Who Invented Beer? – HISTORY
If you’re searching for an original brewmaster to toast the next time you knock back a cold one, you might be out of luck. It’s difficult to attribute the invention of beer to a particular culture or time period, but the world’s first fermented beverages most likely emerged alongside the development of cereal agriculture some 12,000 years ago. As hunter-gatherer tribes settled into agrarian civilizations based around staple crops like wheat, rice, barley and maize, they may have also stumbled upon the fermentation process and started brewing beer. In fact, some anthropologists have argued that these early peoples’ insatiable thirst for hooch may have contributed to the Neolithic Revolution by inspiring new agricultural technologies.
The earliest known alcoholic beverage is a 9,000-year-old Chinese concoction made from rice, honey and fruit, but the first barley beer was most likely born in the Middle East. While people were no doubt imbibing it much earlier, hard evidence of beer production dates back about 5,000 years to the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. Archeologists have unearthed ceramic vessels from 3400 B.C. still sticky with beer residue, and 1800 B.C.’s “Hymn to Ninkasi”—an ode to the Sumerian goddess of beer—describes a recipe for a beloved ancient brew made by female priestesses. These nutrient-rich suds were a cornerstone of the Sumerian diet, and were likely a safer alternative to drinking water from nearby rivers and canals, which were often contaminated by animal waste.
Beer consumption also flourished under the Babylonian Empire, but few ancient cultures loved knocking back a few as much as the Egyptians. Workers along the Nile were often paid with an allotment of a nutritious, sweet brew, and everyone from pharaohs to peasants and even children drank beer as part of their everyday diet. Many of these ancient beers were flavored with unusual additives such as mandrake, dates and olive oil. More modern-tasting libations would not arrive until the Middle Ages, when Christian monks and other artisans began brewing beers seasoned with hops.
Where Did Beer Originate From?
While enjoying a pint of craft beer, have you ever stopped and wondered about the history of the world’s most popular fermented beverage? We often hear this question from guests on our Brews Cruise tours. We’ve put together a lesson on the origins of beer from its oldest records all the way to the present day, so the next time you crack open a cold one you will have a deeper understanding of the history of beer.
Let’s start with a pop quiz: Where in the world and during what period of time was beer invented?
If you said in Germany in the Middle Ages, you are not alone with that belief. Many people associate the well-known German drinking culture with the birthplace of beer.
It is true that modern-day beer styles were mostly developed in Europe (especially in Germany). But through research, we now know that beer was first enjoyed in ancient Mesopotamia.
The Germans do love their beer, but it was not actually first created there. Zum wohl!
Here are some of the key civilizations involved in the foundation of the beer we know and love today.
There are some theories that beer brewing happened at Godin Tepe settlement (now in modern-day Iran) as early as 10,000 BCE when agriculture first developed in the region.
The people who lived in the land between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers considered beer a very important part of their diet. They called it “the divine drink” because of its intoxicating effect.
Alulu beer receipt – This records a purchase of “best” beer from a brewer, c. 2050 BC from the Sumerian city of Umma in ancient Iraq
The first solid proof of beer production comes from the period of the Sumerians around 4,000 BCE. During an archeological excavation in Mesopotamia, a tablet was discovered that showed villagers drinking a beverage from a bowl with straws.
Archeologists also found an ode to Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing. This poem also contained the oldest known recipe for making beer using barley from bread.
The next civilization known for beer consumption was also from Mesopotamia – the people from the great city of Babylon.
Babylonians produced over 20 different types of beer around 3,000 BCE.
Beer was also considered divine in Babylon, a true gift from the Gods. It was also a sign of wealth.
The temples issued workers with daily rations of barley beer, the staple drink of Mesopotamia.
The Code of Hammurabi, the ancient Babylonian set of laws, decreed a daily beer ration to citizens.
Every citizen had his daily dose of beer, depending on his wealth. The drink was so respected that people were sometimes paid for work in beer, instead of money.
There was no way of filtering beer back then, so their beer was pretty thick (like porridge) and hard to drink.
To avoid this problem, ancient Babylonians were first to use straws to drink a beverage.
Although Sumerians and Babylonians both considered beer sacred, there was hardly a civilization that adored beer as much as the ancient Egyptians did around 1500 BCE.
The Egyptian goddess of beer was Tenenit. Her name derives from tenemu, one of the many words in the Egyptian language for beer.
Egyptians were excellent brewers and they were constantly working on the taste of beer step-by-step so that it would be less bitter and taste better.
Ancient Egyptian Brewery and Bakery
The most popular beer in Egypt was Heqet (or Hecht). This was a honey-flavored brew and their general word for beer was zytum.
Beer was often used throughout Egypt as compensation for labor. The workers at the Giza plateau received beer rations three times a day and workers on the Nile were often paid for their work in beer.
Archeologists have even found beer buried in the tombs of the Pharaohs, so they could enjoy the taste of this delicious beverage in the afterlife.
Ancient Greece and Rome
How did beer migrate to Europe and become popular around that continent? The Greeks and Romans!
Beer brewing techniques made its way from Egypt to Greece (as we know from the Greek word for beer, zythos from the Egyptian zytum) but was not a huge hit right away.
At this time, wine was so popular that it was the drink considered a gift from the gods. Therefore, beer was considered a barbaric drink and only fit for lower classes to imbibe.
Mosaic floor with slaves serving beer at a banquet, found in Dougga (3rd century CE)
Even so, the Romans were brewing beer (called cerevisia) quite early as evidenced by discoveries in the tomb of a beer brewer and merchant (a Cerveserius) in ancient Treveris (modern-day Trier).
Beer was one of the most common drinks on the outskirts of the empire, and the legions of Rome brought beer to Northern Europe. Roman soldiers were able to enjoy a refreshing cup of beer on their long journeys.
The Middle Ages
And then came the Middle Ages. During this period beer was mostly produced in monasteries all across Europe.
With its high nutritional value, beer was a perfect beverage for monks during times of fasting.
Since monks liked the beverage, in some monasteries, monks could drink up to five liters of beer per day.
It was the beer production that helped the monasteries to survive the Dark Ages, as they made enough money to live from selling their beer.
Introduction of Hops
Around 1000 AD, people started using hops in the brewing process. This refined its taste by making it much less bitter and gave us the beer as we know it today.
Usage of hops in beer production started spreading across Europe.
First Commercial Breweries
In the 13th century AD, beer finally started being produced commercially in Germany, England, and Austria. You know we would get back to Germany at some point.
The Germans were brewing beer (which they called ol, for `ale’) as early as 800 BCE.
Large quantities of beer jugs, still containing evidence of the beer, were discovered in a tomb in the Village of Kasendorf in northern Bavaria, near Kulmbach.
The German brewers soon set the standard for most beer makers in Europe. Their beer was of the highest quality, particularly because it was really cold and had a better taste.
The Renaissance Period
During the Renaissance period, beer production also had its “Renaissance”, which means “rebirth” in English.
In 1516, came the German Reinheitsgebot (Beer Purity Law).
The actual text of the Reinheitsgebot.
According to this German law, beer could only contain water, barley, and hops. In the mid-1800s, the importance of yeast was discovered by people such as Louis Pasteur and it was added to the “approved” ingredient list.
The Reinheitsgebot was the world’s first consumer protection law as it regulated the ingredients which could legally be used in brewing beer. It also guaranteed that there was a certain level of purity in German-made beer, which gave it the perception that it was safe to drink.
The Germans, like those who preceded them, also instituted a daily beer ration and considered beer a necessary staple of their diet.
The Modern ages
Breweries were emerging one after another in the colonies of North America. The first brewery on the New Continent was in New Amsterdam (which will later become New York City). Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were producing beer. George Washington himself wrote a recipe on how to brew beer.
In the nineteenth century, beer was widely famous as the world’s number one alcoholic beverage. This period of modern history marks the start of the biggest changes in beer production, such as using yeast for fermentation.
In 1810, Oktoberfest was first held in Munich. Its origins can be traced back to wedding festivities that actually featured mostly wine.
The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event.
Prince Regent Ludwig of Bavaria, the later King Ludwig I, and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen were married on October 17, 1810. The entire city was invited to the city gates to celebrate and observe a huge horse race.
Over two hundred years later, it’s now the world’s largest beer festival. Munich traditionally hosts millions of beer lovers who all gather annually to enjoy the finest German beer.
As mentioned earlier, it was the famous Louis Pasteur who discovered that yeast causes fermentation. His writings on the impact of yeast to control fermentation marked the single biggest discovery to allow for faithful replication of consistent beer batches.
Along with the newly invented processes of automatic bottling and refrigeration, breweries and beer grew tremendously across the world. By the end of the nineteenth century, there were 3200 breweries in the United States of America alone.
And then the Dark Ages hit again. But this time, they were dark only for ones who enjoyed a nice cold drink.
Prohibition started in Portland, Maine, with the so-called Maine Law penned by Neal Dow in 1851. The new law forbid the manufacture and sale of all types of alcohol statewide.
Soon, other states followed suit and America was well on its way to total abstinence from alcohol.
Prohibition took effect nationally in 1920, and suddenly everyone who enjoyed a nice drink was considered a criminal. Of course, there were people who profited from this, mostly mobsters and bootleggers who ran underground breweries.
New Yorkers bid farewell to the 18th Amendment that legalized Prohibition and which was repealed by the 21st Amendment on Dec. 5, 1933.
The Prohibition eventually ended in 1933, but its impact was obvious. From the 3,200 breweries mentioned above, there were only 160 still operating after the era of Prohibition.
Today, we can call ourselves incredibly lucky. We live in an era where not only can you drink beer when you want, but we also have an incredible variety of different beers to choose from. There are nearly 9,000 breweries in the U.S., and they are producing an endless array of different styles and flavors of beer.
We’ll drink to that!
For over 15 years, Brews Cruise tours have been bringing thirsty guests on expertly guided all-inclusive tours and activities to discover incredible breweries, wineries, and distilleries all over the United States.
Learn more about our various activities in Asheville, Boise, Charlotte, Charleston, Chicagoland, Greenville, Portland (ME), Walla Walla, and Whitefish (MT).
The Countries of Origin for Popular Beers
The history of beer in Malaysia takes us back to 1968, where Guinness and Malayan Breweries merged to become Guinness Anchor Berhad. In 1970, Carlsberg started their brewery in Kuala Lumpur. Since then, many local breweries have sprouted in the country, leading to a wide variety of beers available for locals to enjoy. Of course, these brands originated elsewhere, so let’s take a look at where our favourite pints came from.
1) Carlsberg – Denmark
Carlsberg’s roots are planted firmly in Denmark, where the brand was founded in 1847. J.C. Jacobsen created the brand, and named after his son – Carl. Brewing was in their blood, Jacobsen’s father was one until he passed away, leaving his son to take over the task. He wasn’t content with merely brewing though, and sought to improve the quality of beer.Image Credit: alibaba.com
2) Guinness – Ireland
Arthur Guinness is a memorable name, as it’s evoked annually in celebration of the man who created this most famous stout. Quite amazing for a man who started brewing ales in 1759. This is an Irish brand with humble beginnings in Dublin, to be precise. Also, Guinness is brewed in 50 countries today.Image Credit: patheos.com
3) Tiger – Singapore
Tiger is Singapore’s pride, as the first local brewed beer. It all started in 1932, and today it’s brewed in 11 countries and enjoyed in over 75 countries all over the world. Brewing is meticulous, taking over 500 hours and using the finest ingredients from Australia and Europe.Image Credit: drinks.akay.ie
4) Budweiser – United States of America
Budweiser is as American as it gets, hailing from St. Louis, Missouri. German native Adolphus Busch created Budweiser following a move to Missouri, and a career at a local brewery. He was quite innovative, even going as far as to pasteurize beer. The heat of St. Louis also inspired a different beer, and Budweiser’s crisp taste is a result of this.
Image Credit: grid.no
5) Heineken – Netherlands
Netherlands is the birthplace of Heineken, and their story began in 1864. It’s not just any beer of course. Besides being instantly recognizable as a supporting “character” in many films and TV shows, Heineken is also the number one brewer in Europe. Though its original brewery in Amsterdam is now closed, it can be viewed as part of the Heineken Museum experience.Image Credit: heineken.com
6) Corona Extra – Mexico
This is known as a pale lager, and it comes from Mexico. It is quite a familiar brand, and is one of the top-selling beers worldwide as well. It was introduced in 1925, and today is even used to sponsor sporting events, adding to its presence on a global scale. A common sight on beaches and in the hands of anyone looking for some downtime, this beer is the quintessential companion for anyone seeking respite.Image Credit: ibtimes.com
7) Hoegaarden – Belgium
The name Hoegaarden actually refers to a place in Belgium, where this brewery originated. Hoegaarden’s story began in 1445. Today, they have several different types of beer, including Rosee and Citron, to add to their already impressive roster. It is a beer with a sweet and sour taste, and a slight bitterness.Image Credit: youtube.com
8) Asahi – Japan
We’re really going around the world here for our beers, and this time it’s to gorgeous Tokyo. They started off as the Osaka Beer Company, founded in 1899. Fun fact, “Asahi” means rising sun, and is meant to symbolize national pride, since Japan is known as “The Land of the Rising Sun”.Image Credit: ylilauta.org
9) Kilkenny – Ireland
This beer is a cream ale, which hails from the city of Kilkenny itself – in Ireland. Though not much is stated on its origins, it is said that it dates back to the 14th century. Nowadays, it’s brewed elsewhere in Dublin and seems to be quite popular in Australia and New Zealand. It’s also a favourite among Canadians, particularly after Canadian celebrities were seen drinking the beverage.Image Credit: compraenquart.com
10) Paulaner – Germany
Paulaner Brewery’s origins take us to Munich, Germany, circa 1634. In those days, friars in a monastery brewed the beer. Today, Paulaner exports beer to more than 70 countries, but still operates in a very traditional way, keeping Munich’s traditions alive. In fact, Paulaner beer is very recognizable as it’s one of the beers featured in Germany’s Oktoberfest.Image Credit: paulaner.com
History of Hops – British Hop Association
The modern hop has been developed from a wild plant as ancient as history itself. As far back as the first century AD they were described as a salad plant and are believed to originate from Egypt.
Today, the words beer and ale mean much the same, but the word ‘ale’ was originally reserved for brews produced from malt without hops. This was the original drink of the Anglo-Saxons and English, whereas ‘beer’, a brew using hops, probably originated in Germany. Hops were cultivated in the Low Countries (modern Belgium and Holland) from the 13th century.
The cultivation of hops was probably introduced from Flanders to England in the Maidstone area of Kent at the end of the 15th century. Our national drink until then had been ale, unhopped and sometimes flavoured with herbs such as wormwood. Brewers started to import dried Flemish hops but these contained so much extraneous matter that an Act of Parliament was passed in 1603 imposing penalties on merchants and brewers found dealing in hops adulterated with ‘leaves, stalks, powder, sand, straw and with loggetts of wood dross’. In those early days, the sole reason for using hops was to preserve the beer in good condition: the bittering effect was reluctantly accepted by Englishmen.
By the 17th century ale (i.e.: un-hopped beer) was no longer popular and beer was the established drink and by 1655 hop cultivation grew rapidly in fourteen counties. In a successful year, an acre of good hops could be more profitable than fifty acres of arable land, but some farmers would not grow hops due to the erratic yields caused by drought, wet periods and mildew. Duty was imposed in 1710 and the Act prohibited the use of any bettering agent other than hops in beer, as hops were far more wholesome. The duty varied from year to year and speculation on the tax became a popular form of betting.
Customers began to ask for a drink that was mixed from two or more casks. This was a slow process and in 1722 a new beer was brewed that was a combination of three beers. It was an immediate success and became known as ‘porter’ due to its popularity with London labourers and porters. This was the first beer that was ideal for mass production and massive investment was required. Immense profits could be made and porter brewing spread throughout the country. Paler beer was coming into fashion in 1750 with the middle class and to prevent fraud, a further Act was passed requiring the bags or ‘pockets’ in which the hops were packed to be stencilled with the year, place of growth and the grower’s name; a tradition that continues to this day.
By the 19th century, it was the golden age of the hop industry. Hop acreage continued to increase until 1878 when it reached its peak with 77,000 acres. Tastes changed and a decline in the demand for porter and a surging demand for a lighter beer known as Indian Ale or Pale Ale became fashion. Pasteurisation arrived in the late 1870s and fewer hops were needed as a preservative. Clean water became more available and this may have reduced demand for beer. There were only 32,000 acres of land growing hops by 1909 and a renewed import of foreign hops. This was due to breweries being contracted to brew foreign beers under licence, and thus being required to use the hops stipulated in the original recipe.
Twenty-three years later and acreage had fallen to 16,500. The producer-controlled Hops Marketing Board was created to control the flailing industry. The Board would negotiate a guaranteed price with the growers and the brewers would indicate their expected demand to the Board, resulting in allocated quotas to each grower. This brought stability and by 1968 acreage had slowly increased to 17,900 acres. However, in 1982 EEC rules led to its disbanding and the introduction of independent producer groups for the marketing of English hops.
The hop industry was soon to face further problems as Lager gained in popularity and fewer hops were required. In addition, the seeded hops produced in the UK were purported by competing countries to be of inferior quality. This has been disproved but the myth caused considerable damage to the British hop industry.
Formerly, hops were grown in almost every region of the UK but they are now confined largely to the West Midlands and South Eastern counties of England. Because a huge itinerant force of workers was needed to pick the crop by hand, production became concentrated near to the industrial areas of London, South Wales and the West Midlands where the working-class families were glad to be able to spend their annual holidays in the countryside.
Click on the link, to view a short film about families of hop workers in 1959 on holiday for the summer and working in the hop yards. Twentieth century advances in production and mechanical harvesting have eliminated the need for large numbers of seasonal workers.
In 1922 the first hop-picking machine to be used in this country was imported from America by a Worcester grower. Machine picking was not to become widely practiced until the late 1950s as the American machines were not suited to conditions in England and hand pickers were still available. However, when the change came, it was the West Midlands growers who led the way. The first British-made picking machine was produced in Martley in 1934 and the two main makes were manufactured in Suckley and Malvern.
Britain’s brewers in the 21st century require a comprehensive portfolio of hops ranging from the low alpha acids of around 4% to higher alphas nearer 20%, as well as being increasingly interested in the individual flavours of each hop variety. There will always be increasing interest in individual flavours of each hop variety and a need to develop economical hops that are more resistant to disease and requiring lower chemical inputs.
Horticulture Research International at Wye College in Kent joined with England’s hop growers in the 1980’s to anticipate this need and to develop the new category of hops called Hedgerows. These answer many of the above problems, as hedgerow hops only grow to 8 feet rather than the ‘traditional’ 20 feet, are cheaper to establish, can be harvested at speed by machine, require less chemical input and provide a wonderful playground for beneficial bugs and insects.
Today with almost no Government support, the development of new varieties continues apace. In 2007, when the Wye College hop development programme was closed down, the British Hop Association (formerly National Hop Association) created a subsidiary company called Wye Hops to continue driving the British Hop industry forward.
For other information on the history of hops and their development, take a look at The Brewing Society’s website.
Sol – Beer Through the Ages
Sol, also known as Sol Cerveza, is a Mexican-produced Lager that was created in 1899 in the city of Orizaba, Mexico, who were still celebrating their new independence as a country. When Napoleon III of France tried to invade Mexico in 1861 after wanting to take advantage and conquer the developing country, there was an influx of people coming over from Europe. And with them they brought over their recipes for their own style of beer they produced, which was Lager. Lager is defined as being fermented in low temperatures from the bottom up.
Sol was created in 1899 in the city of Orizaba, which is outside of Mexico City, in a small brewery called ‘El Salto Del Agua’ (The Waterfall). Orizaba is said to be the closest city to the highest point in Mexico, therefore the closest city in Mexico to the sun. The beer was made by a German brew master who used his knowledge of Lager recipes along with experimenting of different ingredients, to create what he called ‘El Sol’. He named it ‘El Sol’ (The sun) after a ray of sunlight shone through cracks in the brewery’s roof causing his freshly produced bottles to be illuminated by the sunlight. It was in the early 1900’s the brand decided to drop the ‘El’ in ‘El Sol’ and change it to ‘Sol’ like we see today. The brand also claimed they used only the closest waters to the sun to produce their beer, which added to the soon growing popularity of the beer. The sun was an influence on not only the name, but the way they marketed it as well. It soon on became a hit with the working-class people of the city who enjoyed having a cold beer or two after a hard day’s work. Later, towards the late 1980’s to early 1990’s the brand realized how popular the beer was with younger people and decided to relaunch and remarket their brand to include that age group and market. The main ingredients of Sol include water, malted barley, glucose syrup, and hop extract. The beer has a ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of 4.2 %, giving it a crisp light taste. Sol today has started being brewed and produced by solar energy, making use of the sun and using a renewable energy source instead of a non-renewable one. It is also said that the brand has been using special light resistant hops as ingredients, to protect and preserve the identifiable great flavour/taste. Sol is best served cold with a lime wedge in it and is perfect for a hot summer day.
The key milestone that got the ball rolling on production of beer such as Sol in Mexico, was Mexico gaining their independence as a country. They wanted to split from Spain and be on their own, so they decided to go to war with the Spanish Empire in order to do this. After 11 years of war and bloodshed, Mexico was finally able to gain their independence and separate from Spain. And with this allowed for them to have more freedom in what they were doing, such as beer brewing. With the influx of European brewers coming to Mexico, along with local brewers, the people of Mexico were able to brew freely without worry. It also gave people the ability to try to brew beer, who had no prior experience.
- Sol becomes a part of Heineken
Another milestone for the brand was when it became a part of another major beer brand, Heineken. Although it was said to be partnered with Heineken since about 2004, Sol didn’t become a part of Heineken’s global group of products until 2010, when Heineken purchased the Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma brewery where Sol is made in 2010. It is not said specifically why Heineken purchased Sol, but it is most likely to add to their wide portfolio of beers owned. And although Sol is now a part of Heineken, the beer is still mainly made and produced in Mexico to stay true to its roots.
- Sol now brewed using solar energy
Heineken announced in 2020 that all beer being made in the Zoeterwoude brewery in the Netherlands would be produced by solar energy. There were 9212 solar panels installed at the brewery in order to use a renewable source of energy, rather than wasting resources. The brand is claiming it is a new way for consumers to ‘taste the sun’ which is one of their slogans.
Brewing Science and Industrialisation
There is not much information on the brewing science and industrialisation of Sol, but Mexico’s beer brewing industry as a whole had gone through a decent amount of advancements. Mexico had no official or traditional style of brewing until immigrants coming from Europe had brought their own traditional forms of brewing from back home. Most of these immigrants spoke German and came from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. They brought recipes of their favourite beers which were forms of pale lagers, Vienna lagers and Bohemian pilsners. Which all became popular with local people as well. One of the biggest problems brewers faced was transportation of product. With limited transportation it forced brewers to produce beer for a specific and limited area. But once the construction of the major railways was complete in the mid to late 19th century, it allowed for brewers to be able to ship their beer further, faster and more efficiently. Other industrial and technological improvements such as the ice box for example, allowed for the beer to be refrigerated and enjoyed cold. The refrigeration of beer in Mexico was important as it is warm down there all year around, and very hot in the summer. Refrigeration prevented the beer from going bad faster, which meant they could keep it and store it longer or ship it even further than before.
Although some people argue Sol is a Pale Lager or Pilsner, it is strictly a Lager. Lagers are bottom fermenting beers which means the yeast used to ferment the beer sits at the bottom, unlike ales where the yeast sits at the top. These beers are produced and stored in much colder temperatures than ales. They are made with malt, barley, water, hops, and a specific yeast called Saccharomyce Pastorianus which works at a much slower rates with cooler temperatures. This results in a lighter and more crisp beer. Lager originated and was first produced in Northern Europe in the 1500s-1600s, and became popular with the rest of the world after people of Northern Europe had immigrated to other countries, taking their Lager recipes with them. The appearance of Lager can vary as they come in pale, amber, and dark colours. But they all have the same thing in common, they should be served and enjoyed cold.
WWI / WWII Era
Sol was not impacted and did not go through any changes or events during the time of the world wars, but Mexico as a whole did. Mexico was neutral during the first world war and was dealing with a revolution involving different areas within their own country. This did not impact the beer brewing industry there, as everything was still being produced the same way. In the second world war Mexico joined the fight with the allies and participated in the war, after Germany attacked some of their tankers. Mexico’s main and major contribution to the war was supplying a steady and large amount of materials used to make products needed for the people in the U.S and the soldiers overseas. During this time they also had to go through rationing and substituting of food and materials, which resulted in them producing lighter and lesser beers, just like the U.S and Canada were doing at the time. Overall, Mexico faced many of the same challenges as the U.S and Canada did within their country during this time, like examples such as rationing, substituting and taxing.
Sol was apart of a small independent brewery called “El Salto Del Agua” (The Waterfall) and was produced and distributed there until 1912 when it was purchased by Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma. Ceveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma was founded in 1890 and had already owned breweries across Mexico for a number of different beers. This allowed Sol to expand greatly and sell beer all across Mexico. It has been said that Sol has been apart of Heineken since 2004, but it wasn’t until 2010 that Heineken purchased Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, which included all their brands of beers, for $7.6 Billion. That is when Sol joined Heineken’s global group of products. Now, the brand is still owned by Heineken and is being sold globally, with the majority of Sol still being produced in Mexico.
Marketing and Branding
Since first being made, Sol has thought of drinking their beer as an opportunity to “taste the sun”. So in 2018, they ran with it and introduced the ‘Taste The Sun’ campaign in attempt to re-establish what the beer means, and to connect with more “sun-seeking” consumers. The brand refocused on trying to be the top sunshine beer on the market, beating competitors like Corona, Modelo, etc. Sunshine beers is a nickname for beers that are produced in warm countries, are easy drinking with a light to mid ABV, and come in a transparent bottle. This campaign is also a acknowledgement of the history of the brand and the name, all which stemmed from the sun. They wanted to provide consumers with a little more of a backstory of the beer. The main target audience for this campaign were casual and social beer drinkers of all age groups. Before the ‘Taste The Sun’ campaign, it seems Sol didn’t focus as much on their marketing strategies as there was little advertising or campaigns happening back then.
Sol has some forms of contemporary trends associated with the brand, and one of them is Neolocalism. Heineken, who owns Sol, kept the majority of production of Sol in Mexico to stay true to it’s Mexican roots. In addition, this helps the local people and communities by giving them more opportunities for employment and the ability to expand. Sol also has a form of technology and innovation associated with the brand. In 2020, Heineken announced that all Sol beer being produced in the Netherlands would be produced using renewable energy from solar power. This is all apart of the brand trying to reduce their carbon footprint, which they are continuing to do. All Sol beer produced by solar power will have a new tagline on the packaging stating it was ‘Brewed With Solar Energy’. There are not many contemporary trends associated with Sol, as it’s not an independent brand anymore, and is owned by Heineken that has many different contemporary trends of their own.
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- Heineken Buying Dos Equis, Tecate, And Sol For $7.6 Billion. (2010, January 11). Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/heineken-to-buy-mexicos-femsa-for-55b-in-shares-2010-1?international=true&r=US&IR=T
- McCarthy, J. (2018, November 1). Why Sol is dialing up the sun in global campaign for casual beer drinkers. The Drum. https://www.thedrum.com/news/2018/11/01/why-sol-dialing-up-the-sun-global-campaign-casual-beer-drinkers
- Sol Beer. (2018, November 1). Sol Beer | Facebook Timeline Hack. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4q4ZU5PEVM&t=9s
- Sol Beer. (2018a, November 1). Sol Beer | Brightness Hack (iPhone). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXFpwol7W5s&t=13s
- Gwynn, S. (2019, March 25). Sol aims for more focused marketing in new campaign celebrating the sun. CampaignLive. https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/sol-aims-focused-marketing-new-campaign-celebrating-sun/1497719
- Sol is now brewed using solar energy – Drinks Retailing News – The Voice of Drinks Retailing. (n.d.). Drinksretailingnews. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://drinksretailingnews.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/20107/Sol_is_now_brewed_using_solar_energy_.html#:%7E:text=Sol%20has%20announced%20that%20it,renewable%20energy%20from%20solar%20power.
- Wikipedia contributors. (2021, February 19). Mexico in World War I. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico_in_World_War_I#:%7E:text=Mexico%20was%20a%20neutral%20country,the%20presidency%20earlier%20that%20year.
History of Beer – BeerTourism.com
Beer is one of mankind’s oldest beverages. When cereals were first grown for food, thousands of years ago, a fortunate by-product was discovered. When these tasty grains got wet, they would ferment. This process of fermentation had the ability to transform water into a very palatable drink and so the first beer had been discovered.
Nowadays we know for a fact that this transformation is not some dark magic but is caused by the presence of wild yeasts in the air.
Although Belgium is, without doubt, the world’s beer capital, the great drink was not invented in Belgium.
Clay tablets indicate that brewing was a well-respected occupation in what is now Iran more than 7,000 years ago, but it’s thought that beer was already known to the Sumerians and Babylonians some 3,000 years before that. Back then most brewers were even women. Learn all about brewing beer on our Brewing Process page.
The Early Days
One of the first discoveries of the early brewing industry was that using one container for all your fermentations produced a much more reliable result. The earliest chemically confirmed barley beer dates from between 3500 and 3100 BC and was discovered at Godin Tepe in the Central Zagros Mountains of Iran.
Tablets discovered in Syria dating back to 2500 BC indicate that the city of Elba produced a range of beers. It was quite common for female brewers to double up as priestesses and some beers were specially brewed for religious ceremonies.
Beer was very important in Ancient Egypt and its manufacture was strictly controlled; beer had a privileged role and was used as an offering to the gods. It was also prescribed to treat various illnesses.
There is historical evidence that the Egyptians taught the Greeks how to make beer and it was very popular in both Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome until wine took over as the favoured drink.
One of the reasons for the popularity of alcoholic drinks was the uncertain quality of the water supply. Although people didn’t understand the science, there was a clear indication that drinking water increased the likelihood of contracting diseases like cholera. Sophocles, writing in 450 BC, said that he believed the best diet for the Greeks was: bread, meat, vegetables and beer, but that beer should be drunk in moderation.
The Ancient Greek historian Polybius describes how the Phoenicians made barley wine that they kept in large silver and golden vases known as ‘kraters’.
In time beer moved north and west across Europe and by 2,000 years ago brewing was a popular cottage industry in Belgium.
Around the same time the Gaul’s hit on the idea of replacing pottery jars with wooden barrels as brewing and storing vessels. Following the demise of the Roman Empire the church started to step into the void, becoming major land-owners, and as monasteries were established, breweries were set up in every abbey.
Beer & Christianity
It may be a surprise, but the coming of Christianity saw a tremendous increase in the brewing of beer, largely because monks played such a role in its production. People lived in closed communities, often with a very dubious water supply, and there was a constant risk of illnesses.
The time-honoured exhortation not to drink the water was in fact very sound advice, so beer was drunk instead and in very large quantities. Monks lived pretty frugal lives, particularly during fasting periods, but fortunately for them, consuming liquids did not break their fast.
Saint Benedict, who lived from 480 to 547, is credited as being the father of Western monasticism. His Benedictine rules defined the standards for life in a monastery and were followed widely throughout Europe.
One rule was that monks should provide travellers- with something to eat and drink.
As a result, during the Middle Ages, monasteries everywhere became stopping off places for travellers, who shared the monks’ often meagre food and particularly their robust and sustaining beers. In some parts of West Flanders a glass of beer is still referred to as “gloazen stutjes” (literally translated as “a sandwich in a glass”).
The practice evolved and the monks eventually began to sell the beer in what were rather like medieval pubs – perhaps you should raise a little prayer next time you’re enjoying a beer in your local bar.
In addition to the monastic brewing of beer it was also brewed on a domestic scale.
This was particularly true in Britain after Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church and closed most of the country’s monasteries. Today brewing is more of a science than an art, but this was not always the case. For centuries brewers invoked the names of their patron saints to ensure that their brew was good. Often the beer failed to live up to such heavenly standards and a scapegoat had to be found.
Sometimes it was blamed on evil spirits and specifically on “brew witches” or “beer witches”. The last known burning of a beer witch was in the late 1500s.
To add kudos to their product and to create brand loyalty, monasteries often used the name of their respective patron saint and even today, many beers still bear the name of a saint.
Until the 10th Century, when the Vatican stepped in and took control of the process, a saint could be almost anyone. Some of them were legendary, while some were quite frankly fictitious.
As a result there are a large number of Christian saints who became patrons of brewing and brewers.
The basic way to make beer is to boil malted barley with water and let it ferment. Sometimes natural yeasts found floating in the air did the vital work but generally yeast was deliberately added to help things along. The resulting mix was usually flavoured with mixtures of various herbs.
One of the problems of early brewing was that beer didn’t keep well; it soon spoiled, so couldn’t be exported or even travel from town to town. This could be overcome to a certain degree by increasing the alcohol content, but that was expensive.
In the 9th Century it was discovered that beer could be flavoured with hops, but it was difficult to get the recipe right and it took until the 13th Century to fully perfect the process.
Once the Germans had broken through this barrier they discovered that hopped beer lasted longer, introduced standard barrel sizes started the export trade in beer. These technological leaps meant beer was no longer a small scale cottage industry. Up to 10 skilled and specialist artisans were needed to run a German brewery. By the 14th Century this type of operation had spread through Holland and on to Flanders and Brabant. At this time Brabant was under German control, so the use of hops was a mandatory requirement in the brewing of beer to ensure the purity was up to the required standard.
In 1516 the Duke of Bavaria, William IV, introduced the Reinheitsgebot, or purity law. This was perhaps the first European food regulation and heavily restricted the ingredients of beer to water, barley, hops and nothing else.
Yeast was only added to the list in 1857 after the French Louis Pasteur discovered the germ theory of fermentation. The Reinheitsgebot was a legal requirement for the next 471 years and was added to the German Statute Book after German unification in 1871.
It was only finally repealed in 1987. Although hops were becoming increasingly popular and were insisted on by German brewers. There was actually quite a degree of resistance to using them, especially among religious groups. The French tradition used herbs such as coriander and liquorice, spices such as ginger and fruits such as cherries and raspberries to flavour their brews.
Many monastic brewers in Belgium continued with this practice because they regarded hops as the “fruit of the devil”.
Beer arrived in Europe around 5000 BC. Across Northern Europe you find what could be called the “Beer Belt” which stretches from Ireland in the west, through the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Northern France, Germany and Czechoslovakia into Eastern Europe and Russia.
A fairly moderate climate and soils that are particularly favourable for the growing of cereals, coupled with countless sources of underground water, makes this an ideal region for beer production.
The fact that these mineral water sources all have their own distinctive character and taste has led to the development of an enormous range of different beers throughout Europe. For instance, Dublin has very hard water and this is particularly good for making stout, like Guinness.
Pilsen in the Czech Republic has very soft water, ideal for making pale lager, universally known on the Continent as Pils. The waters of England’s Burton on Trent are rich in gypsum, making them ideal for the brewing of pale ale. In addition, some regions are particularly rich in air-born wild yeasts and these have been used from earliest times to produce beers from spontaneous fermentation. The oldest commercial brewery still in operation is at the Weihenstephan Abbey in Bavaria, where brewing rights were granted by the neighbouring town of Freising in 1040.
By the end of the Middle Ages beer had become one of the most common European drinks and it was consumed daily by every social class in the northern and eastern parts of Europe where grape cultivation was difficult or impossible.
Much modern beer production is now dominated by a handful of multinational companies, but in the countries of the “Beer Belt” there are still many thousands of smaller producers.
In Belgium heavy taxes on French wine gave a great impetus to beer drinking (nowadays it’s the other way round). As a result, a hundred years ago there more than 3,000 commercial beer makers in the country.
Set-up costs were fairly low, but transport was expensive, so many small local producers flourished as still are, exporting their beers around the globe.
Beer in the Ancient World
The intoxicant known in English as `beer’ takes its name from the Latin `bibere’ (by way of the German `bier’) meaning `to drink’ and the Spanish word for beer, cerveza’ comes from the Latin word `cerevisia’ for `of beer’, giving some indication of the long span human beings have been enjoying the drink.
Even so, beer brewing did not originate with the Romans but began thousands of years earlier. The Chinese brewed a type of beer but the product which became the most popular is credited to the Sumerians of Mesopotamia and most likely began over 10,000 years ago. The site known as Godin Tepe (in modern-day Iran) has provided evidence of beer brewing c. 3500 while sites excavated in Sumer suggest an even earlier date based on ceramics considered the remains of beer jugs and residue found in other ancient containers. Even so, the date of c. 4000 BCE is usually given for the creation of beer.
The craft of beer brewing traveled to Egypt through trade and the Egyptians improved upon the original process, creating a lighter product that enjoyed great popularity. Although beer was known afterwards to the Greeks and Romans, it never gained the same kind of following as those cultures preferred wine and thought of beer as a “barbarian” drink. One of the many peoples they regarded as “barbarians” – the Germans – perfected the art of brewing and created what is recognized today as beer.
First Beer Brewing
The first beer in the world was brewed by the ancient Chinese around the year 7000 BCE (known as kui). In the west, however, the process now recognized as beer brewing began in Mesopotamia at the Godin Tepe settlement now in modern-day Iran between 3500 – 3100 BCE. Evidence of beer manufacture has been confirmed between these dates but it is probable that the brewing of beer in Sumer (southern Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq) was in practice much earlier.
Some evidence has been interpreted, however, which sets the date of beer brewing at Godin Tepe as early as 10,000 BCE when agriculture first developed in the region. While some scholars have contended that beer was discovered accidentally through grains used for bread-making which fermented, others claim that it preceded bread as a staple and that it was developed intentionally as an intoxicant. The scholar Max Nelson writes:
Fruits often naturally ferment through the actions of wild yeast and the resultant alcoholic mixtures are often sought out and enjoyed by animals. Pre-agricultural humans in various areas from the Neolithic Period on surely similarly sought out such fermenting fruits and probably even collected wild fruits in the hopes that they would have an interesting physical effect (that is, be intoxicating) if left in the open air. (9)
This theory of the intentional brewing of intoxicants, whether beer, wine, or other drink, is supported by the historical record which strongly suggests that human beings, after taking care of their immediate needs of food, shelter, and rudimentary laws, will then pursue the creation of some type of intoxicant. Although beer as it is recognized in the modern day was developed in Europe (specifically in Germany), the brew was first enjoyed in ancient Mesopotamia.
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Mesopotamian Beer Rations Tablet
Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin (CC BY-NC-SA)
Beer in Mesopotamia
The people of ancient Mesopotamia enjoyed beer so much that it was a daily dietary staple. Paintings, poems, and myths depict both human beings and their gods enjoying beer which was consumed through a straw to filter out pieces of bread or herbs in the drink. The brew was thick, of the consistency of modern-day porridge, and the straw was invented by the Sumerians or the Babylonians, it is thought, specifically for the purpose of drinking beer.
The famous poem Inanna and the God of Wisdom describes the two deities drinking beer together and the god of wisdom, Enki, becoming so drunk he gives away the sacred meh (laws of civilization) to Inanna (thought to symbolize the transfer of power from Eridu, the city of Enki, to Uruk, the city of Inanna). The Sumerian poem Hymn to Ninkasi is both a song of praise to the goddess of beer, Ninkasi, and a recipe for beer, first written down around 1800 BCE.
In the Sumerian/Babylonian The Epic of Gilgamesh, the hero Enkidu becomes civilized through the ministrations of the temple harlot Shamhat who, among other things, teaches him to drink beer. Later in the story, the barmaid Siduri counsels Gilgamesh to give up his quest for the meaning of life and simply enjoy what it has to offer, including beer.
The Sumerians had many different words for beer from sikaru to dida to ebir (which meant `beer mug’) and regarded the drink as a gift from the gods to promote human happiness and well being. The original brewers were women, the priestesses of Ninkasi, and women brewed beer regularly in the home as part of their preparation of meals. Beer was made from bippar (twice-baked barley bread) which was then fermented and beer brewing was always associated with baking. The famous Alulu beer receipt from the city of Ur in 2050 BCE, however, shows that beer brewing had become commercialized by that time. The tablet acknowledges receipt of 5 Silas of `the best beer’ from the brewer Alulu (five Silas being approximately four and a half litres).
Under Babylonian rule, Mesopotamian beer production increased dramatically, became more commercialized, and laws were instituted concerning it as paragraphs 108-110 of the Code of Hammurabi make clear:
If a tavern-keeper (feminine) does not accept grain according to gross weight in payment of drink, but takes money, and the price of the drink is less than that of the grain, she shall be convicted and thrown into the water.
If conspirators meet in the house of a tavern-keeper, and these conspirators are not captured and delivered to the court, the tavern-keeper shall be put to death.
If a “sister of a god” open a tavern, or enter a tavern to drink, then shall this woman be burned to death.
Law 108 had to do with those tavern keepers who poured `short measures’ of beer in return for cash instead of grain (which could be weighed and held to a measure) to cheat their customers; they would be drowned if caught doing so. Beer was commonly used in barter, not for cash sale, and a daily ration of beer was provided for all citizens; the amount received depended on one’s social status.
The second law concerns tavern keepers encouraging treason by allowing malcontents to gather in their establishment and the third law cited concerns women who were consecrated to, or were priestesses of, a certain deity opening a common drinking house or drinking in an already established tavern. The Babylonians had nothing against a priestess drinking beer (as, with the Sumerians, beer was considered a gift from the gods) but objected to one doing so in the same way as common women would.
The Babylonians brewed many different kinds of beer and classified them into twenty categories which recorded their various characteristics. Beer became a regular commodity in foreign trade, especially with Egypt, where it was very popular.
Beer in Ancient Egypt
The Egyptian goddess of beer was Tenenit (closely associated Meskhenet, goddess of childbirth and protector of the birthing house) whose name derives from tenemu, one of the Egyptian words for beer. The most popular beer in Egypt was Heqet (or Hecht) which was a honey-flavored brew and their word for beer in general was zytum. The workers at the Giza plateau received beer rations three times a day and beer was often used throughout Egypt as compensation for labor.
The Egyptians believed that brewing was taught to human beings by the great god Osiris himself and in this, and other regards, they viewed beer in much the same way as the Mesopotamians did. As in Mesopotamia, women were the chief brewers at first and brewed in their homes, the beer initially had the same thick, porridge-like consistency, and was brewed in much the same way. Later, men took over the business of brewing and miniature carved figures found in the tomb of Meketre (Prime Minister to the pharaoh Mentuhotep II, 2050-2000 BCE) show an ancient brewery at work. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, describing the diorama, “The overseer with a baton sits inside the door. In the brewery two women grind flour, which another man works into dough. After a second man treads the dough into mash in a tall vat, it is put into tall crocks to ferment. After fermentation, it is poured off into round jugs with black clay stoppers” (1).
Ancient Egyptian Brewery and Bakery
Keith Schengili-Roberts (CC BY-SA)
Beer played an integral role in the very popular myth of the birth of the goddess Hathor. According to the tale (which forms part of the text of the Book of the Heavenly Cow – a version of the Great Flood myth which pre-dates the biblical tale of the Flood in the biblical book of Genesis) the god Ra, incensed at the evil and ingratitude of humanity who have rebelled against him, sends Hathor to earth to destroy his creation. Hathor sets to work and falls into an intense blood lust as she slaughters humanity, transforming herself into the goddess Sekhmet. Ra is at first pleased but then repents of his decision as Sekhmet’s blood lust grows with the destruction of every town and city. He has a great quantity of beer dyed red and dropped at the city of Dendera where Sekhmet, thinking it is a huge pool of blood, stops her rampage to drink. She gets drunk, falls asleep, and wakes again as the goddess Hathor, the benevolent deity of, among other things, music, laughter, the sky and, especially, gratitude.
The association between gratitude, Hathor and beer, is highlighted by an inscription from 2200 BCE found at Dendera, Hathor’s cult center: “The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer.” Beer was enjoyed so regularly among the Egyptians that Queen Cleopatra VII (c.69-30 BCE) lost popularity toward the end of her reign more for implementing a tax on beer (the first ever) than for her wars with Rome which the beer tax went to help pay for (although she claimed the tax was to deter public drunkeness). As beer was often prescribed for medicinal purposes (there were over 100 remedies using beer) the tax was considered unjust.
Beer in Ancient Greece and Rome
Beer brewing traveled from Egypt to Greece (as we know from the Greek word for beer, zythos from the Egyptian zytum) but did not find the same receptive climate there. The Greeks favored strong wine over beer, as did the Romans after them, and both cultures considered beer a low-class drink of barbarians. The Greek general and writer Xenophon, in Book IV of his Anabasis, writes:
There were stores within of wheat and barley and vegetables, and wine made from barley in great big bowls; the grains of barley malt lay floating in the beverage up to the lip of the vessel, and reeds lay in them, some longer, some shorter, without joints; when you were thirsty you must take one of these into your mouth, and suck. The beverage without admixture of water was very strong, and of a delicious flavour to certain palates, but the taste must be acquired. (26-27)
Clearly, beer was not to Xenophon’s taste; nor was it any more popular with his countrymen. The playwright Sophocles, among others, also refers to beer somewhat unfavorably and recommends moderation in its use. The Roman historian, Tacitus, writing of the Germans, says, “To drink, the Teutons have a horrible brew fermented from barley or wheat, a brew which has only a very far removed similarity to wine” and the Emperor Julian composed a poem claiming the scent of wine was of nectar while the smell of beer was that of a goat.
Even so, the Romans were brewing beer (cerevisia) quite early as evidenced by the tomb of a beer brewer and merchant (a Cerveserius) in ancient Treveris (modern day Trier). Excavations of the Roman military encampment on the Danube, Castra Regina (modern day Regensburg) have unearthed evidence of beer brewing on a significant scale shortly after the community was built in 179 CE by Marcus Aurelius.
Still, beer was not as popular as wine among the Celts and this attitude was encouraged by the Romans who had favored wine all along. The Celtic tribes paid enormous sums for wine provided by Italian merchants and the people of Gaul were famous for their love of Italian wines. Beer brewing continued to develop, however, in spite of the views of the elite that it was a low-class drink suitable only to barbarians and developed throughout Europe beginning in Germany.
Beer in Northern Europe
The Germans were brewing beer (which they called ol, for `ale’) as early as 800 BCE as is known from great quantities of beer jugs, still containing evidence of the beer, in a tomb in the Village of Kasendorf in northern Bavaria, near Kulmbach. That the practice continued into the Christian era is evidenced by further archaeological finds and the written record. Early on, as it had been in Mesopotamia and Egypt, the craft of the brewer was the provenance of women and the Hausfrau brewed her beer in the home to supplement the daily meals.
In time, however, the craft was taken over by Christian monks, primarily, and brewing became an integral part of the Monastic life. The Kulmbacher Monchshof Kloster, a monastery founded in 1349 CE in Kulmbach, still produces their famous Schwartzbier, among other brews, today. In 1516 CE the German Reinheitsgebot (purity law) was instituted which regulated the ingredients which could legally be used in brewing beer (only water, barley, hops and, later, yeast) and, in so doing, continued the practice of legislation concerning beer which the Babylonians under Hammurabi had done some three thousand years earlier. The Germans, like those who preceeded them, also instituted a daily beer ration and considered beer a necessary staple of their diet.
From the Celtic lands (Germany through Britain, though which country brewed first is disputed) beer brewing spread, always following the same basic principles first instituted by the Sumerians: female brewers making beer in the home, use of fresh, hot water and fermented grains. The Finnish Saga of Kalewala (first written down in the 17th century CE from much older, pre-Christian, tales and consolidated in its present form in the 19th century) sings of the creation of beer at length, devoting more lines to the creation of beer than the creation of the world.
The female brewer, Osmata, trying to make a great beer for a wedding feast, discovers the use of hops in brewing with the help of a bee she sends to gather the magical plant. The poem expresses an admiration for the effects of beer which any modern-day drinker would recognize:
Great indeed the reputation
Of the ancient beer of Kalew,
Said to make the feeble hardy,
Famed to dry the tears of women,
Famed to cheer the broken-hearted,
Make the aged young and supple,
Make the timid brave and mighty,
Make the brave men ever braver,
Fill the heart with joy and gladness,
Fill the mind with wisdom-sayings,
Fill the tongue with ancient legends,
Only makes the fool more foolish.
In the Finnish saga, as in the writings of the ancient Sumerians, beer was considered a magical brew from the gods endowing the drinker with health, peace of mind and happiness. This idea was cleverly phrased by the poet A.E. Houseman when he wrote, “Malt does more than Milton can to justify God’s ways to man” (a reference to the English poet John Milton and his `Paradise Lost’). From ancient Sumeria to the present day, Houseman’s claim would go undisputed among those who have enjoyed the drink of the gods.
This article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication.
The history of the emergence of beer | Beer Facts
The history of beer in the world goes back several millennia. The first mentions of it date back to the early Neolithic era. Already 6,000 years ago, people used technologies to turn bread into a fragrant drink.
When you go to the brasserie and enjoy a beer, remember that you are drinking the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world. The history of the origin of beer began before our era, and the laurels of the inventors of the foam belong to the Sumerians.Their cuneiform, discovered by E. Huber in Mesopotamia, contained about 15 recipes for this drink. Residents of Mesopotamia used spelled (spelled) to make beer. It was ground with barley, poured with water, herbs were added and left to ferment. On the basis of the resulting wort, a drink was made.
The next milestone in the history of the emergence of beer was the Babylonian civilization. It was the Babylonians who figured out how to improve the drink. They germinated the grain and then dried it to produce malt. Beer on grain and malt was stored for no more than a day.In order to make the drink more aromatic, spices, oak bark, tree leaves, and honey were added to it. Gradually, beer spread to Ancient Egypt, Persia, India, and the Caucasus. But in ancient Greece, it was not popular, since it was considered a drink of the poor.
The history of the creation of beer developed from the beginning of the Middle Ages. This period is considered the period of the rebirth of beer. It is believed that it happened in Germany. The German name Bier comes from the Old Germanic Peor or Bror.From here Ale (ale) came to English.
It was in the Middle Ages that hops were added to the drink. With its appearance, the taste of beer has improved, and its shelf life has become longer. Now it could be transported, and it became an item of trade. Hundreds of recipes and varieties of beer have emerged. Some scientists believe that the Slavs were the ancestor of hop cultivation, because in Russia already in the 9th century beer brewing was widespread.
The 19th century was marked by another breakthrough in the history of beer.Louis Pasteur first discovered the relationship between fermentation and yeast cells. He published the results of his research in 1876, and 5 years later, in 1881, the Danish scientist Emil Christian Hansen obtained a pure culture of brewer’s yeast, which was the impetus for industrial brewing.
Beer – the history of the creation of one of the oldest drinks
Beer is the oldest alcoholic beverage known today. The first traces of its production were found in the Rakefet cave in the territory of modern Israel.Already 13 thousand years ago, this drink was prepared here. There is a theory that man began to grow crops not for the production of bread, but for the sake of beer.
The first evidence of industrial production of the drink dates back to the 7th millennium BC. Clay tablets found in Mesopotamia by archaeologists depict a brewing vat and brewers. Of course, the Sumerians did not use modern recipes, but brewed a drink from barley and spelled with the addition of various spices.
The ancient Babylonians first mentioned beer in laws, and in rather harsh ones. Four thousand years ago, the owner of the establishment was punished with the death penalty for the poor quality of the drink. In ancient Egypt, the intoxicated drink was highly respected. Not only barley, but also wheat beer was brewed here, the recipe of which is attributed to the god Osiris. In total, the Egyptians knew about 20 recipes, and the drink was included in the mandatory diet of warriors and pyramid builders.
In Ancient Greece, they loved beer, they brewed it from barley and wheat, but the Romans considered the drink to be “the drink of the barbarians”.Ancient Roman historians describe that beer was brewed by the Celts and Germans, as well as other European tribes who fought the legions.
Beer in the Middle Ages
Beer has been brewed in Northern Europe since ancient times. The Varangians called the drink Odin’s braga, and the peculiarity of its recipe was the addition of coniferous needles. The resulting infusion contained a large amount of vitamin C and saved from many diseases. The Varangians loved feasts and drank beer in large quantities.The art of drinking more than your feast neighbor was valued on a par with military prowess.
Monasteries of Germany and Flanders became the main centers of beer production in the Middle Ages in continental Europe. The monks have developed hundreds of recipes, and many of them are still considered the best. It is not for nothing that on the labels of popular brands today you can often meet a monk with a mug of a foamy drink. The first mention of brewing in monasteries dates back to the 8th century. Beer was drunk not only by monks, but also by nuns, the drink was given to children.This was due to the fact that drinking water was unsafe – it was often contaminated, and boiling was not practiced in the dark times of the Middle Ages.
By the XIV-XV centuries, brewing had become a profitable business, for example, in Hamburg alone there were 600 enterprises that produced a foamy drink from grain. The German brewers chose King Gambrinus as their patron. Its prototype was Duke Primus, who won the competition for the title of Master of the Brewers’ Guild in Brussels. It was supposed to be the one who would carry the barrel of beer across the main square of the city.Many strong men could not afford it, but the duke drank the barrel and transferred the empty container. Whether this is a fiction or a reality is not known for certain, but Duke Primus was a historical character and was famous for numerous victories in knightly tournaments.
Brewing in England
The culture of drinking beer in Foggy Albion existed even before the Norman conquest. Historians are aware of the existence of a decree issued in the 7th century by one of the rulers of Kent.It requires a ban on the widespread consumption of beer. Despite this, ale continued to be brewed everywhere, actively using honey and heather in production technology. The British began to add hops to beer in the 15th century; the supply of this raw material was carried out from Holland.
Ale in England was loved not only by commoners, but also by monarchs. The amber drink was very popular among Henry VIII, Elizabeth I. The British already in the 16th century poured beer into bottles, and with the beginning of the industrial revolution this process was completely mechanized.
The history of beer in Russia
Beer was always drunk at princely feasts in the days of Ancient Rus. It was boiled from wild honey, which was extracted by bee keepers. Such raw materials were in short supply, so the peasants began to add hops to the beer to add flavor. In the Middle Ages, before the holidays in villages and cities, breweries were specially built on small rivers and streams, in which a large amount of beer was brewed for a feast.
Among the Russian tsars and emperors, Peter I, who was an admirer of the amber drink brewed according to Dutch recipes, was distinguished by a special love for beer.English porter and ale were brewed in Russia under Elizabeth I, who loved these varieties. Under Catherine II, the first brewery was built, and from the middle of the 19th century, these enterprises began to be built throughout the country.
A rather simple production technology and the availability of raw materials play an important role in the wide distribution of beer. The process of creating an amber drink begins with the preparation of malt. Sprouted grain is mashed and mixed with water.After adding the hops, the wort is boiled for 1-2 hours. After cooling, the wort is poured into a fermentation tank, and the fermentation process begins. In the final stages, the beer is filtered and bottled.
The rapid development of technology, the creation of special strains of yeast for brewing, marked the end of the era of home brewing. An affordable drink can be bought at any store. However, all brewing companies in an era of competition strive to make their products universal, satisfying the average taste.Such tendencies were not to the taste of all beer lovers. This led to the rapid development of craft brewing in the early 21st century.
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BUD (“Bad”) is the leading beer brand in the world and the only one that is included in the top hundred of the world’s best brands. Every second on Earth in 80 countries, on 5 continents, 1 barrel (~ 120 l) of this beer is sold. With its world-renowned unique combination of taste and freshness, BUD is called Kingof beers.
Excellent aromatic hops, the best malt from selected barley, specially prepared polished rice, unique yeast cultures and the purest water – five impeccable ingredients of the outstanding BUD beer. During the production process, BUD is aged on beech chips for a long time, which creates the perfect combination of BUD taste and freshness.
BUD is more than just great beer. It is a cult brand for several generations of successful, free-spirited people who are united by a desire for the best.These are values that are understandable and close to millions of optimists around the world.
Over the years, BUD has supported leading sports events that bring people together around the world. BUD is the official beer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the official international beer of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the official sponsor of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the sponsor of NASCAR teams, professional leagues NHL, NFL and others.
In 1876, the first batch of BUD beer was produced at a small brewery in St. Louis, USA.Adolph Busch, the creator of this beer, invented a truly new taste and started the history of the legendary BUD beer. Back then, no one could have imagined that BUD would become the most popular in the world.
In 1881, BUD beer became the first beer to be brewed using artificial cooling technology, which was a real breakthrough in the brewing industry.
In 1919, BUD non-alcoholic beer was released for the first time during Prohibition. And when Prohibition was repealed in 1932, the brewers sent a bottle of BUD beer as a gift to the president.
Since 1936, BUD has been produced in a tin can.
By 1957, BUD beer production exceeded a million barrels, and in 1988 this figure increased to 50 million barrels.
In 2001, BUD wins Grand Prix at the 48th Annual Cannes International Advertising Festival for the “Whassup!”
In 2010, BUD was successfully launched in Russia.
The quality and taste of beer in Russia may change
Requirements for the quality of beer in Russia may change – such a conclusion can be made by reviewing the draft technical regulations for the safety of alcoholic beverages published on the website of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).The Russian law on the regulation of the alcohol market makes it possible to replace no more than 20% of malt with grain and sugar-containing products, and the new technical regulation – 50%. The permissible weight of sugar-containing products increases from 2 to 5%. The project has already been approved by the board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), on December 5, the regulations will be considered by the commission’s council, the EEC representative said. It is highly likely that the regulations will be adopted in this form, say two people familiar with the discussion of the document.
These requirements will become mandatory for all members of the EAEU – that is, not only Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia, but also Russia. On the part of Russia, the Ministry of Finance is responsible for the development of the new regulation, the representative of the EEC noted. “The Ministry of Finance gave a comment on this item of the document,” a representative of the ministry replied to a question about beer, but did not say what the comment was. The ministry understands the idea of changing the composition of beer as an attempt to reduce its quality and does not support it, explains a person familiar with the position of the Ministry of Finance.
Changing technical regulations plays into the hands of transnational brewing companies – they can achieve significant savings in production, say two people familiar with the discussion of the new regulation. Transnational companies took part in the discussion of what should be the malt content in beer and supported the proposal to reduce the rate, representatives of Baltika (part of the Carlsberg Group), Heineken, AB InBev Efes (their total share in the Russian market is about 70%) said.The main substitutes for barley malt, rice and corn, are often cheaper than it, the director of Sovecon, Andrey Sizov, knows.
Large brewers do not associate the new technical regulations with production savings or a decrease in the quality of beer. Some of the unmalted materials – fruit extracts, juices, berries, special grains – are more expensive than malt, Baltika representative Alexei Kedrin assures. Brewers will become more flexible and creative in matters of recipe, will be able to expand their assortment and offer a wider palette of tastes and types of beer, Oraz Durdyev, a representative of AB InBev Efes, is happy for consumers.He is supported by Kirill Bolmatov, a representative of Heineken: a higher rice content will make it possible to create beer close to Asian varieties, and corn – to American varieties.
The retail price of beer will not change, Durdyev believes. The content of at least 80% of the malted material in beer is an excessive restriction, no European country with a developed beer culture has such restrictions, Kedrin emphasizes. It is unfair, Durdyev complains, that world-wide beers like Hoegaarden or Miller are called beer drinks in Russia due to excessive restrictions.There are brewers who produce 100% malt beer, and there are those who still use only 50-60% malt, says Andrey Kichigin, executive director of Avangard-agro (the largest malt producer in Russia). The product of the latter will be called beer, not a beer drink; this will not affect the business of malt producers, he assures.
Roskachestvo made claims to the quality of beer and raw materials in Russia: 5 out of 40 brands had a reduced concentration of total nitrogen, which may indicate a reduced content or low quality of malt.Baltika commented on these conclusions as follows: there is no such indicator in the GOST mandatory for brewers, Roskachestvo itself linked it with the quality of the drink.
It is still impossible to monitor the quality of beer – there are no methods for controlling the quantitative content of malt, unmalted raw materials, sugar-containing products, complains a representative of Roskachestvo.
The new technical regulation changes the approach not only to beer. It introduces new types of alcohol into circulation, which do not currently exist in Russian legislation: aperitif, original alcoholic drinks, vodka with a protected designation of origin, etc.Cider, Poiret and mead are classified by the technical regulations as low-alcohol fermented beverages – but there is no such concept in Russian legislation either, says Alexei Nebolsin, a member of the Opora Rossii presidium. There are also flavored and fruit ciders that can be produced from any fruit raw material, using flavoring additives, although the cider recipe assumes the content of at least 85% of the raw material from apples.
Russian cider producers have privileges, reminds Nebolsin: production is not licensed, a simplified accounting procedure for production and turnover is used.Changes in the technical regulations can be taken advantage of by unscrupulous producers of low-alcohol cocktails, he worries: wishing to save on paying excise taxes, they will produce pseudohydrates using dyes, additives and alcohol. The technical regulations allow the use of flavors in beer drinks, and this will make it difficult for the state to fight low-alcohol drinks (gin-tonic, rum-cola, etc.), which are sold under the guise of beer drinks.
How the Russian legislation will change if the technical regulation is adopted, the representative of the Ministry of Finance did not answer.The EAEU norms prevail over the norms in force in the EAEU member states, recalls Ilya Rachkov, partner of the law firm Nektorov, Savelyev and Partners: Russian legislation should change in accordance with the new technical regulations, and if the country did not manage to change the laws, then it must switch to international standards after the transition period.
The transition period is two years, according to the draft regulation.
Homeland of beer
With a greater degree of confidence, scientists – historians, give their preferences in the issue of the primacy of the origin of beer Ancient Egypt , whose lands, respectively, are recognized as the birthplace of beer on the planet.The god of beer in Ancient Egypt was the god Osiris, who is still, in those places, revered as the patron saint and godfather of beer, the literal translation of the Egyptian name of which sounds like “liquid bread”. The entire Egyptian nobility respected beer very much, as evidenced by numerous archaeological finds, including an ancient brewery, with Queen Nefertiti (15th-14th century BC) depicted on the original wall panel pouring beer through a strainer.
Despite this, the lower classes did not remain without beer either.According to one of the legends, every day, every builder of the Egyptian pyramids, received a ration, which included: three loaves of bread, bunches of onions and garlic, and most importantly – three jugs of beer.
The god Indra was considered the patron saint of beer in Ancient India . In one of the legends, he forgot a pot of barley on the street. Meanwhile, the rain and the sun did their job, and the god, who found the foamy liquid in the pot, proceeding from the fact that nature would not offer anything bad, decided to try it. After enjoying the drink, he put several pots out the door at once and drank one every morning.Other gods, noticing this, decided to secretly try the drink, of course, after the test they were satisfied. The gods told the recipe for beer in a dream to one peasant, for his generous gifts. This is how beer appeared in India!
Germany is the birthplace of modern beer in Europe. From the old Germanic name of the drink Peor or Bior, the modern Bier and the English Beer are derived. In modern languages, one of the names of the ancient Germanic beer has also been preserved, which then sounded like Alu or Alo and now the English call it Ale, and we call it El.
In Russia, beer has been popular and widespread since the 9th century, according to archaeological data in Novgorod, barley drink was prepared in every family.
Since then, the world of beer has undergone significant changes. The ancient beer did not have such an additive as hops, which gives modern beer a bitter taste and improves its taste. Before the advent of hops, a variety of herbs and spices were used. But it was the hops themselves, and then the isolated yeast culture, that revolutionized brewing.
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Beer labeling: rules, conditions for mandatory labeling 2020 – 2021
The Russian government approved an experiment on beer labeling from April 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022.
The corresponding government decree was published on the official Internet portal of legal information.
The main goal of the project is consumer protection.
Project parameters, technical features, timing will be discussed with industry representatives, regulators, retailers, the operator of the “Honest sign” system, as well as other interested organizations.
In each product group that is offered for labeling, an experiment is necessarily carried out. Its goal is to test business processes and develop the most optimal solutions for both manufacturers and other participants in the distribution chain.
Which beer drinks need to be labeled from 2020?
Beer, beer drinks and low alcohol drinks not labeled with federal special and excise stamps (fermented drinks) is a category of alcoholic beverages, in which an experiment on digital labeling of alcoholic beverages will begin.The Government’s decision was dictated by disappointing statistics on the amount of counterfeit products on the Russian market.
How does digital marking work in manufacturing?
Manufacturers of beer, beer and low-alcohol drinks form their catalog of labeled goods in the personal account of the GIS MT system, order unique codes for each item of the goods (in some cases, for a group of goods) and put the DataMatrix format code on each package of goods, after which the goods are already available put into circulation and transfer for sale to wholesale or retail networks.
How does digital labeling work in retail?
The labeling system covers all participants in the distribution chain who are associated with the circulation of beer drinks. Retail outlets also fall into this category. There are separate rules for them so that the sale of the labeled product is legal.
When accepting the packaging of the goods, the retail representatives must scan the code and send it to the Honest ZNAK labeling system. This will notify the state of the arrival of the goods at the point of sale.When selling labeled beer to the end buyer, the cashier will be obliged to scan the marking code; the state will learn about the fact of scanning and its result through the online cashier and the fiscal data operator.
Digital marking is an effective means against trafficking in illegal products and puts a barrier on the way of an unscrupulous participant in the turnover, because GIS MT is based on the principle of creating a closed environment for the turnover of goods from the moment it was produced until the moment the check was broken at the checkout.The labeling will not significantly affect the final cost of the goods, and buyers will be able to be confident in the quality and legality of beer, beer and low-alcohol drinks that they buy in stores.
What size company can participate in the experiment. Is there a minimum number of SKUs to enter a pilot?
There are no restrictions on the size of companies and the number of SKUs to participate in the experiment, but it is recommended that you use several different packaging form factors, as well as one or more product lines.
How did the participants benefit from the experiment?
The experiment involves the direct participation of participants in the circulation of goods, including manufacturers. Participation in the experiment and the work of the working group is voluntary.
The participation of a manufacturing enterprise and its representatives in the experiment implies the implementation of practical work at the enterprises and the participation of representatives of the participants in the turnover of goods in the meetings of the working group at the Operator’s site in order to discuss and agree on the regulatory framework of the experiment and the process of introducing labeling in beer.Participation in the experiment gives the opportunity:
• gratuitous testing of application and readout technologies (at the experimental stage)
• get access to the expertise of other product groups already carrying out labeling
• get free marking codes for the experiment period
• deal with business processes without haste with the involvement of the Operator’s experts
It should also be noted that the participant in the experiment is involved in the discussion of the regulatory framework and can make his recommendations and comments.
The operator assigns to the enterprise a dedicated project manager, technical manager and business process specialist responsible for the successful experiment at the dedicated enterprise.
Within the framework of practical work and for the subsequent successful implementation of digital marking at the enterprise, as a rule, the following types of work are required:
• Understand the specifics of the business processes that underlie digital marking
• Decide on the choice of a technology partner that supplies and installs marking and integration systems
• Determine how to apply the marking code
• Form the final technical solution most suitable for the production line (s)
• Carry out delivery and commissioning of equipment
• Implement the integration of equipment with Automated Control Systems of the Enterprise and Technological Process (ACS)
• Carry out the adaptation of the enterprise’s inventory systems to the peculiarities of working with labeled goods
• Carry out the adaptation of the established business processes of the enterprise to the new requirements underlying digital marking
• Train key personnel to work with digital marking
• Make sure that the key counterparties of the supplier’s company also have a sufficient degree of readiness to work with digital marking
• At the end of the experiment, the enterprise and its specialists gain practical experience with digital marking; proven labeling solution for experimental lines; ready-made solution for integration with GIS MT; established connections with technology partners.
Digital marking will benefit all participants in the process. Consumers can independently verify the quality and legality of the goods, manufacturers will be sure that their goods cannot be counterfeited and sold, hiding behind a false name, unfair competition will be eliminated, the transparency of the distribution chain is ensured.But changes are impossible without certain rules. The experiment will help to identify all the questions that arise, and will also allow manufacturers to adapt to new conditions.
Brewers proposed to the Ministry of Finance to change the recipe for special beer :: Business :: RBK
We are talking about amendments to the technical regulations for the EAEU countries.Brewers propose to change the definition of “special beer”. In their opinion, for such a beer, the minimum indicator for the content of brewing malt should be lowered.
Photo: Pavel Bednyakov / RIA Novosti
The Association of Beer Producers (APP; it includes AB InBev Efes, Baltika, Heineken) applied to the Ministry of Finance with a proposal to change the concept of “special beer” in the new technical regulations for the EAEU countries “On the safety of alcoholic products”, which was introduced there in addition to regular beer.This was reported by Vedomosti.
Andrey Gubka, Chairman of the Board of the APP, confirmed the sending of the letter, the representative of the Ministry of Finance informed about its receipt.
The new technical regulation should come into force in 2022 and amendments to it are currently being discussed. The current edition of the document defines “special beer” as a drink in which there is at least 80% of the beer itself, plus fruit and berry and vegetable raw materials, flavoring additives. APP offers such a recipe for “special beer”: brewing malt – no less than 50%, and sugar-containing products – no more than 30% of the mass of brewing raw materials, the letter says.In addition, the association asks for permission to add grain, fruit, fruit and berry, vegetable raw materials, flavors to special beer at the brewing stage.
Members of the APP explained that they strive to diversify the range of products on the market. For example, some well-known beer drinks (Corona Extra, Hoegaarden, etc.), which are now unfairly deprived of the title of “beer”, will be transferred to the category of special beer, said Oraz Durdyev, director of legal affairs and corporate relations of the brewing company AB InBev Efes.
Russian brewers appreciated the proposal to tighten requirements for beer