Beer is one of the most popular and versatile alcoholic beverages in the world. It is crafted from four essential ingredients: water for clarity and flavor, malt for sweetness and texture, hops to add bitterness and flavors, and yeast to do its fermentation magic. Beer can be enjoyed in moderation and is a great choice when exploring different flavors of craft brews. However, people should always consider the health effects of other alcoholic beverages as well as the overall effect on their lifestyle and diet when choosing which alcoholic beverage to consume.
The exact time of the invention of brewing beer is not known, but it probably came along with the development of cereal agriculture 12,000 years ago. Hunter-gatherer tribes that stayed around various crops must have accidentally stumbled upon the fermentation process and started making beer.
By the time of ancient Mesopotamia, beer was a daily dietary staple and paintings, poems, and myths depict both human beings and gods enjoying it. The Mesopotamians and their successors passed the beer brewing craft down through the generations to the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and other cultures who also made it a regular part of their diet.
Beer continued to spread throughout Europe where it was improved on by the Germans who, in 1516 CE, instituted the Reinheitsgebot (purity law) that regulated which ingredients could be used for making beer to ensure quality and flavor. Beer brewing was then taken over by monks and became an integral part of their monastic lives. The monks at Kulmbach Kloster still brew Schwartzbier, their signature beer, to this day.