibition by Pabst, Schlitz, Miller, Stroh and Anheuser-Bush, another way they survived.
The first Great American Beer Festival was held in Colorado in 1981, now the oldest and largest beer tasting and competition.
In 2001, the US Brewing industry totals $51 billion; 1458 breweries producing 6.2 million barrels of beer.