Sunday, March 22, 2009

Some More History

The History of Beer Part 2


During the middle ages beer continued to be popular in areas where wine couldn't be easily cultivated. It was still largely brewed by women as beer was considered a daily nutritional staple and women largely held cooking duties. However, some brewing duties were held by Christian monks who ran what were basically old style Inns and brewed beer to please their customers.

During this time hops were also starting to be used, mainly in Germany. Although an exact date is debated most sources put the first use of hops at around the 10th century. The use of hops was not met with arms wide open. Although it helped to preserve the beer for trade it adversely affected the taste as brewers were experimenting with the correct amount of hops. Eventually hops gained popularity and were accepted widely in Europe as recipes were perfected and longer trade routes were established.

Up until the 15th century beer was largely a private practice. However, brewers in England began to brew on a commercial level as export became easier and recipes were perfected. Pubs started to appear in cities in England as the monasteries and hostels that the monks ran were in full brewing swing. During this time the first beer was brought to America by Columbus, specifically on his 1502 trip to America. He also noted that beer was being brewed by the natives, with the key ingredient being corn. With the commercialization and relative ease of export, beer was well on its way to being more popular than ever.

1 comment:

Susan Romano said...

Interesting to note on one of your links that during Elizebethan times, ladies in waiting got a gallon of beer at breakfast!!! Hmm. How to get through the rest of the day? And also that Elizabeth I sent couriers ahead of her when she traveled to sample the town ale--Renaissance version of the restaurant blog.

I'd like to hear more about chicha--the fermented corn drink native to the Americas that you classify as beer. I was interested to note that Wikipedia does not list Mexico among the chicha producers--curious fact or non fact? What did Moctezuma drink besides chocolate?