History Of Beer And Beer Making Essay

, Research Paper

The beer we drink today has a very interesting and long history. The earliest time tracked on the making of beer can be traced back to approximately six thousand years to the Sumarians of ancient Mesopotamia. Sumarians discovered a fermentation process when apiece of bread was left in water for a period of time and began to ferment. They found the mixture to be appealing and repeated this process labeling it as “Divine” and offered it to their Gods.In Two B.C., When the Sumarian empire collapsed and the Babylonians became rulers of Mesopotamia, they began the process of the art of beer brewing. At that time they learn to make upwards of twenty types of beer.

The beer brewing tradition was carried on by the Egyptians who learn to flavor their beer with unbaked bread dough and dates. The Egyptians viewed beer drinking as sacred. The Greeks and Romans also mastered the art of beer brewing. Even though the Romans viewed beer as a drink for the less fortunate it later became consumed throughout the land as a drink of choice when wine was hard to find.

The beer brewing process remained a woman’s job until the end of the first millennium. After this time, monastery breweries began practicing the brewing process. Because of their religious requirements of fasting, monks used beer to satisfy the monk’s appetite because the consumption of liquids did not break the rules of fasting. So during these time of religious fasting monks consumed large quantities of beer. The monks are also known with being the first to use hops in flavoring beer.

The art of brewing continued along smoothly till around 1765 when the steam engine was introduced. This is when industrialization began to play a major part in the brewing industry. Brewer began using steam power and was called Steam Beer Breweries. This process made brewing more efficient and allowed brewers to increase their output.

With the increase of beer production, the storage of beer became a concern. In order to handle the increase of beer, kegs were introduced. These kegs are made of large barrels of wood and were kept underground in order to stay cool. Through this process it was discovered that storing beer for a long period increased the flavor. This cold storage process was labeled lagering and is still used today.

In the history of beer in North America, North America owes it coming along from the Old World. As people migrated from Europe to America they brought with them their recipes and techniques for beer. Many factors have influenced the beer of North America such as social, economic and environmental factors that have played a part in North American beer and beer making.

The first recollection of beer in North America came in 1587 in what was then known as the New World where it was brewed in Sir Walter Raleigh’s colony in Virginia. In 1612, the first commercial brewery opened in New Amsterdam now known as Manhattan. Beer became the mainstays of the ordinary person diet for centuries (Raley, 1998). Beer has become now a mainstay in today’s beverage of choice in North America. In 1991, North America produces twenty percent of the world beer volume which is the worlds largest output of beer (Raley, 1998). This number has gone up since then as expected with the number of beer connoisseurs growing every day.

Today there are more than twenty types of beer on the market today and many of these types of beer have different types of flavors but come from the same beer. Out of the most popular types of beer the most popular could be Ale beer. Ale is a top fermenting beer; it ferments at a high temperature and quicker time then other types of beer such as lager. Ales have a fruity accent and can be served at moderate temperatures. Next, Lager is a generally bottom fermenting beer. It is fermented at cold temperatures and is stored for times up to 3 months with temperatures near freezing. Next, Light Beer is an American term for a low calorie beer. It is also known as a watered down version of a pilsener with little to no taste and has a light yellow color. Next is Malt Liquor, which is also known as an American term for a strong lager. They are of a pale, golden color and have a light to medium body. These beers are very cheaply made. Next is Pale Ale, which is ale of the color of copper that originates form England. It has a yeasty fruity taste and a bit of malt taste as well. Next to last of the major types of beers is the Pilsener, which is a pale lager with a gold color. It has a smell that is very flavorful and fragrant. Today many-produced pilsener are watered down and are based on old classic pilsener but are not the same. Last of the major beers is the Stout which is a dark almost black colored brew with a roasty flavor. The most commonly known stout is known as the Irish Stout. It is dryer and more intense flavor than the regular type of stout.

In order to known about what types of beer there are you first have to know about how to make beer or brew beer. Beer is a combination of several general processes. First is the mixing of ingredients, which consists of malt extract syrup, water, hops and corn sugar. Also other ingredients can be added as well to change the flavor or type of beer. Second is the cooling of the wort, which is the solution of the ingredients from the boil it once was to a fermentation temperature. Next the wort is transferred to the fermenter and yeast is added. After the fermentation, the beer, which is known as a raw beer at this time, is siphoned off the yeast sediment and bottled with a little extra sugar to provide the carbonation.

Brewing Beer is simple and complicated, easy and hard. Compare it to fishing, sit on the end of the dock with a can of worms and a cane pole and you will catch fish. Going after a specific kind of fish is when fishing gets complicated. Brewing the specific kind of beer you want is the same thing. There are many different styles of beer and many techniques to brew them (Palmer, 1994).

Last, in terms of Beer and Beer making and with the millennium approaching it would be proper to talk about new trends in beer and beer making. One of the newest trends in beer has been the Beer Dinner, which began in Belgium and now is traveling waters over to North America.

The Beer Dinner is a sort of Ocktoberfest atmosphere but at a more costly price, which includes gourmet dishes and imported beers for a price ranging up to thirty five dollars a plate. A few years ago, beer dinners were rare and special occasions also something of a novelty (Freccia 1996). Beer Dinners are occurring everywhere from bars to the finest restaurants, and they are introducing people not only to the products of their local microbreweries, but also to the greater possibilities of beer (Freccia 1996).

In the terms of beer making technology has been keeping up with the times using now such techniques as automation in the beer process have a machine do repeated tasks instead of a worker, also instead of workers going and cleaning machines, machines can now clean themselves and can do it better while using less cleaning products. Also Brewers are going to using hard pipes, which is very effective in brewing in small areas such as restaurants that have microbreweries in their restaurant. Last in brew making trends size has been an issue and now has a type of brew process known as a tankless brewery taking up only around five hundred feet this can also be used in now the very popular brewery and steakhouses.

Beer and Beer making is a very thorough subject. It has a vast amount of history with the beginnings of beer and the beer making process. It is actually funny who would of though a drink that was given to Gods would now be a multi-billion dollar commodity.


I. Raley, Linda. “Beer History” American Brewery History Page 1998


II. “In the Beginning” The History of Beer 1999 www.showlearn.com

III. Holloran, Sean “Technology Trends” Brew Pub Magazine 1998 www.brewmag.com

IV. “Beer Definitions” 1999 www.tufts.edu

V. Cuell, Michael “The History of Beer” The Home Brewed Beer Page 1997 www.compusmart.ab.ca/mcuell/beerhist.htm

VI. Freccia, Nico “The Newest Trends in Beer: Belgians and Beer Dinners” Celebrator Beer News 1996 www.celebrator.com

VII. Palmer, John “How to brew your first beer” Homebrewing 1994 www.tufts.edu


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