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charliecompany34's avatar

How did beer get invented?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7793points) August 12th, 2009

i know, who really cares, just as long as it’s cold and there’s plenty of it. but what is it about this beverage we enjoy that got figured out before we were born? i mean, who knew?

why are you a beer drinker? i ain’t talking about root beer. i mean, what compels you to snap it open as soon as you get home from a hard day’s work. how did this taste become acquired? why? how did the inventors know we’d want it?

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21 Answers

PerryDolia's avatar

It was clearly an accident where some water got in with the stored grain and nobody found it for a couple of months. They had to eat the stuff, so they drank the “water”, too.

charliecompany34's avatar

@PerryDolia hmmmm, interesting. i can see the wine thing, but beer is mystifying.

charliecompany34's avatar

@PerryDolia like was it some young colonial dudes sitting around a bonfire and mixing up water, grass and corn and weeds?

laureth's avatar

When you cook grain, it converts the starches in the grain to sugars. (People would do this anyway, just to make it edible.) When yeast (which can be present, just wild in the air) lands on it, it starts digesting the sugars and excreting alcohol. In other words, “Beer happens.”

The oldest recipe known, written in cuneiform on a clay tablet, is a beer recipe. Apparently it was a happy accident that people wanted to repeat if they could. Later on, Benjamin Franklin would say, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” :)

My husband is a homebrewer.

XOIIO's avatar

because desperate guys need a way to make women look better 

laureth's avatar

Women always look good to desperate guys.

InspecterJones's avatar


AstroChuck's avatar

“Hey! You got hops on my barley!”
“Yeah? Well you got barley in my hops!”
Two great tastes that taste good together. Think I’ll go have a Fat Tire ale right now.

charliecompany34's avatar

@AstroChuck you need your own nightly talk show or, well, you are probably a writer for david letterman and we just don’t know it.


YARNLADY's avatar

I just think ancient people were smarter than we are. Instead of sitting around wondering why the sky is blue or which came first the chicken or the egg, they were actually doing something, like inventing beer, wine, bread and cheese.

Dr_C's avatar

God said let there be beer… and he saw that it was good

benjaminlevi's avatar

“Since the purity of water could seldom be guaranteed, alcoholic drinks were a popular choice, having been boiled as part of the brewing process.”

hex's avatar

I’m not actually sure of the origins of beer, but I can tell you that I do not wish to consider the world without it.

AstroChuck's avatar

@hex- Well, there would always be Zima.

laureth's avatar

Actually, Zima is a “malt beverage,” which is basically beer (the “malt” part means that it’s made from sprouted grain) with all the flavor and character filtered out of it.

In a world without beer, neither Zima nor any of the other “malt beverages” would exist!

CMaz's avatar

And, did you know that Bridal Party is from Bride Ale party.

It was the “bridal parties” responsible to make the beer for the wedding.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Ale, the original beer was discovered as described above. Lager was invented after the invention of refrigeration, crucial to the lager brewing process.

laureth's avatar

…and Porter was made after customers wanted bartenders in the mid-to-late-1700s to mix a few different kinds of the beer they had on tap. I guess the brewers decided it was easier just to mix the ingredients first. :)

ItsAHabit's avatar

It was presumably an accident thousands of years ago. However, some anthropologists believe that people first planted grain in order to produce beer rather than bread. Thus, the desire for beer may have caused people to become farmers rather than hunters and gatherers. That, in turn, made civilizations possible.

laureth's avatar

That’s funny. Beer made people become sedentary and end up with more kids. Heheheh.

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