The History of Beer

Beer is an alcoholic drink made by fermenting malted barley, hops and yeast. It is one of the world’s most popular beverages and comes in a wide variety of styles, from hoppy IPAs to dark, rich stouts. It is also used as an ingredient in cooking, such as roast chicken or beer-battered fish. Some people use beer as a marinade for meats and vegetables, while others enjoy its taste or its potential health benefits, including the protein it contains and its ability to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Brewing is an ancient art that has evolved into a sophisticated craft with many different ways of turning water, grain, hops and yeast into a delicious beverage. The brewing industry is global and diverse, with more than 8,000 breweries in the United States alone. Each brewery may vary in size, equipment, ethos and intent, but they all turn water, grain and hops into beer.

The first beers were brewed around 5000 years ago by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia. Archaeological evidence includes vessels with residue and a hymn to the goddess of beer that reveals a recipe. The beer was probably a weak, sweet liquid that was consumed with meals to provide nutrition and refreshment. The earliest beers were made with a mix of cereal grains, water and herbs. Later, the addition of hops helped to preserve the brew and give it its bitter flavour. The brewers then experimented with adding barley to the mix to make it stronger and thicker.