June 9, 2017
A Beer by Any Other Name
For thousands of years humanity has been enjoying (and occasionally over enjoying) beer. Through this blog, beginning with a brief history of beer, I’ll touch on the differing styles, their origins and history, flavor profiles, and some of my favourite go-tos that you can find here, at Bottlescrew Bill’s!
With roots dating back to ancient times, beer is as much a part of our history as agriculture, and has been attributed with forming civilization. Most had their own god of beer or brewing: Dionysus, Silenus, Ninkasi, Aegir, & Yasigi to name a few…
The first solid evidence of beer production is seen in Babylonian clay tablets dating 4300 BC, which detail beer recipes. In 1000 BC, early Germanic tribes were brewing with wild grains. The Romans introduced beer to Northern Europe around 50 BC and over a century later Pliny notes English Celts flavouring their beer with rosemary or yarrow. Some early beers were flavoured with crab claws, oyster shells, mint or dandelion.
Hops were discovered around a thousand years later (yay!), and by the middle ages brewing had shifted from family tradition and domestic brewed beer to a commercial endeavor, with monasteries and convents doing more and more brewing. 1516, the Bavarian Purity Act was established, stating that beers could only contain barley, hops and water. By 1810 Munich had its first Oktoberfest, and the rest is history!
Whatever mental or physical barrier you must overcome to imbibe, beer’s got you covered. If you need a religious push to drink more beer, it has been said that Noah stashed beer on board the ark – only the necessities, you know? Medicinal woes? Beer was used pharmaceutically in Ancient Egypt, prescribed for over 100 uses, and during Prohibition, alcohol was prescribed for anything from a toothache to the flu. Need more persuading? Queen Elizabeth was said to have enjoyed a strong ale for breakfast. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both owned private brewhouses