The History of Beer
Although very difficult to accurately pinpoint the exact time when beer was first brewed and drunk, we can have a good idea that it was certainly around since the ancient Egyptians and probably before. It is most likely that when man became farmers of crops such as wheat and maize, we began brewing beer as well.
During the very beginnings of human consumption, beer would have been cloudy and unfiltered. At this time (around 6000 years ago) people where drinking from straws or reed, this would ensure that they could enjoy the drink without having to deal with the bitter tasting ingredients still present.
Beer brewing has often had cultural significance for many people. It can be seen as a rite of passage for young men to brew their first beer. It is drunk at times of celebration, such as weddings and christenings.
In Britain malt beer was brewed and drunk long before the Romans arrived, the Romans preferred wine but the native people continued to brew and drink the malt which was partly drunk due to the very poor quality of water available.
During these early years of beer production, beer was brewed on a domestic level with families brewing their own. Monasteries would have brewed and sold their own beer from the crops grown as well. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution that beer production moved from domestic to an industrial level. Beer had become more standardized. The use of hops had been introduced from Germany in around 1150 AD. Hops helped reduce the levels of putrefaction which is caused by organisms within the beer.
Today Hops are used throughout the beer industry as well as different flavor malts and ingredients. Brewers have been able to produce beers of varying strength and colour (light to dark ale). They can be sweet or bitter depending on the type of ingredients used and the amount of sugar added.
Beer has certainly changed over the years and not only in our brewing methods but in who beer appeals to. More and more females are now drinking beer widening the target market for brewers. With more fruity flavors becoming popular and also seeing more micro brewers popping up all the time. This only helps our pub industry as not only are pubs and clubs a big part of our community but they are also a big employer throughout the country.
So Comrie Auotmatics would like to raise a glass, of beer of course to all the brewers in the UK and wish them many more years of brewing our favorite tipple.