“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” Dave Barry”, Humorist and Writer
Beer is one of the oldest beverages humans have produced, dating back to at least the fifth
millennium BC and recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. As almost any cereal containing certain sugars can undergo spontaneous fermentation due to wild yeasts in the air, it is possible that beer-like beverages were independently developed throughout the world soon after a tribe or culture had domesticated cereal. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced as far back as about 7,000 years ago in what is today Iran.
The invention of bread and beer has been argued to be responsible for humanity's ability to
develop technology and build civilization. The earliest chemically confirmed barley beer to date
was discovered at Godin Tepe in the central Zagros Mountains of Iran, where fragments of a
jug, at least 5,000 years old was found to be coated with beerstone, a by-product of the brewing process.
Beer may have been known in Neolithic Europe as far back as 5,000 years ago, and was mainly brewed on a domestic scale.
Beer produced before the Industrial Revolution continued to be made and sold on a domestic
scale, although by the 7th century AD beer was also being produced and sold by European
monasteries. During the Industrial Revolution, the production of beer moved from artisanal
manufacture to industrial manufacture, and domestic manufacture ceased to be significant by
the end of the 19th century. The development of hydrometers and thermometers changed brewing by allowing the brewer more control of the process, and greater knowledge of the results.
Today, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational
companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries. More than 133 billion liters (35 billion gallons) are sold per year—producing total global revenues of $294.5 billion (£147.7 billion) in 2006.
Historians submit that human beings have been around for about 100,000 years, and informed that in the first 90,000 years, the world achieved absolutely nothing at all. Then Beer came; and then put an end to primitivism and kick-started the age of creativity and invention.
That Beer happened, and changed the world forever sounds almost too bizarre to be true, but many anthropologists and archaeologists now believe that it was a taste for beer, not bread, that started people farming barley in around 9000BC.
Known as the agricultural revolution, “beering” actually ended hunter-gathering and led to the
world’s first ever civilisation – Mesopotamia. The drive to grow more barley in order to make
more beer, led to a cascade of inventions. The plough, the wheel, irrigation, mathematics and
even writing, all of these world-changing innovations were dreamed up to help with the production and distribution of beer.
As Egypt took over from Mesopotamia, in the Land of the Pharaohs beer was the national currency, a dietary staple and even an important medicine. Even in more recent times, beer’s hidden hand has been behind some of history’s most remarkable breakthroughs, from the discovery of germ theory and modern medicine, to the invention of refrigeration, the birth ofthe factory and the end of child labour. Beer didn’t just change the world, historians claim it saved it!
To quote historian Gregg Smith: “Beer changed the course of human history. Not once, not twice, but over and over again.”
It wasn’t just the Sumerians and Mesopotamians who enjoyed the odd glass of cerveza. The Egyptians were also big boozers. Ra wasn’t just the God of life and love, but beer too – a pretty
The labourers who built the pyramid of Giza received seven pints of beer a day in payment, making the total bill for that job, 1,489,199,995 pints. For the Egyptians it was not just a form
of currency but a staple food (school boys would drink a bowl for breakfast producing, I guess, a
different kind of Ready Brek glow) and beer was also used to treat illnesses.
In the last few years researchers found the presence of the antibiotic tetracycline (which was
only ‘discovered’ in 1948) in the bones of Egyptian mummies. After some more research they
found the only place this could have come from was the beer drunk at the time. In fact fast
forward a few thousand years and beer was the basis of modern medicine too.
I took one pill antibiotics in the morning and in the evening on an empty stomach for 10 days. Be sure to wash down the pills with plenty of water- it is desirable to drink a whole glass at once. In my case, an improvement came almost immediately, side effects described at https://nygoodhealth.com/product/antibiotics/ didn’t appear, and I finished the course easily. And I’m happy with the result of treatment.
By the 16th Century, the average annual consumption of beer in Britain was 530 pints for every
man, woman and child – three times the amount we drink today. Monks were the original master brewers and the church became rich on the back of their skill then as entrepreneurs took over, beer spearheaded the creation of trade, commerce, banking and finance
Beer’s influence on technology continued unabated into the 20th Century. It gave us
refrigeration after the brewing industry financed research into the process to keep lager chilled
and it revolutionised industry when Michael Owens built the first automated production line to
make beer bottles in 1904 – some 10 years before Henry Ford took the credit with his cars .
Beer gets a bad press, owning to many misconceptions. It’s regularly blamed for many of
society’s ills but the reality is that society as we know it is, in large part at least, only here because of it. So, next time anyone tells you how evil beer is, remind them that some of the
best ideas come when you drink.
Today, there are about forty thousand types of beer in the world in an industry that employs
millions of people directly and indirectly. However, the world of beer is still shrouded in many
myths and misconceptions. Some of these are easy to contemplate, while others, downright
Beer is an alcoholic beverage that carries a lot of benefits and myths. Interestingly, scientists
have found that moderate drinker who drinks regularly but only in small amounts had lower body weights than their non-drinking peers and those who drank a lot at once.
There are at least two ways in which an alcoholic beverage such as beer might impact
beneficially on the body:
First, through a direct physiological impact on bodily tissues and functions; Second, through
indirect impact, but founded equally on a physiological interaction
At a recent ‘Blogggers Academy’ in Ibadan recently, ‘Tola Atinmo, a Professor of Human Nutrition,
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Ibadan did a brilliant expose on the health contribution of beer to the body.
Making reference to Rusell Crowe, “I have respect for beer.” Atinmo listed some of the benefits of drinking beer with emphasis on moderation.
He pointed out “Nutrition is all about eating and drinking appropriately for good health and
wellness.” He captured the relationship between beer and health with a quotation by Paracelsus,
a German physician of the 16th century “Whether wine (or beer) is a nourishment, medicine or
poison it is a matter of dosage.”
Atinmo gave the ingredients of making beer to include Water, malted barley, hops, yeast and
corn as some of the ingredients used to brew beer. “Beer has nourished and comforted homo
sapiens for millenniums in a safe manner and has been part of the daily food intake. Many people
are not aware that drinking beer actually benefits their health,” he said.
All the benefits of beer are however, functions of moderate consumption.