Here’s some beer culture…
If you are like me and your favorite activity after a hard day at work is to gulp down a bottle (or two or perhaps 3) of your favorite brand of beer, this article is for you!
When I’m drinking beer, I’m just savoring its taste and praying the contents of the bottle won’t end, the last thing I’m thinking about is its origin! J
Recently, in my quest to host some of my friends to dinner, I sought out to look for what kind of meals would go best with beer (Lol! Yes, I love beer enough to plan an entire dinner course around it, sue me) During said planning, I stumbled upon some interesting historic facts about beer and I thought I should share this with you.
By the way, my favorite brand of beer is Star Radler. Please put down that raised eyebrow! It is a beer no matter what you think.
Although not much is known about the origin of beer and there is no consensus on the origin of its name, this beverage is froth with rich history. Did you see what I did there? Froth with rich history? Beer froths? No? Ok, never mind…moving on.
Beer is the oldest beverage in the world. That’s an amazing fact. Who would have thought it? Not me, That’s for sure. I mean I knew it probably was old, I just didn’t think it was that old. And its consumption dates to about 5400 BC in the ancient city of Sumer which is in present day Iran.
Beer used to be a system of payment. I wish someone would pay me with beer. About 5,000 years ago, workers in a City called Uruk (still in present day Iran) were paid with beer. I’m just here thinking how cool that must have been. It also played a significant part in the historic advancement and the formation of civilization as during the building of the Great Pyramid in Egypt, workers received a daily ration of 4 – 5 bottles of beer for nutritional and refreshment purposes. Now, I’m wishing my official lunch meal was a beer instead.
The Code of Hammurabi which contained the oldest laws known to man contains laws regulating the production and distribution as well as the regulation of beer parlours. Historically, beer is associated with various religious practices, social traditions and national festivities. In ancient Egypt, (those Egyptians sure loved their beer, I reckon) beer was used in religious practices. In the ancient city of Ebla in Syria, some types of beers were used in religious ceremonies and majority of the brewers were women and priestesses. The history of beer just got more interesting. Priestesses brewing beer? How much cooler does it have to be?
In Mesopotamia ( That’s present day Iraq this time, not Iran), the oldest evidence of beer is a 6,000-year-old Sumerian tablet depicting people drinking a beverage through reed straws from a communal bowl. As far back as 3,900 years ago, there was already a patron goddess of brewing Ninkasi and the prayers composed to be said to her contains the oldest surviving beer recipe. Those prayers were answered. I’m sure. Nobody can say no to prayers of beer. Also, clay tablets found indicate that many brewers were women. You see, women have been rocking this beer game since forever. I absolutely love that.
In ancient Greek, the name for beer was brutos or brytos and ancient Nubians used beer as an antibiotic medication. The Greek writer Sophocles (450 BCE) believed that the best diet for Greeks consisted of bread, meats, several types of vegetables, and beer. He also wrote that beer should be consumed in moderation. You see, even smart Greek scholars understood the importance of beer.
Beer was part of the daily diet of Egyptian Pharaohs over 5,000 years ago and Christian monks built breweries, to provide food, drink, and shelter to travelers and pilgrims.
Now, whenever I cradle a bottle of beer in my arms, I feel like royalty knowing that I am drinking what Pharaohs drank everyday about 5,000 years ago. I totally feel like a king. Or queen, if you will.