“The greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer, you are right, the wheel is also a powerful invention, but the wheel does not go as well with pizza as beer.” Dave Barry
Not so long ago, celebrating my name-day, I drank a fine foam drink, bought at some fabulous price in half a thousand wooden for a liter, in the company of my brother and I thought – interesting, but what the hell is this beer made of? However, another question came along the chain – where did the beer come from, and who invented it? Let’s talk about making a “pharaoh drink” later, today we will find out the history of the appearance of beer in the world. Well, let’s figure it out!
Beer is the oldest alcoholic beverage, we can say absolutely absolutely without any doubt. Who exactly came up with this drink – is unknown, but the Sumerian clay tablets on which the brewers were depicted and the sediment samples on the fragments of ancient beer pitchers date from about the middle of the Vll century BC. Moreover, the Sumerians even had a goddess of beer, Nikasi Svetlostruynaya. She was not only worshiped, she wrote poems and poems, and, I believe, sincerely and unconditionally loved. The fortress of beer of that time was about 3-4%, and it was impossible to call it beer in full measure – it was cooked without hop, barley and fruit, adding various herbs.
Receivers of the Sumerians – the Babylonians, went further in the art of brewing. They began to brew it not from barley flour, but from malt, and established quality standards. According to the laws of King Hammurabi, who ruled in the II millennium BC, an innkeeper who overstated the price of beer, should be drowned. If he diluted the drink with water, he was given a spoiled beer, until he died in terrible agony. The death penalty was also imposed on the innkeeper, in whose institution the visitors started talking about politics.
The ancient Egyptians created their own recipes: in addition to barley, they began to boil and wheat beer, the invention of which attributed to the supreme deity Osiris. Such a conclusion they make, referring to one of the ancient Egyptian manuscripts. The priests, who Osiris taught brewing, became the only people who knew the secrets of cooking the divine nectar. Brewers in Egypt were in high esteem, and the Egyptian hieroglyph, denoting “lunch”, consisted of two symbols: “bread” and “beer”. Many pharaohs owned breweries. So, even Nefertiti owned the brewery, and on the walls of this institution was portrayed a queen pouring a beer drink through a strainer. Incidentally, the Egyptians also had their own deity-patron of beer – Menket.
In the far northern edge of the severe Vikings also brewed beer. Instead of hops, they added pine and spruce needles to the composition. The resulting drink contained vitamins B and C, supporting the strength of the soldiers in long voyages. The Skalds called their beer the brother of Odin. Both the friendly feasts and the ritual feasts of the Vikings were accompanied by big drunkards. The ability to drink a lot (and even better – to drink a neighbor) was valued on a par with military valor.
Local brewers, by the way, were great inventors: a bearish bile in the drink will be added, then a couple of hallucinogenic mushrooms. However, the result of these barbarous experiments in two thousand years will be the famous German beer (for five hundred, hell, wooden for a liter, this is really barbaric!).
With the adoption of Christianity in Germany and neighboring Flanders, the monks seriously engaged in brewing. The case was put on a broad footing. There are even known cases of burning “beer witches” – women who allegedly spoiled the monastery beer. Until now, the best sorts of Dutch beer are those whose recipes appeared in monasteries.
Gradually, ordinary citizens appreciated the benefits of brewing. In the Middle Ages in cities appeared guilds of brewers. In Hamburg alone, there were about 600 breweries by the end of the 15th century. His patron, German brewers considered the mythical Flemish King Gambrinus. And then there was a divine intervention – apparently, beer is really the nectar of the gods.
Beer in good old England was always loved: both before the Norman conquest, and after. In the VII century, one of the kings of Kent had to issue a decree against general drunkenness. But the foamy drink continued to drink in the castles, and in the abbeys, and in the huts of the villans. In those days, ale had a sweetish taste: it was added honey and a bit of heather. Only since the XV century, the British fully appreciated the noble bitterness of hops.
Princely feasts were held exactly as Pushkin described them in immortal lines from Ruslan and Lyudmila. But only beer that poured a river at such feasts was honey. Pasek was not there at that time, and the profession of a hunter-man who extracted wild honey-was difficult and dangerous. Therefore, the simple people often had to be satisfied with beer without honey. To improve its taste, it began to add hops.
Beer was almost a strategic commodity. In the annals are recorded cases when peasants paid a quitrent with honey, hops and malt. Loved beer and Russian kings. Very much for his popularization was made by Peter I, who ordered the introduction of beer into the ration of soldiers as the best remedy for scurvy (this is true for live beer). The Emperor himself loved a drink cooked according to a Dutch recipe. Empress Elizabeth I, on the contrary, preferred English varieties: ale and porter. Until the end of the 18th century, beer for Russian tsars was brewed at court breweries.
At the end of the 20th century large beer companies began to appear. However, the appearance of beer, packaged in a convenient plastic and glass containers, will not replace real drink lovers. Nowadays, a “return to the roots” is occurring all over the world: small private breweries are becoming more popular, whose products are made using ancient, time-tested recipes and has an amazing, incomparable taste.
And at a price of 500 rubles per liter. Well, how, how so …