Beer is a central part of American life. It has become a very prevalent part of how we spend our recreational hours. Happy hours, BBQ and beer, Craft Beer, Low Carb beer, And so on and so on. We have quotes like this that shows that beer pervades everything, even a cartoon.
“Ah beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.” – Homer Simpson
You can even get a beer mug with the expression on it here at Amazon. We even have major actors who endorse the product.
“Beer, it’s the best damn drink in the world.” – Jack Nicholson
So let’s take a look at some of the history behind beer and how it became, not just an American pastime but beloved around the world!
A Brief History Of Beer
Beer has been around for a very long time. Archaeologist discovered some relics, some of which were clay pottery jars back from 7,000 years ago. Chemical tests confirmed, there was beer in those jars. In the region we now know as Iran. A 6,000 year old tablet was found depicting people consuming a drink through reed straws from a communal bowl. 3,900 was a Sumerian poem honoring Ninkasi, The patron goddess of brewing, that includes the world’s oldest recipe for brewing. China also brewed beer as long as 5,000 years ago according to residue found on some pottery there.
Modern beer history is a little more clear. The Native Americans made a type of beer using corn, birch sap, and water. The United States was brewing beer before it was ever officially a country. In 1632 the Dutch West India Company opened the first brewery in the Americas. Shortly after breweries started to pop up in the colonies.
In 1852 a brewery is opened in St. Louis, Missouri. This brewery would eventually grow into the giant of the brewing industry we know as Anheuser-Busch, which is today’s largest producer of beer. In 1919, prohibition wiped out a large number of breweries completely. Breweries around the country either temporarily or permanently shut their doors. They repealed prohibition in 1933 and production of beer and other alcoholic drinks.
One thing is clear; don’t mess with people’s beer. Beers have a way of fostering deep devotion. A Miller Lite drinker may go thirsty before he drinks a budweiser, and vice versa. The newer generations however, seem to look for quality over price. They would rather get a six pack of Sam Adams, Leinenkugel’s, or Their favorite craft brew than they are a cheap 18 pack of less flavorful beer.
The World’s Most Expensive Beers
There is a great article on mentalfloss.com where the original article is referenced. Check it out here.
Schorschbräu’s Schorschbock 57
“Released in 2011, Schorschbock 57 claims to be the strongest beer in the world. According to Master brewer Georg Tscheuschner, a higher proof beer would violate Germany’s 500-year-old Beer Purity Law. Schorschbräu only made 36 bottles. Tasters say the 115 proof bock is smoky and nutty, with hints of raisins and, obviously, alcohol.”
Samuel Adams’ Utopias
“Weighing in at $150, Samuel Adams’ Utopias is America’s most expensive beer. Released every two years, each batch is aged in sherry, brandy, cognac, bourbon, and scotch casks for up to 18 years.”
Brewdog’s Sink the Bismarck
“Named after Nazi Germany’s largest battleship, Sink the Bismarck was Brewdog’s attack on Schorschbräu, a German brewery that held the record for strongest beer. Not only did Bismarck beer briefly steal the record, but it also redefined brewing. Brewdog calls the beer a “quadruple IPA”: It was freeze-distilled four times, has four times as many hops as a conventional beer, and is four times as bitter. It’s also forty times as expensive.”
“In 1990, Cambridge archaeologist Dr. Barry Kemp unearthed Queen Nefertiti’s Royal Brewery. He found ten brewing chambers buried beneath the Egyptian sand. Each contained traces of ancient beer residue. With the help of an electron microscope, fellow scientist Dr. Delwen Samuel analyzed the residues to quantify the 3,250-year-old recipe. The researchers then teamed up with Scottish brewer Jim Merrington, who made 1000 bottles of the Queen’s brew. The first sold for $7,686, but the price tag eventually dipped to $75 per bottle. Years later, Merrington’s breweries closed down. Did Tut’s curse strike again?”
Crown Ambassador Reserve
“If Foster’s is Australian for beer, then Crown Ambassador Reserve must be Australian for expensive beer. Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months and packaged in a champagne bottle, Crown pitches Ambassador as an alternative to wine. The Australian brewer has produced four iterations since 2008, each batch limited to 8,000 bottles.”
Sapporo’s Space Barley
“In 2006, Japanese and Russian scientists tested how well barley could grow in space. They rocketed barley seeds to the International Space Station and planted them aboard the Zvezda Service Module. After spending five months in orbit, the fourth-generation of barley was brought back to earth, where Japanese brewer Sapporo fermented it into the world’s first space beer. A six-pack costs $110—not bad, considering it was imported from the cosmos.”
If you want to learn more about beer then you should check out this book by Jeff Alworth titled The Beer Bible on Amazon.