The History of Beer: From Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times

Beer is one of the oldest and most beloved drinks in the world, with a history that dates back thousands of years. The first barley beer was likely brewed in the Middle East, where evidence of beer production dates back to the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. In the 13th century AD, beer began to be commercially produced in Germany, England and Austria. The Chinese also brewed beer around 7000 BC, known as kui.

In the West, however, the process now recognized as brewing began in Mesopotamia, in the settlement of Godin Tepe, now in present-day Iran, between 3500 and 3100 BC. Evidence of beer brewing has been confirmed between these dates, but it is likely that brewing in Sumer (southern Mesopotamia, present-day Iraq) was in practice much earlier. The first chemically confirmed barley beer was brewed in Godin Tepe. The Syrian priestesses of the ancient city of Elba also produced a range of beers dating back to 2500 BC, including particular types made for religious ceremonies.

Beer was commonly used in barter and a daily ration of beer was provided to all citizens depending on their social status. In 820 AD, the oldest existing brewery plan was discovered showing a Benedictine monastery with beer facilities. This document revealed that monastic breweries had a production level of approximately 100 gallons (378.5 l) per day. Monks also improved the brewing process and emphasized the importance of cleaning and disinfection in the Middle Ages.

In the 12th and 13th centuries, the first commercial breweries were established based on the production model of the monasteries. The farthest beer test comes from ancient Iran. Scientists have examined ancient pottery using chemical tests that reveal that beer dates back 7,000 years. This doesn't necessarily mean that beer was invented then, but it's the oldest evidence we have to go on. The Sumerians are believed to have brewed beer around 4,000 BC. Today, multinational companies dominate modern beer production, but you can still find thousands of small breweries in countries such as Belgium, Germany, Austria, Ireland, the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), France, Scandinavia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Spain - all countries with strong and unique beer traditions with their own history and characteristic brewing methods and styles of beer. Beer is an especially important drink in many cultures around the world.

It has been argued that the invention of bread and beer is responsible for humanity's ability to develop technology and build civilization. The invention of the drum roaster in 1817 by Daniel Wheeler allowed for very dark roasted malts which contributed to the taste of porters and stouts. So exquisite is humanity's cunning to satisfy their vices and appetites that they have invented a method to make water itself produce intoxication. Beer has been around for thousands of years and continues to be enjoyed by people all over the world.