If you were asked when beer was invented what would you answer? You’d probably feel caught off guard, and many would be tempted to say that the invention of the beloved drink is of German origin. Both statements are incorrect! Beer was not invented but discovered: man has simply improved a natural phenomenon over time, that is, the fermentation of grain.
The geographical origin is somewhat debated, paleopathological remains have been found in Mesopotamia, from the people of Sumer, but also in Egypt, part of the flourishing Egyptian civilization; thanks to archaeological and paleobotanical studies the use of fermented grains has also been documented in the Maltese archipelago (in Gozo, the Ggantija archaeological site) and in the Orkney Islands, at the archeological site of Skara Brae. All these findings suggest a common date, which took shape with a venerable age of about six thousand years.
One thing is certain: we mustn’t think about the kind of beer then as we know it now, rather about a murky and sour gruel sometimes so dense that required the use of a straw for drinking. Production techniques have improved over the centuries, only in the Middle Ages thanks to the brewing production of the monasteries did one begin using hops as a preservative (the main flavoring was a vegetable mixture called gruit).
With the development of technologies over the centuries, thanks also to the industrial revolution, with the possibility of managing fermentation and storage temperatures, with the use of hops not only as a preservative but as a fundamental ingredient to characterize beer we have arrived at the present day. And now even we, with our tastes and our preferences, will be protagonists of the development and history of this drink … discovered by the fermentation of a loaf of bread in water!
Peace and Beer!