Beer is a marvelous beverage with a long and noble history.
As a professor of beer, yes, really I teach beer at UNLV, I have seen many people who said they didn’t like beer take my classes and by the end of the semester find at least one beer style they like. There is so much variety in the beer universe that there is simply no way you can’t find a beer you like.
The history of beer started long ago in the cities of ancient Sumeria, but you wouldn’t recognize what they drank as beer. Basically it was loaves of barley bread that probably got wet once and fermented. It had to be full of bits and pieces and probably tasted rather sweet since hops were certainly not added in that experiment.
Move forward in time and you find the Vikings and Picts making a beverage out of barley as well. The Vikings even passed down their brewing sticks as family heirlooms. They didn’t know at the time that the yeast that was on the sticks is what created the “good beer.”
When the original colonists came to Plymouth Rock, they knew they needed beer. Why, because only beer was safe to drink. You must remember that the water supply in Europe was full of foul and dangerous microorganisms. The colonists brought their water phobias with them to the new world. They had no idea that the pristine waters of America were safe to drink, so their first priority was to erect a brewery. Well that and get the native Indians a taste of beer.
Wars have been fought over beer as well. During the Revolutionary War in the United States, the U.S. Navy prevented the British from getting their beer resupplied. They hoped to cause a mutiny on board English naval ships.
George Washington himself started a “buy American” campaign, and pledged to only drink America porter beer.
Who made all this beer? Well that answer may surprise you. In most cases, at least until the mid-nineteenth century, it was women. That’s right, making beer at home was considered women’s work, part of the daily chores. Of course, there were dark and dingy pubs, but most of the beer, even in the pubs, was made by the woman of the house.
I also love making beer, and have many recipes and articles on beer making on the site.
All my beer reviews are going to be on ratebeer.com, you can follow me there. I am UNLVBeerGuy.