International beer day: When and where was beer invented?
Beer is more than 8,000 years old and nearly every culture on the planet discovered how to produce it, either on purpose or by happy accident.
Every year, August 5 marks International Beer Day. Started in California in 2007, the festival was started to celebrate the famous drink which has its roots all over the ancient world.
Produced by the fermentation of cereals, beer is a drink that does not need modern technology to be produced. This meant ancient civilisations such as the Sumerians, based in Mesopotamia, could produce the drink. In the ancient poem The Epic of Gilgamesh, the eponymous hero is described, “... he ate until he was full, drank seven pitchers of beer, his heart grew light, his face glowed and he sang out with joy.” Those cradleof civilisation folk knew how to have a party it seems.
Due to beer’s prevalence in pretty much every ancient civilisation it is difficult to pin down who discovered it first. Due to the nature of its production, beer was safer to drink than water, the latter of which was unpurified and unclean. Any civilisation built upon wheat farming, read as any that grew large, discovered the way to make beer.
During the Medieval period in Europe beer flourished, especially in places that were too cold for grape production. In the centuries that followed, small-scale domestic production gave way to larger-scale export beers. The coming of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century further increased production, killing off local breweries. New technology, such as the hydrometer, made beer production more efficient as undertsanding of how to craft beer expanded.
Compared to the rest of the world, the US has much weaker beer. this oculd bne due to the fallout from moonshining during the prohibition era. To make what beer that existed go further, water was added to dilute, cheapen, and worsen the product.
While European brewies dominated the market, immigrants in colonised lands brought beer with them and set up breweries abroad. In Qingdao in north-east China, Germans created a new beer, Tsingtao after the German name of the city. In 2022, the beer is the largest in China.