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Brewserv is a consultancy company which provides high quality technical, financial and marketing advice for the brewing, malting and the beverage industry. Having worked for large and medium sized European and Asian breweries and malt factories in the past we have specialized in the consulting business, covering the brewing, malting and the beverage industry. On the background of thirty years of experience within this very specialized industry, we are today sharing our wealth of knowledge with our clients.
Successful breweries and related industries worldwide have come to recognize the importance of decision making on the grounds of informed knowledge. As the brewing industry has evolved tremendously both technically and marketingwise during the past thirty years, there is sufficient evidence for this development will continue at an even accelerating pace. Any decision made today can have an unforeseen impact on the development of a company in the future. Most companies lack the qualified internal resources to make right decisions every time and for every project. So here is where brewserv can help.
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Consulting in the event of...
This is a collection of three essays, put up for the interested reader about several issues of brewing and beverages.
brewserv, July 2006 潘福山先生, 博赏, 7/2006
The writer gives an overview of the development of the European brewing industry over the past 50 years. He evaluates similarities and differences of recent Chinese developments and gives an outlook on how the Chinese brewing industry can move forward. Can the Chinese Brewing Industry learn from the success and the mistakes of European brewers? The answer is yes and no.
This article concentrates on the history of alcohol consumtion during the ages and gives a nice view on the developments in the United States in the beginning of the last century.
A. What can the Chinese Brewing Industry learn from Europe ?
by brewserv, July 2006 潘福山先生, 博赏 >>> Text in Chinese translation，文本在中国翻译 >>>
The writer gives an overview of the development of the European brewing industry over the past 50 years. He evaluates similarities and differences of recent Chinese developments and gives an outlook on how the Chinese brewing industry can move forward. Can the Chinese Brewing Industry learn from the success and the mistakes of European brewers? The answer is yes and no.
Although the roots of the modern beer brewing in Europe and the world have their origin in the middle ages when the monasteries held both the rights and the knowledge to produce beer, and although beer brewing as a craft developed to an industry during the founding years around 1840, in this article I will only cover the recent years from 1960 onwards. During the last 50 years the brewing industry of Europe developed rapidly and changed it's face in multiple ways into the various shapes, as we know them today. Only this period can be of a certain value for the one who wants to make up his mind and who wants to evaluate the possibilities for the Chinese brewing industry to find it's way into the future.
The years after the Second World War in Europe were determined by the restoration of destroyed or retarded brewing capacities and the effort to match the fast growing thirst for beer, driven by the steadily growing purchasing power of it's population. During this time most breweries were still using and even invested in open fermentation, copper or steel brew houses with coolships, horizontal storage tanks made of aluminum or coated steel. Barrel and bottle fillings still needed considerable amounts of manual work.
During this period there was a market for everyone who was able to produce a reasonable good beer. The large pre-war brand names developed further but also small and relatively unknown breweries (re-) established themselves as proper local brands. The beer sales prices were attractive and the main problem was how to increase the output according to the growing demand for beer.
Several technical and technological developments took place during this time, as everybody was looking for higher production efficiency for his beer output. It was during this time when for example the use of stainless steel in breweries started to take off. The ideas to use this material preferably in breweries originated from the dairy industry primarily from Northern European countries, where an early high quality standard for milk products was established soon after the war.
The seventies can be described as the years of a turning point for the European brewing industry. It was the time of social unrests and the redefinition of values. During these years breweries were facing important and often crucial decisions and depending on these decisions some breweries succeeded but many failed.
The problems for the brewing industry were various. For the first time after many years of continuous steady growth, breweries had to realize, that the production capacities had overtaken the real demand for beer. The result was that many breweries made a decision to increase their clientele beyond their traditional market boundaries, which usually were close to their production facilities. So these breweries decided to "develop“ their products to regional or even national brands. In most of these cases the brewery just decided to buy more and larger trucks and to ship their products hundreds of kilometers to the "new" and "promising“ markets. As many breweries did this at the same time, the problems started. First of all did the beer stabilization methods of these times and the brewing technology in general not allow the long transports and storage times necessary for such expansions. So the result was that these regional and national brands were of far less quality when they finally reached their customers, than the brands of the local competitors. At the same time the beer price at these far outlets was reduced in regard to the overcrowding of beer brands at these places.
So what "advantage“ did these breweries enjoy from the new strategy? They had developed a large and costly distribution net to serve their doubtful products to new confused customers, who paid very little for these products, but still too much in relationship to the beer's quality and image. The problem got even worse for breweries who decided to export their products to neighboring countries or even overseas.
Most breweries that employed this strategy failed and were taken over by larger national or international groups. But interestingly most of the beer brands they hat destroyed themselves, were never again able to resurrect from this self induced downgrading campaign of the seventies.
Another problem was the sharp increase of labour disputes and the growing power of the labour unions throughout Europe. The natural reaction was that many mostly larger breweries decided to build new modern and very efficient working brewing factories outside the large cities. Heineken in Zoetervoude (The Netherlands) and Carlsberg in Fredericia (Denmark) are typical examples for this development.
A third problem the European breweries were facing was a rapid increase of production costs related to the public and governmental demand for a better living and working environment for the population. Again the Northern European Countries were the forerunners to this new environmental movement that took the world by storm.
Many breweries in Europe during this time couldn't match the pressure and many had to shut down. This was the time when in the United Kingdom basically most breweries merged to the well known "big five“, from which there are only three large groups left today. But also many small and new breweries took a different approach during this time too.
During troubled times people tend to find other and new ways to cope with the problems. So in the second half of the seventies some new developments came up.
In the United Kingdom as an answer to the beer giants there was C.A.M.R.A. (Campaign for Real Ale). C.A.M.R.A. defended but also defined what they called to be "real ale“ and the way how to produce such beer by putting weight on more craftsmanship within the manufacturing of beer brewing in contrast to the factory-made beer of non-"real-ale“ producers. By doing so they matched the customer's desire for a higher product quality and more product individuality and his desire for free choice of beer products.
In The United States President Jimmy Carter signed a bill in the year of 1978 for legalizing home brewing. This was the beginning of a success story of a new kind of entrepreneurship that in some way can be compared to the development of the computer chip industry in California during about the same period.
Also in the USA the beer drinker had a desire for "more fun“ while drinking beer. He was fed up with the very equalized beer qualities of the large (that time six) producers. Today many of these once small home breweries have reached a size that we today again can call large or even very large. And if we look at the earnings of some of these breweries, you will be very positively surprised.
In Germany (West) that at this time still had about 1600 breweries for a population of about 60 million the development took a different turn. As the demand for "real ale“ in Germany had no base, as there existed many different and good beer products and Germany's brewers actively defended their famous purity law, some brewers took a new approach and solved the problem of low brewery earnings in a different way:
As many breweries and well-known beer brands had damaged their reputation in the way mentioned earlier, there was a vacuum to be filled. About 1975 some smaller breweries in Germany realized the power of advertising combined with a well-managed product marketing and they started slowly but steadily to develop their small and unknown brands into national brands. The "secret“ why they succeeded and the others failed, was that they strictly concentrated on the views and desires of the end consumer. They understood, that in the end it's the consumer who decides, which beer he wants to drink or he wants to serve his guests. These brewers didn't stop looking at the consumer's preferences only. They even went further and through a well coordinated marketing strategy they influenced the consumer's desire the way they wanted it to be.
The main pillar within this strategy was the product quality. So these brewers were very much concerned about their product quality. But additionally they understood that it's not sufficient to just produce high quality beers. Quality had to be steadily and thoroughly communicated with the consumer as well, so he had to recognize the product's quality visually and within his mind too and not just by consuming the product and finding it to be good.
Important parts of this marketing strategy were to communicate:
1. the quality of the production facilities
2. the quality of the raw materials and the production processes
3. the quality of the packaging and the product presentation
3. the quality of the general company management with a high degree of a personal commitment of the owner himself and the management
4. the quality in the company's relationship with environmental matters
5. the quality of management and good leadership within the company and outwards
6. the quality of personal requirements of the staff
7. the quality of advertising and TV spots
By implementing and communicating these values with the consumers within a complete communication package, these breweries were successful. As soon as the consumer had understood and also was convinced of the brewery's credibility, he was willing to pay a reasonable higher amount for his glass of beer.
The strategy paid off and many others adopted the method. Of course it must be said here, that also in other European countries and in the USA and for example Mexico this was the way to go and to leave the spiral of a certain brewery death behind.
At the same time other successful strategies were adapted within the German and European brewing industry. Here I want to mention the specializing on one or more specialty beer like for example Wheat Beer, Dark Beer and Alcohol-free Beer. But also in these cases the breweries were only successful if they combined their strategy with a high quality image as just mentioned.
During the eighties the described brewery strategies from the seventies were continued and fine-tuned. So during these years as the competition increased heavily and unsuccessful breweries closed or were taken over, one could clearly see who had made the right decision at the right time.
The technology of beer brewing made some essential advancement during this time. All of these improvements had one goal in common - to increase the product quality. But also energy saving technologies and the environmental harmonization of the beer production were hot issues during these years and most of these technologies, as we know them today have their origin here.
The nineties in Europe were hugely dominated by the increased demand of products and equipment in Eastern Europe. A huge new market had just opened up and everybody wanted to take his share in this development. With the eye on Eastern Europe but also on the rapidly and newly developing China, many large brewery mergers took place during this time.
Today a few players manage Eastern Europe’s brewing industry and it will be a question of time and the development of a mature consumer consciousness, when a larger variety of beers and specialty beers will be produced in these countries.
If we look at the development of the beer industry of Western Europe during this decade, we recognize that many of the larger breweries who had been quite successful with their one-brand or one-beer strategies, started to add different beer types to their product portfolio. Here it was the Light Beers that was leading the pack, but also Wheat Beers, Alcohol-Free Beers, Mix-Beer Drinks and Dark Beers were added to the main brand of these breweries. It must be said here that only in a few cases these additions were really successful. The decision to add this variety of beers to the main brand was mainly driven by the opinion that the consumer was asking for more variety. But only in a few cases this argument was justifiable as the overall offer of a various beer type assortment was already existent in the market.
Also during the last decade the development of Europe's brewing industry continued the given ways. Globalization changed also in this industry the way of thinking and working of the people. The largest brewery mergers ever took place in these recent years and the outlook for the European brewing industry continues to be dominated by M&As combined with production improvements and distribution and production cost reductions. The answer to any development that could lead to a reduced consumer choice and product variety, will in any case be the upcoming of interesting small-scale and craft breweries like we have seen this to happen in the United States and some European countries.
When we look at China and it's brewing industry, we can see some similarities but also differences to the European development.
China has actually started to develop its brewing industry since the beginning of the 1980's. The main part of the development took place during the nineties and it seems that China needed just ten years for what Europe needed thirty years. The difference and maybe the advantage for China was, that it could yield on proven technology and brewery equipment. Only on this ground it was possible during this short time to develop as the worlds largest beer producer with an annual beer production of today 330 million hectolitres. Today China is still one of the fastest growing beer markets worldwide with an estimated production increase of 5% yearly.
After the "golden“ years for the Chinese brewing industry during the nineties where there existed about 700 breweries, the industry was not able to control the increasing competition and today there are about 400 breweries left. Most of the breweries have merged to large mainly national groups that have international cooperation partners who in most cases also are minority shareholders. The competition is fiercer than ever and the company earnings of the breweries are generally low, as the beer prices have come down to a minimum. The large Chinese brewery groups are expecting that their international partners will help to build their financial backbone and to support them during the unknown development of the brewing industry in the coming years.
Differences between Europe and China
What are the essential differences between the Chinese and the European brewing industry and their market conditions?
1. Brewery structure
The structure of the large breweries of China is comparable to the large European brewery groups. Output, size and distribution ways are comparable too. Different is that China doesn't have many what we call small breweries yet. A "small“ brewery in China is a brewery with less than 100,000 tons of annual beer production. But if we say "small“ here, we mean that the brewery in the mind of the consumer is regarded as to be small, independent and quality-conscious about it's products and it’s relationship to it’s consumers.
2. Customer base
The customer base of the Chinese brewing industry is very different from the European. The purchasing power is only a very small fraction compared to Europe also when you take the large Chinese population into account. When we look at the relationship between the small population with a reasonable income and the invested capital that was used to build up the large Chinese beer production, it is obvious that the existing production capacities are too costly and actually "too good“ related to the existing real demand for product quality. Or if we turn it the other way round we can also say that the consumer still is not able to value the offered product qualities of Chinese beers.
The important factor, the purchasing power of a single consumer is very low. And as long the consumer is not able to choose his preferred product “freely” we do not have real free-market conditions yet.
Because of the small variety of offered beers in China the consumer preference towards a certain brand or product will in such a situation mainly depend on non quality related factors like for example the beer price or the alcohol content of the beer. This means that it will be very difficult to justify beer price increases in the future, as brand loyalty is still non-existent. But this is already changing and it's good to be prepared for the future.
3. Product quality
The product qualities of Chinese beers are in general good when we look at fresh bottled beers. Some breweries still have problems if their beer is shipped far away to distant locations of the country or if the beer has been stored under bad and unpredictable conditions for a long time. So in this regard the investment in good quality equipment hasn't paid off yet but it is a good starting point for further quality developments.
On the other side the fashion in recent years to produce low-alcohol beers or Light Beers (7-9 P) in the very large proportion as we see it today is certainly not supporting the Chinese quality beer image. These low-alcohol beers are not sufficient clearly distinct from the stronger medium level beers class. Many customers will feel cheated when being offered low alcohol beers for a relatively high price and it will be difficult to build up consumer loyalty under such circumstances. In Europe Light Beers stand clearly out from the crowd of Lager or Pilsner Beers. The labeling doesn’t leave any doubt and the pricing is accordingly lower.
Also the trend in recent years to move towards green bottles and to establish as much green coloration on the labeling as possible will not be sufficient to convince the consumer of quality. Green is in fact a suitable colour for beer but as soon as all beers will have a similar look, the effect has lost its power. In general I have to say that the branding culture within the Chinese brewing industry still needs a lot of improvement.
But what is actually beer quality?
Beer quality in my opinion is a complex construction of various elements surrounding the product. And this construction exists mainly but also preferably in the mind of the consumer. The duty of the brewery is to develop and to optimize this construction in the mind of the consumer. If the brewery is successful in doing this, it will be rewarded with the customers’ loyalty and his willingness to pay more for its products.
The only way to build up this kind of quality understanding is through communication with the consumer. This can be done in various ways and these ways are not always necessarily costly. To communicate with the consumer will also be the only way to receive a feedback from the customer and to evaluate the success of a given marketing campaign. This is the way successful European and international breweries are working. It should be possible for Chinese breweries to adapt these methods too.
Recommendations for the Chinese brewing industry
The income structure and the spending power of the population in China cannot be changed for the better immediately. This will probably take another 20 years. So where are in such a situation the opportunities for a Chinese brewery to be successful already today?
The answer is by developing product quality and the customer loyalty towards the brewery. The right method to do this is by communicating quality with the consumer. If the brewery is doing this in a proper way, the consumer slowly will develop a relationship to a brewery's products and if the consumer will earn sufficient income, he will reward the brewery with his loyalty through his consumption of it’s products. Here of course the brewers of China will need further improvements in building up their branding culture as this is a fundamental vehicle for a modern and successful communication today.
My second recommendation is to build up a brewery’s consumer communication in a distinct way that differs from the immediate competitor. Only in a few cases it will be advisable to copy foreign marketing messages directly. Preferably Chinese breweries should develop their own and for their consumers well suitable marketing messages as these will go deeper and will be longer lasting as copied foreign messages and strategies.
My third recommendation is concerning the right choice of the production equipment. It is obvious to anybody that the consumer finally is drinking the content of the bottle he buys. He finally is not consuming the beautiful cinema commercial or the nicely designed lable and beer carton of that brewery. What he wants is a great experience while enjoying one of his favorite beers. Therefore a brewery should never start to compromise with the product quality within the production procedure and it will naturally look for the right and the most secure production equipment available.
Good and safe brewery equipment can be found in China and abroad. The judgment which equipment is suitable for a given purpose has to be considered carefully and many factors – not just investment and running costs – will go into the equation before the final decision is made.
The Chinese brewing industry offers plenty opportunities for interesting and innovative developments. In Europe over the past 50 years several developments have been exercised, but only a few were really successful in the long term. China can learn from the successful ones. But China will not be successful just in transforming the successful methods to China. The Chinese brewers will have to find specific and unique Chinese ways to be successful in their home market and abroad.
The supporting method for such a success will in any case be to communicate product quality with the consumer. After having analyzed the beer market in China during recent years I have come to the conclusion, that this is the right and necessary way for breweries to go. The breweries that will understand this and are able to develop their own ways of consumer communication will belong to the few successful breweries of China.
brewserv, Hong Kong 潘福山先生, 博赏 釀酒與飲料咨詢公司 (香港)
published July 2006 in "World Beverage and Brewing Technology Magazine" (WBT) Beijing, China
（潘福山）硕士/著 陈书风/译 >>> English text version, 英语文本版本 ! >>>
B. The Production History and Consumption Of Beer
The following essay is taken from the PlanetPapers website at www.planetpapers.com and gives a short but comprehensive view on the history of beer making and beer consumption. The writer is unknown and the text has been adapted slightly:
1. Production process of beer
The first and most important step in brewing is cleanliness. "Brewing is ninety percent janitorial," said Frederick Bowman, founder of Portland Brewing. (Bowman) The first step in the actual brewing process is malting. Malting is what is done to the barley to prepare it for brewing. The steps of the malting process release the starches that are contained in the barley, while minimizing haze and off-flavors. Grain is allowed to soak in 60° F (16° C) water to increase the moisture content of the grain to about 40-45%. The grain is usually spread out on the floor of the germination room, or some other container. These grains are kept at a temperature of about 60° F (16° C). The germination is complete when the sprout has grown to about 3/4 the length of the grain and the hard part of the grain, or the shell, has turned soft. The goal for germination is for the starches within the grain to break down into shorter lengths. At this shorter length stage, the grain is called green malt. Kilning is the next stage after the grains have sprouted. Kilning is the process of drying the grain in the kiln where the temperature is slowly raised during the 30-35 hour period. After kilning, the result is finished malt, with soluble starches and developed enzymes. These grains each have a different and distinct flavor depending on how long they are cooked in the kiln. (Porter)
After the malting, the grain is ready for milling. Milling is the cracking, and crushing of the grain. This procedure is controlled carefully so as to break the grain while keeping the husk as large and as intact as possible. Milling allows the grain to absorb the water it will be mixed with later as the water will extract sugars from the malt. The malt will now be mixed with warm water in the mash tun. This vessel holds the grain and water mixture for a period of time. Two important things will take place in this step. One is to break down proteins to the more soluble and usable amino acids, providing food for the yeast and foam for a nice head on the beer. The second thing is to break down the starch to simple sugars so yeast can convert them to alcohol and carbon dioxide. (Porter)
Mash filtration consists of filtering the converted mash by gravity or pressure in a lauter tub or mash filter to separate the insoluble matter in the malt from the soluble sugars and nitrogen compounds. The sugar liquid recovered is called wort, pronounced wert, or sweet wort. Boiling the wort is best but is also the most expensive method, Microbreweries generally use this method. The sweet wort is boiled and treated with hops in the brew kettle in a planned schedule, usually somewhere between 30 and 90 minutes. The boiling has many effects: all bacteria are killed, it produces color and flavor compounds, the so-called browning compounds, from the malt and sugars. Boiling the wort extracts bitter and aromatic flavor compounds from the hops, and volatilizes most of the harsh hydrocarbons. It sterilizes the wort and stops all enzyme action. (Porter)
The boiled wort is strained to remove the hops and then transferred to a holding tank called the hot wort tank. The insoluble matter, called trub, is centrifugal separated in the whirl pool tank. The wort is now passed through a heat exchanger that rapidly cools the liquid. Cooling is necessary in order to add the yeast. Yeast is unable to ferment or grow at high temperatures, so cooling the wort to about 70° F (21° C) is needed. Here is where hydrometer readings are taken to record the amount of sugar in the wort by measuring the density of the liquid. This is called the specific gravity. The specific gravity is used in determining the alcohol content of the finished beer. The more sugar there is, the more dense the liquid. The higher the specific gravity, the more sugars there are available for fermentation, producing more alcohol. (Porter)
It is here in the fermentation tank that the yeast changes the sugars into alcohol over a period of days or weeks, depending on the style of beer being brewed. Ferment is taken from the Latin "to boil". Watching the yeast in active fermentation, one can understand the reason the word is used. Fermentation begins with pitching, or adding the yeast to the cooled wort. Pitching can only be done when the wort is at the proper temperature, around 70°-80° F (21°-27° C). Fermentation temperatures also can vary depending upon the type of yeast used. Fermentation temperatures for ales are 55°-65° F (13°-18° C), while for lagers 40°-55° F (4°-13° C) is used. (Porter)
There are different types aging techniques. Of these are Rhu, Lagering, Secondary Fermentation or Kraeusening. Rhu, which means, rest, is usually a short period of two to seven days in which the beer is cooled and the yeast that did not settle in the fermentation vessel now will settle. This results in a reduction in yeasty flavors in the beer and makes filtration easier. Lagering, from the German, means, to store. This is a longer period, seven to fourteen days, during which the temperature falls more slowly, reducing yeasty and sulfur flavors. The beer also clarifies and mellows. Secondary Fermentation usually takes ten to fourteen days and involves transferring beer out of the fermentation vessels before its yeast has completely fermented the sugars, and allowing the rest of the fermentation to continue cool and slow. Kraeusening is a delicate process in which fermented beer, after being transferred to another vessel, is mixed with young beer that has just started to ferment. (Jackson)
Beer will naturally tend to turn cloudy when it is cooled to temperatures near freezing. To prevent this, an extract of the papaya, papain is often used to prevent this. The beer is then either filtered, centrifuged, or both to remove any yeast and insoluble matter. Diatomaceous earth, siliceous skeletons of ancient marine organisms, or cotton pulp is used as a filtration medium. Some beers are filtered twice. Beer must be either pasteurized or sterile filtered to protect it from the continued growth of any stray yeast. The beer is now ready to be filled into bottles or kegs. (Porter)
2. Origins of beer making and it’s development
About 13,000 years ago, early humans discontinued their nomadic hunting and gathering techniques and settled down to farm. Grain was one of the first domesticated crops that early farming methods. The oldest records found of brewing were in Sumeria dating back six thousand years ago. Sumeria lied between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, encircling Southern Mesopotamia, in the area of the ancient cities of Babylon and Ur. Sumerians most likely discovered the brewing process by chance. No one knows today exactly how beer was first discovered.
The earliest account of beer brewing was an engraving in the Sumerian language. This engraving is a picture of barley, followed by bread being baked, crumbled into water for mash, and then made into intoxicating drink. Baking bread was probably the most convenient way to store the source for making beer. In Russia, this method is still used to make a version of beer called kvass. Sumerians were the first able to repeat the process of brewing and are assumed to be he first civilized culture to brew beer. They had discovered a spiritual drink that they offered to their gods. (Alabev)
Although beer as we know it had its origins in Mesopotamia, fermented beverages of some sort or another were produced in various forms around the world. For example, Chicha is a corn beer and kumiss is a drink produced from fermented camel milk. The word beer comes from the Latin word bibere, meaning, "to drink", and the root of the Spanish word cerveza originates from the Greek goddess of agriculture, Ceres. (Alabev)
The Sumerian Empire collapsed during the 2nd millennium b.c. and the Babylonians became the rulers of Mesopotamia. Their culture was derived from that of the Sumerians so they also mastered the art of brewing beer. The Babylonians knew how to brew 20 different types of beer. Of these, 8 were brewed from pure emmer, 8 from pure barley and 4 from a mixture of grains. (Alabev)
Hammurabi, an important Babylonian king and founder of an empire, decreed the oldest known collection of laws. One of these laws established a daily beer ration. This ration was dependent on the social standing of the individual. For example, a normal worker received 2 liters, civil servants 3 liters, and administrators and high priests 5 liters per day. In these ancient times beer was not sold, but exchanged for barley. Beer at this time was cloudy and unfiltered. As beer brewing was a household art, it was also women's work. King Hammurabi once ordered a female saloonkeeper drowned because she exchanged silver for beer. Drowning was also the punishment for serving low quality beer. (Alabev)
The Egyptians were brewers too. They used bread dough for making beer, and added dates to the beer to add taste. Egyptian people along the Nile, Fellahs, still make beer the same way today. Beer was such a way of life that the Egyptian scribes created a hieroglyph for a brewer. After the Romans and Greeks succeeded Egypt, beer still was brewed. The popularity of beer was recorded in the Mediterranean area before the growing of grapes for wine took hold. Wine became the drink of the gods. Beer was brewed in the outskirts of the Roman Empire because wine was difficult to obtain. Romans, who were mainly wine drinks, considered beer a barbaric drink. Beer of this era could not be stored, was cloudy and produced almost no foam. The oldest proof of beer being brewed on German soil, comes from the early Hallstatt Period, about 800 BC. (Alabev)
The mood-altering effects of beer were considered supernatural by early civilizations, and the state of intoxication was regarded as divine. People though beer must contain some sort of spirit since drinking it possesses the drinker. Beer brewing played an important role in people's daily lives. So stimulating was the recently discovered pleasure that early people decided never to be without it. At a time before bread baking, beer was a non-perishable food. Protected by alcohol, beer had good taste lasting far longer than any other food. A vitamin-rich porridge used daily, beer is reported to have increased health and longevity and reduced disease and malnutrition. The self-medicating properties of alcohol-rich beer also eased the tensions and stresses of daily living in a hostile world. (Buhner 35)
Beer was a driving force that led nomadic groups into village life. Ten thousand years ago barley was domesticated and worshipped as a god in the highlands of southern Levant. With the creation of writing, using a stylus on wet clay tablets, beer, its history and mystery, became a large part of an ancient literary repertoire. Beer was considered a valuable foodstuff and workers were often paid with jugs of beer. Fruits, best when freshly picked during their short season, could be turned into wine but lacked the protein value of beer, wrote Steven Buhner. (Buhner 60)
In many paintings of early monasteries you can see monks enjoying beer. After a short time they began to brew more than for their own consumption. Through an alcohol licensing charge, the monks received the right to sell beer. With this many monasteries developed into well managed commercial businesses. Monasteries were so good at brewing that theirs was of the highest quality and very popular. There were too many types of beer brewed, low strength every day beer and, high strength special occasion beers. Brewing became the duty of commercial brewers after the reformation and weakening of the church. These brewers brewed under royal license and supplied the merchant class with beer. People of other towns constantly wanted beer, and as a result brewing became a respectable trade. (Alabev)
The local sovereigns introduced beer taxes that began to fill their coffers. As the monastery pubs did not have to pay these taxes because of their older, privileged brewery status, they adversely affected this new source of income and the dukes and princes quickly closed many of the monasteries. Emperor Sigismund was the first emperor to issue such a decree. Even though the sovereigns closed many monastery breweries, we owe much to the monks for being the first to develop the brewers' art. Monasteries had become the centers for brewing as a result of their already being the centers of learning. The local water supply was often contaminated, beer provided a safe drinking source and was promoted by the authorities of the day. Throughout the Middle Ages, hops became widely used as a way to make beer refreshing and also as a natural preservative. In fact, in France and Germany, hops were documented as being cultivated in the ninth century. (Alabev)
Grut was a mixture of all sorts of herbs used to flavor beer. The flavoring license was similar to a patent, allowing a brewery to produce its own flavoring mixture and became the legal basis for every brewery and ensured a monopoly position for the respective brew master. With the advent of hops as a flavoring, Grut was no longer necessary and therefore the monopoly position of the breweries endangered. For this reason, the use of hops was often simply and forcibly forbidden. Among other things, juniper berries, sweet gale , blackthorn, oak bark, wormwood, caraway seed, aniseed, bay leaves, yarrow, thorn apple, gentian, rosemary, tansy, Saint-John's-wort, spruce chips, pine roots, and henbane found their way into these Grut mixtures. Some of these herbs were poisonous, and others induced hallucinations. As we know today, the hallucinogen Alkaloid, for example, is produced from henbane during the brewing process. (Alabev)
In the 19th century Industrial developments started to take their effect. With the introduction of the steam engine, industrialization began to invade brewing and efficiency increased. The first breweries to use steam power called themselves Steam Beer Breweries. The second invention, even more important to the brewing industry, was refrigeration, invented by Carl von Linde. It had already been scientifically proven that the making of good beer required certain temperatures. The brewing of bottom fermented beer, such as lagers, demand temperatures of 4 to 10 degrees Centigrade. Such temperatures only occur in winter, or in deep cellars filled with large quantities of block ice. Through the invention of refrigeration, beer brewing became seasonally independent. The first refrigeration equipment was tested in a Munich brewery. (Alabev)
Important scientific research took place in breweries in the 19th century. One of the most important works was by Louis Pasteur entitled, "Etudes sur la Biere", or "Studies Concerning Beer". Louis Pasteur gained his knowledge of microorganisms from these studies. This basic knowledge is still indispensable today, not only in the production of beverages, but also in medicine and biology. The brewing industry owes much to Louis Pasteur.
Another pioneering discovery in beer brewing was the work of Emil Christian Hansen. The Danish scientist, Emil Christian Hansen, successfully isolated a single yeast cell and induced it to reproduce on an artificial culture medium. With the ensuing yeast propagation methods, the purity of the fermenting process has been improved and beer taste perfected. (Alabev)
Wooden barrels have been almost completely replaced by metal barrels for most pub trade. In 1964 metal kegs were introduced in Germany. Firstly, cleaning and filling was much simpler. Secondly, tapping and closing off was much easier for the bar personnel. This was well liked by pub and restaurant owners. (Alabev)
3. Historical review on alcohol
"For most of the past ten millennia, alcoholic beverages may have been the most popular and common daily drinks, an indispensable sources of fluid and calories. In a world of contaminated and dangerous water supplies, alcohol truly earned the title in the Middle Ages: aqua vitae, the "water of life," said Bert Vallee, Doctor. (Vallee 80)
Frederick the Great, whose economic strategy was threatened by importation of coffee stated in 1777: "It is disgusting to notice the increase in the quality of coffee used by my subjects, and the amount of money that goes out of the country as a consequence. Everybody is using coffee; this must be prevented. His majesty was brought up on beer, and so were both his ancestors and officers. Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer, and the King does not believe that coffee-drinking soldiers can be relied upon to endure hardships in case of another war." A world leader today may have their mental competence questioned if they urged alcohol consumption over coffee, particularly by the military. No more than an eye blink ago in historical time a world leader could describe beer in terms that made it sound like mother's milk. (Vallee 80)
Rachelle Carter, title unknown, wrote, "Beer and Ale were two of the beverages most consumed in the middle ages. Water was not often drunk because it was mostly polluted. For this reason the average daily consumption of beer or ale was much greater in the Middle Ages then it is today. The Household records at the time specified what and how much one could consume at individual meals. The average daily consumption of adults was a gallon a day. Children also consumed beer and ale on a daily basis. However, their average daily consumption was less then that of adults." (Carter 1)
Natural processes have most likely produced alcohol-containing food for years. Yeast, when metabolizing sugar to obtain energy, creates two byproducts, ethyl alcohol, and CO2. The process of fermentation periodically inebriated animals that eating spoiled fruits. Birds and mammals have been reported intoxicated throughout the ages. Humans have a gene for the enzyme alcohol, dehydrogenate; this gene is suspected to have evolved over millions of years by animals encountering fermented food enough to have evolved a way to metabolize it. Investigation of alcohol was unintentional or by chance for humans until 10,000 years ago. (Vallee 81)
About this time, some Late Stone Age gourmand probably tasted the contents of a jar of unattended honey that had been left unattended longer than usual. Natural fermentation had been given the opportunity to occur, and the taster, finding the effects of mild alcohol ingestion provocative, probably replicated the natural experiment. The technique was fairly simple; leave the sweet substance alone to ferment. Beer relies on large amounts of starchy grains, and the production of this substance would have to wait until the advent of agriculture. (Vallee 81)
The fertile river deltas of Mesopotamia and Egypt produced massive crops of wheat and barley; the diets of peasants, laborers and soldiers of these ancient civilizations were cereal-based. It might be viewed as a historical inevitability that fermented grain would be discovered, wrote Bert Vallee, Doctor. (Vallee 81)
The arrival of agriculture led to food surpluses, which led to an even larger population and close living quarter, in villages or cities. These people faced a problem of how to provide inhabitants with enough clean, pure water. The water supply in cities quickly became polluted with their waste products and in turn made the water dangerous or deadly if drank. The lack of liquids safe for human consumption prevented long-range voyages over the oceans until recently. Christopher Columbus made his journey to the New World with wine on board, and the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock only because their beer provisions ran out. (Vallee 81)
Evidence arguing against the widespread use of water can be found in the examination of both the Bible and Greek texts. In both versions of the Bible, Old and New Testaments, is virtually empty of references to water as a common drinking source. Likewise, Greek writing make scant references to water drinking, with exceptions to deep wells, mountain spring water or rain water. Ancient civilization clearly understood that most of their water supplies were contaminated. (Vallee 82)
Since most water was polluted to the point that it was undrinkable, ethyl alcohol may have been the number one source of hydration. Beer and wine are both free from pathogens. The antiseptic power of alcohol, as well as the natural acidity of wine and beer, killed many pathogens when the drinks were diluted with the dirty water supply. With the application of the fermentation process, people of all ages consumed beer and wine on a daily basis. The alcohol content of these daily drinks was low, consumers focused their brewing techniques on issues of taste, thirst quenching, hunger satisfaction and storage, rather than on intoxication. (Vallee 82)
Eastern civilization differed greatly in the coming of alcohol. For at least the past two thousand years, the practice of boiling water for such things as tea, created a potable supply of nonalcoholic beverages. Genetics played an important role in Asians avoidance to alcohol. Almost half of all Asian people lack an enzyme necessary for complete alcohol metabolism, making the experience of being intoxicated miserable. Consequently, beer and wine took their place as staples in the western world and remained there until the end of last century. (Vallee 83)
Alcohol was also used to distract from the fatigue and boredom of day to day life in most cultures, and alleviating pain for which remedies were nonexistent. Today people have all sorts of ways to rid themselves of pain. Until this century the only anesthetic available in the West was alcohol. The Book of Proverbs states: "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto them that be heavy of hearts. Let him drink. And forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." Wine was used as a remedy for almost all acute or chronic sicknesses known at the time. A Sumerian cuneiform tablet dating back to 2100 B.C. is cited as the oldest preserved record of medicinal alcohol. (Vallee 83)
People in ancient times knew the potentially delirious effects of drinking. The call for moderation began early in Hebrew, Greek and Roman cultures. The Old Testament frequently disapproved of drunkenness. In the New Testament, Jesus approved of alcohol consumption, resorting to miracle in the transformation of water to wine, and act that may acknowledge the goodness of alcohol versus polluted water. His followers worked to balance the use and abuse of alcohol but never supported total prohibition. Rather than rebuking the drunken effects of alcohol, Christians considered it a gift from the Gods, both for medicinal qualities and tranquilization characteristics that offered relief from the pain and anxiety of day to day life. (Vallee 83)
After about nine thousand years of relatively low alcohol beer, mead, and wine, Western civilization was faced with alcohol in highly concentrated form, due to distillation. Arabic alchemists developed distillation around AD 700. This brought about a significant change in the mode and magnitude of alcohol consumption since the beginning of civilization. Although yeast produces alcohol as a byproduct in their life cycle, they cannot tolerate concentrations over 16 percent before killing themselves by their own excretions. Therefore fermented drinks had a natural maximum proof. (Vallee 83)
The Arab method spread to Europe, and distillation of wine to produce spirits started around AD 1100. The medical school at Salerno, Italy, was an important center for the exchange of thoughts and theories relating to chemicals and medicines. Combining traditional alcoholic drinks of beer and wine, which had low alcohol concentration and positive nutritional benefits, with beverages that have high alcohol levels to cause widespread problems still plaguing us today. (Vallee 84)
The process of distillation eventually spread from Italy to Northern Europe. Hieronymus Brunschwig described this process in detail in his book Liber de arte distillandi, the first printed book on distillation. By the time he was a best-selling author, distilled alcohol had a split personality as nourishing food, beneficent medicine, and a harmful drug. The drinking of spirits followed the bouts of plague, especially the Black Death. Alcohol, completely ineffective as a cure, was used to make the victims feel relatively better. No other substance could do even that much. (Vallee 84)
Economic recovery following the plague throughout Europe generated higher standards of luxury and increased urbanization. People of this time witnessed unparalleled display of, gluttony, self-indulgence and inebriation.
"Despite the obvious negative effect of drunkenness, and despite attempts by authorities to curtail drinking, the practice continued until the beginning of the 17th century, when nonalcoholic beverages made with boiled became popular," said Bert Vallee, Doctor. Coffee tea and cocoa began to break alcohol's monopoly on safe drinking water. (Vallee 84)
Aging of Beer. Jackson, Paul. 29 October 1999. https://Alabev.com/beeraging.html
Alabev. John Fife. 20 October 1999. https://www.Alabev.com
Bowman, Fredrick L. Personal Interview. 1 October 1999.
Buhner, Steven H. Sacred and Healing Beers. Brewers Publications. Chicago, Illinois, October, 1998.
Carter, Rachelle. Consumption of Beer and Ale in the Middle Ages
October 27, 1999. https://www.millersv.edu/~english/homepage/duncan/medfem/fact4a.html
Porter, Brett. Mentor. Job Shadow. 1 October 1999 - November 3, 1999.
Vallee, Bert L. "Alcohol in the Western World". Scientific America. June, 1998
C. A History of Alcohol
The writer of this article makes an effort to span over millenniums by looking at the alcohol production and the social aspects of drinking during the times. He finally describes the prohibition times of the USA at the beginning of the twentieth century. At the end you will find an interesting timetable. The article and the table are taken from the drug-rehabs.org website which is very informative on related issues:
Alcoholic beverages date back to the very early part of man's history. Many archaeologists believe that wines made from grapes have existed for more than 10,000 years and that drinks such as mead and beer have existed for even longer. Throughout its history, alcohol has been used socially for many diverse purposes, such as calming feuds, giving courage in battle, sealing pacts, celebrating festivals, and seducing lovers. Historians speculate that prehistoric nomads may have made beer from grain & water before learning to make bread. The Celts, Ancient Greeks, the Norse, Egyptians, and Babylonians all have records of production and consumption of alcoholic drinks. Alcohol was included in the Egyptian burial provisions for the journey to the afterlife.
With agriculture came regular and larger supplies of the raw materials required for fermentation and distilling. The first civilizations to form around a fixed agricultural life style are the Sumerians around 4000 b.c. The evidence that alcohol was produced here has been confirmed by archaeological findings and images on many of their cuneiform tablets which show images of alcohol being drunk. A description of the making of beer on an ancient engraving in the Sumerian language followed by a pictograph of bread being baked, crumbled into water to form a mash, and then made into a drink that is recorded as having made people feel "exhilarated, wonderful and blissful."
Civilization continued to flourish and so did alcohol consumption and production. We know that the ancient Egyptians were drinkers, because they invented the first straws for drinking beer that still contained wheat husks. There are also some passages within their texts referring to the social problems associated with drunkenness, and a 1600 BC Egyptian texts contain 100 medical prescriptions calling for the use of alcohol. There is evidence from Babylonian, another of the early cradles of humanity, clay tablets detail recipes for beer, in fact we know that the Babylonians knew how to brew 20 different types of beer. All these early civilizations grew barley and this may have been cultivated strictly for brewing. The Babylonians drew up the one of the world's first legal texts, and included in the law was a set of rules to regulating drinking houses.
Distilled spirits have their origin in China and India in about 800 BC. Alcoholic drinks such as wine and beer are produced primarily through fermentation of a fruit or grain of some kind. Drinks such as Brandy, Cognac, and Sake are created by distilling these ferments yielding what is often a more potent drink. The distillation process did not make its way to Europe until the eleventh century.
When the Greeks and the Romans took up the mantle of being the greatest civilizations on earth, other than wine, the majority of their drink was often flavored with herbals like balsam, dandelion, mint, and wormwood seeds, and even crab claws & oyster shells for flavorings. The Greeks worshipped the god Bacchus, the god of wine. The Romans worshipped the same god under the name of Dionysos. The form of worship usually took the form of an orgy of intoxication, and their literature is full of warnings against intemperance. There is writing, which tells how Caesar toasted his troops after crossing the Rubicon, which began the Roman Civil War. It was the Roman legions who around 55 BC introduce beer to Northern Europe.
The beers and ales of Medieval Europe were actually rich in proteins and carbohydrates, making them a good source of nutrition in that society. It is theorized that hops, which are now a universal ingredient in beer making, date back to Babylonians in the eighth and ninth centuries BC. In Europe hops were primarily medicinal plants which were added to beer to make both the drink and the medication taste better. This process soon became standard in the production of the beverage.
But alcohol consumption continued to grow and by the middle ages many monasteries made beer to nourish their monks and to sell to the people. (The reason the monks were so intensively concerned with making beer was because they wanted a pleasant tasting, nutritious drink to serve with their meals, which were frugal at best, especially during the fasting periods. As the consumption of liquids was not considered to break the fast, beer was always permitted.) The consumption of beer in the monasteries reached astounding levels: Historians report that each monk was allowed to imbibe 5 liters of beer per day. Before the Middle Ages brewing was left to women to make since it was considered a food. During the middle ages the emphasis began shifting from family tradition to centralized production, providing hospitality for travelers and pilgrims. Home breweries became Inns, Taverns and Public Houses as beer remained at the heart of almost every culture and subculture. The middle ages were a superstitious time and occasionally distilling/brewing failures were blamed on "brew witches" or even the devil. The last known burning of a "brew witch" took place in 1591. By the end of the middle ages most of Europe and in fact most of the world were beginning to master the art of brewing and distilling.
But it was not until the Renaissance, as with so many things, that distilling and brewing became an art. Brewers became one of the first occupations to form a guild, and continuity was set with old Brew-"masters" teaching their apprentices the proper techniques. The Renaissance is not simply known for the burgeoning of Art and Culture, but also of Science. The thermometer was invented along with other implements used in the creation of alcohol. This led to a more controlled scientific method of production. Science continued to advance into the Industrial revolution creating steam power, refrigeration and the science of microbiology. As technology advanced it became possible to distill spirits and produce alcohol at much purer and higher strength. The making of alcoholic spirits like gin, brandy and sambuca only started some one thousand or so years ago. Germany, Belgium, and Britain soon evolved as distinct brewing cultures. Countries developed national spirits, which were identified, and gave identity to these countries. Russian Vodka, Scottish Whisky, Mexican Tequila, the Greeks have Ouzo and the Italians Strega and Sambuca, and there are hundreds more.
Americans during the time of the American Revolution, for the most part showed little concern over drunkenness, and spiritous liquors had become the greatest factors in colonial commerce. The first serious and effective efforts to regulate liquor consumption, particularly within the army, occurred during the war. Following it, social conditions weakened traditional controls over drunkenness and consumption increased even further.
The early temperance movement developed among New England Federalists; the most prominent spokesperson was Benjamin Rush, author of Inquiry into the Effects of Ardent Spirits on the Human Mind and Body (1785), who was one of the first to challenge popular beliefs in the health benefit of spirits. He recommended for temperance and health the use of fermented alcoholic beverages rather than spirits. This early movement relied on the technique of persuasion to bring about such temperance. Congressional attempts to impose a tax on distilled spirits resulted in the Whiskey Rebellion (1794).
During this time, the brewing industry was the most prosperous of the beverage alcohol industries. Because of the competitive nature of brewing, the brewers entered the retail business. Americans called retail businesses selling beer and whiskey by the glass saloons. To expand the sale of beer, brewers expanded the number of saloons. Saloons proliferated. It was not uncommon to find one saloon for every 150 or 200 Americans, including those who did not drink. Hard-pressed to earn profits, saloonkeepers sometimes introduced vices such as gambling and prostitution into their establishments in an attempt to earn profits. Many Americans considered saloons offensive, noxious institutions.
Prohibition had its roots back in the temperance movements of the nineteenth century. The cultural climate in the U.S. at that time was apt to accept such an idea, which was compatible with popular contemporary notions of personal perfection. Prohibition in the United States was a measure designed to reduce drinking by eliminating the businesses that manufactured, distributed, and sold alcoholic beverages. The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took away license to do business from the brewers, distillers, vintners, and the wholesale and retail sellers of alcoholic beverages.
The first prohibition law was passed in Maine in 1851, and some twelve states followed suit. Eighteen years later, the National Prohibition Party was formed, which won its first seat in the House of Representatives in 1890. Another three years, and the Anti-Saloon League, a powerful political force in later years, was formed. Throughout the second half of the century, various anti-alcohol measures were enforced in states all over the Union.
By 1906, the movement was well under way, fueled by anti-alien and anti-Roman Catholic sentiments among the Protestant middle classes. The conflict between rural and urban lifestyles was becoming more apparent with the growth of the cities, which were perceived by country-dwellers as hotbeds of crime and vice. Employers were concerned, as they always had been, about the effects of alcohol on the efficiency of their workforce. These factors, combined with a temporary Wartime Prohibition Act, introduced in World War I to save grain for food, led to total Prohibition in 33 states by 1920.
Some prohibition leaders looked forward to an educational campaign that would greatly expand once the drink businesses became illegal, and would eventually, in about thirty years, lead to a sober nation. Other prohibition leaders looked forward to vigorous enforcement of prohibition in order to eliminate supplies of beverage alcohol. After 1920, neither group of leaders was especially successful. The educators never received the support for the campaign that they dreamed about; and the law enforcers were never able to persuade government officials to mount a wholehearted enforcement campaign against illegal suppliers of beverage alcohol.
The laws were enforced easily in rural communities where the population was most sympathetic. But in the cities, an enormous industry grew up around the production, transportation and sale of contraband beer and liquor. The bootleggers (named after the practice adopted by travelers in the Midwest in the 1880's, who concealed liquor in their boots when trading with Indians) began by importing booze over the Mexican and Canadian borders, and from the Caribbean.
Smuggling became harder when customs officials became aware and purchased faster boats. The gangsters then resorted to other means to acquire their liquor. "Medicinal" whiskey was still available in drug-stores, on real or forged prescriptions. Denatured alcohol, legally used in other industries and treated with noxious chemicals to render it undrinkable, was "washed" of its poisonous additives and diluted with tapwater. Worse still, illegal corn liquor stills were used to produce frequently toxic "rotgut". Coroners reports for the first five months of 1923 reveal that a hundred people had perished from drinking contaminated hooch. Officials at the time believed the figure to be much higher.
The damage was not limited to public health. Because of the complexity of the operations, the bootleggers quickly organized themselves into alliances and cartels that could control their activities. Law and order began to break down as corruption spread virus-like into public life. In a famous trial in Indiana in 1923, it was revealed that protection monies were paid to: "the mayor, the sheriff, a judge of the city court, the prosecuting attorney for the county, a former sheriff, a former prosecuting attorney, a deputy sergeant, a justice of the peace, an influential lawyer, and former deputy sheriffs, detectives, policemen, petty lawyers, bartenders, caberet singers and notorious women." In other words, just about everybody.
As the cartels grew, and gang rivalry diminished, so the power and profits were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Al Capone's annual earnings were estimated at the time of his arrest to be $60 million. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, an elaborate syndicate of organized crime, built on the multi-million dollar bootlegging industry, had survived. The American Mafia branched out into narcotics, gambling, prostitution, loan sharking and extortion, concerns they still control today.
The best evidence available to historians shows that consumption of beverage alcohol declined dramatically under prohibition. In the early 1920s, consumption of beverage alcohol was about thirty per cent of the pre-prohibition level. Consumption grew somewhat in the last years of prohibition, as illegal supplies of liquor increased and as a new generation of Americans disregarded the law and rejected the attitude of self-sacrifice that was part of the bedrock of the prohibition movement. Nevertheless, it was a long time after repeal before consumption rates rose to their pre-prohibition levels.
|6000-4000 BCE||Viticulture, the selective cultivation of grape vines for making wine, is believed to originate in the mountains between the Black and Caspian seas (modern Armenia).|
|c. 3000-2000 BCE||Beer making flourishes in Sumerian/Mesopotamian civilization (modern day Iraq) with recipes for over twenty varieties of beer recorded on clay tablets.|
|3000-2000 BCE||Wine production and trade become an important part of Meditaranean commerce and culture. Ships carry large quantities between cities.|
|2200 BCE||Cuneiform tablet recommends beer as a tonic for lactating women.|
|3000-1000 BCE||Beer is unrefined and usually drunk through straw because it had large quantities of grain and mash in it.|
|c. 1800 BCE||Beer is produced in quantity in northern Syria.|
|1500 BCE||Wine is produced commercially in the Levant and Aegean.|
|900-800 BCE||Extensive, large scale vineyards laid out in Assyria (modern Iraq) produced over 10,000 skins of wine for the new capitol at Nimrud by Assurbanipal II.|
|c. 800 BCE||Distillation of barley and rice beer is practiced in India.|
|c. 50 BCE||Dionysius of Halicarnassus writes "the Gauls (french) have no knowledge of wine.. but used a foul-smelling liquour made of barley rotted in water (beer)."|
|c. 500||Wine making reaches Tang China along the Silk Road.|
|768||First specific reference to the use of hops in beer from the Abbey St. Denis in France by King Pepin le Bref.|
|1100||Alcohol distillation is documented by the medical school at Salerno, Italy. The product of the distillation is named 'spirits' in reference to it being the extracted spirit of the wine.|
|Middle Ages||Distillation of grain alcohol in Europe follows the earlier distillation of wine.|
|1516||German Beer Purity Law ("Rheinheitsgebot") makes it illegal to make beer with anything but barley, hops, and pure water.|
|Early 1500's||Benedictine, a cognac-based alcohol with added herbs, is developed at the monastery in Fecamp, Normandy.|
|1525-1550||England. Excessive use of distilled spirits first becomes apparent.|
|1524-1556||Viticulture spread through Peru, Chile and Argentina.|
|1500's||The term 'alcohol' is now used specifically to refer to distilled spirits rather than its previous general meaning of any product of the process of vaporizing and condensing.|
|1550 - 1575||England. Thomas Nash describes widespread inebriety in Elizabethan England; drunkenness is mentioned for the first time as a crime, and preventive statutes multiply.|
|17th Century||Use of hashish, alcohol, and opium spreads among the population of occupied Constantinople|
|1600 - 1625||England. During the reign of James I, numerous writers describe widespread drunkenness from beer and wine among all classes. Alcohol use is tied to every endeavor and phase of life, a condition that continues well into the eighteenth century.|
|1606||England. Parliament passes "The Act to Repress the Odious and Loathsome Sin of Drunkenness".|
|17th century||America. Massachusetts laws attempt to control widespread drunkenness, particularly from home-brews, and to supervise taverns. At the same time each town is ordered to establish a man to sell wines and "strong water" so that the public will not suffer from lack of proper accommodations (1637); inns are required to provide beer for entertainment (1649).|
|1643||Britain imposes an excise tax on distilled spirits. Along with a tax of alcohol came the development of the moonshine trade.|
|1650 - 1675||America. New England colonies attempt to establish a precise definition of drunkenness that includes the time spent drinking, amount, and behavior. Massachusetts laws against home-brews are reaffirmed (1654); a law forbidding the payment of wages in the form of alcohol results in a labor strike (1672). Increase Mather writes Wo to Drunkards (1673).|
|1650 - 1675||England. Gin is developed in Holland (c. 1650) by distilling grain with the juniper berry. gin can be produced cheaply and plentifully, and the gin industry grows rapidly in England after it is introduced by British soldiers fighting in the Low Countries.|
|1675 - 1700||America. The office of tithingman is established in Massachusetts to report on liquor violations in homes (1675). Cotton Mather blames growing irreligiosity on excess tippling (1694).|
|1675 - 1700||England. New laws encourage the distillation and sale of spirits for revenues and support of the landed aristocracy (1690). The production of distilled liquors, mostly gin, increases dramatically; so does use, particularly among the poor. Excessive consumption of beer and wine is still prevalent among the middle and upper classes.|
|Late 1600's||Western France develops a reputation as the producer of fine quality cognac.|
|1700||Scotland and Ireland develop reputations for their quality whiskies.|
|1770s||Viticulture brought to Alta California. Within a century, it became one of the great wine-producing regions of the world.|
|1791||The Act of 1791 (popularly called the "Whiskey Tax") enacted a tax on both publicly and privately distilled whiskey.|
|1793||The 'Whiskey Rebellio' of Pennslyvania, during which government troops were used to make arrests of a handful of distillery leaders who were refusing to pay taxes on their products.|
|1802||The 'Whiskey Tax' was repealed by Thomas Jefferson who called it 'infernal,' and 'hostile to the genius of a free people'.|
|1814-1817||A new alcohol tax is temporarily imposed in the United States to help pay for the War of 1812.|
|Early 19th Century||Development of the continuous still makes the process of alcohol distillation cheaper and easier to control.|
|1860||1,138 legal alcohol distilleries were operating in the United States producing 88 million gallons of liquor per year.|
|1862||Abraham Lincoln imposed a new tax on liquor (the Act of July 1) to help pay the bills from the Civil War. This act also created the office of internal revenue. The alcohol tax began at 20 cents per gallon in 1862 and had risen to $2.00 per gallon just over two years later.|
|1906||Pure Food and Drug Act is passed, regulating the labelling of products containing Alcohol, Opiates, Cocaine, and Cannabis, among others. The law went into effect Jan 1, 1907|
|Dec 1917||The 18th Amendment to the Constitution (prohibition amendment) is adopted by the required majority of both houses of Congress.|
|Jan 16, 1919||The 18th Amendment to the Constitution (prohibition amendment) is ratified by the 36th state, meeting the 3/4 requirement. It goes into effect one year later.|
|Oct 1919||The Volstead Act is passed by Congress over President Wilson's veto. This clarifies and broadens the base of the 18th Amendment, and defines methods of enforcement. It specifies that possession of alcoholic beverages is also illegal, although the courts often failed to enforce this provision.|
|Jan 16, 1920||The 18th Amendment (prohibition amendment) takes effect, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, transportation, import, and export of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes.|
|1920-1933||The illicit alcohol trade booms in the United States.|
|Mar 22, 1933||The Volstead Act is modified, legalizing beverages containing not more than 3.2 percent alcohol. Roosevelt proposed this change to Congress nine days after his inauguration.|
|Dec 5, 1933||The prohibition of alcohol is repealed with the passage of the 21st Amendment, effective immediately.|
|1934-1970||Once the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed, the excise tax on alcohol began to climb again. In 1934 the tax was $2.00 per gallon, in 1940 it was $3.00, $4.00 in 1941, $6.00 in 1942, $9.00 in 1944, and $10.50 in 1970. At this point a moonshiner could produce and sell a gallon of alcohol for half the amount of the tax alone.|
|Oct 14, 1978||US President Jimmy Carter signs bill legalizing home brewing of beer for the first time since Prohibition.|
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