History of Beer

Learn when and where beer made history, both archaeological and written.

9500 - 8500 BC, Invention of Agriculture

Granaries for holding bulk grain were discovered in archaeological sites from the "Pre-Pottery Neolithic A" period.

Learn More

3500 - 2900 BC, Neolithic Beer Breweries in Mijiaya site in China

Two ancient beer breweries were discovered in the Mijiaya archaeological site in the Shaanxi province in northern China, which date from the late Yangshao period. The breweries contained clay stoves, storage pots, funnels, and amphorae. Some artifacts had traces of cereal grains including western barley, pearl barley, and common millet. This is the earliest archaeological evidence of beer brewing in China.

3000 BC, Invention of Straw by the Sumerians

The oldest known drinking straw was found in a Sumerian Royal Tomb of Ur, in the grave of Pu-abi, Queen of Ur. It is a golden tube, over a meter in length, with 17 lapiz lazuli segments and a silver sipping mouthpiece.

Learn More

2500 BC, Clay Tablets from Ebla, Syria

Tell Mardikh, Syria

1800 BC, Hymn to Ninkasi, Babylonia

Three copies of clay tablets, containing a hymn dedicated to Ninkasi, the goddess of brewing, were discovered , which date from the Old Babylonian period. The cuneiform inscriptions contain the oldest written evidence of the actual process for brewing beer.

Learn More

1770 BC, Hammurabi's Code of law, Babylonia

1250 - 1050 BC, Oracle Bone Inscriptions from Yin Xu site in China

Oracle Bone pieces, containing records of beer brewing, were discovered at the Yin Xu archaeological site in the Henan Province in central China, which date from the Shang Dynasty period. Inscriptions show that malted millet and barley were main brewing ingredients. Oracle Bones were used in royal pyromancy rituals to predict the future. This is the earliest written evidence of beer brewing in China.

1516 AD, Bavarian Reinheitsgebot

This was a Beer Purity Law from Bavaria, now a state in Germany, which restricted the ingredients used in brewing beer. It was proposed in 1487 AD and passed in 1516 AD.

Learn More

1592-1724 AD, Invention of Thermometer

The invention of the thermometer was achieved through a number of developments, beginning with those of Galileo Galilei, and essentially ending with those of Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. The invention of the thermometer allowed an improvement in the mashing step of the brew house process.

1822-1895 AD, Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur was a French chemist who is highly regarded for developments in fermentation and pasteurization, helping the production of beer, milk, and wine.

Learn More

1850 AD, Germany Isolates Lager Yeast

Germany isolates lager yeast, Saccharomyces pastorianus. By 1870 most of the breweries in Bohemia were lager breweries.

1885 AD, Joseph William Lovibond

Joseph William Lovibond invented the first colorimeter, which was used to measure beer coloration to determine its quality. He founded a company in 1885 to manufacture his invention, named the Lovibond Comparator.

1919 - 1933 AD, Prohibition in US

Federal Prohibition of Alcohol was part of the United States Constitution from 1919 to 1933. It was the 18th Ammendment to the Constitution. It was ratified (passed) on January 16, 1919, and prohibited the manufacture, sale, transportation, importation, or exportation of intoxicating liquors, active one year from the ratification.

Learn More

1978 AD, Homebrewing Legalized in US

Homebrewing beer was prohibited by a federal law since 1919. This law was repealed by a Bill in November of 1978, signed by president Jimmy Carter, active 3 months later. States were then allowed to legalize homebrewing with their own laws, or modify the federal one. Almost all States have now legalize homebrewing.

This law was pivotal in the resurgence of breweries in the US. Prior to this law, the number of breweries had been in decline

Federal Law now states that individuals may brew up to 100 gallons annually, and households with 2+ adults may brew up to 200 gallons annually. Some States may have superceding laws that vary.

All Content is Copyright © 2015, Brew Muse, LLC. All Rights are Reserved.