A Short History of Beer

Beer as a beverage dates way back to the early Neolithic era, some 11,000 years ago. The process of brewing that beer was discovered by many cultures.. The earliest chemical evidence of beer was found in the Zagros Mountains in western Iran.

Brewing beer is referenced in some of the earliest human writings. Remember your high school history and the Babylonian code of laws that was written almost 4,000 years ago and it contains rules regarding the production and distribution of beer. This just proves that those golden suds have a much more interesting history than you knew!

All beers are classified into two main types: Pale Lagers and they are the most popular around the world, and Ales that are distinct to the certain region where they are brewed. These two main types are further defined into other varieties like stout, brown ale and pale ale. Beer is usually produced with about 4%-6% alcohol but can contain as little as less than one percent or, rarely, over 20%!

Beer was introduced to Europe around 5,000 years ago and was most certainly not the same sort of beer we know today. In those days beer brewing used fruits, honey, various types of plants, spices and even some narcotic herbs.

No hops? The first mention of hops in the brewing of beer comes 1,200 years ago by an Abbot (by the 7th century beer was being brewed and sold by monasteries).

The Industrial Revolution made beer brewing into what we would recognize today. It was during this time that both hydrometers and thermometers were invented. These gave the brewers much more control over the process and the ability to predict the results. This ability to standardize results led to brewing in much larger quantities and shipment over much wider areas.

The brewing industry spans the globe. Where there are several huge international companies that dominate the market, there are thousands of small brewers also producing beer. Fun fact: in 2006 more than 35 BILLION gallons of beer were sold for about $294.5 billion dollars.

That’s alot of beer, so PROST Sacramento Beer Drinkers!

A Short History of Beer