History of Beer
Beer has been brewed since time immemorial. It is thought that it was first made in Palestine around ten thousand years ago, in 8000 BC, by macerating barley bread in water. The Sumerians developed no fewer than ten varieties of beer, and the Babylonians added at least 34 more. Later on, the Egyptians developed what can be called government breweries, making brewing a state monopoly. These “barley wines” were used as offerings to the gods. Pharaoh Ramses II, who is referred to as the “brewing Pharaoh”, imposed very strict rules on the making of beer. Beer made its way to Europe around 5000-4800 BC along two routes: the Danubian route (Eastern Europe) and the Mediterranean route (south of France). Contrary to what is generally believed, beer was brewed and consumed very early in Greece and Rome until it was to some extent replaced by wine. However, while the Romans were fonder of wine, this did not prevent them from appreciating beer, in particular in the northern regions, where conditions were better for barley fields than for vineyards. The remains of a Gallo-Roman villa were found to contain a brewery dating from the 3rd or 4th century. Among Belgium's ancestors, the Gauls, the brewing of barley (beer) was a cottage industry. It was brewed within each family by the women. The Gauls came up with the idea of replacing beer vessels made of pottery with wooden barrels. Which were interestingly invented by the Gauls.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the church took control of the land. The monks took an interest in this malt beverage, and eventually it appears that there were breweries in every abbey in Christendom. Brewing also went on in inns, castles and homesteads.
Brewing practices and traditions have gone through many changes since these times.
"There is no such thing as good small beer, good brown bread, or a good old woman."
--- British Proverb