oldest references to the existence of beer were left to
us by the ancient culture of the Sumerians. These were
on clay tablets with cuneiform script and are over 6000
years old. It is assumed that the origins of the beverage
lay even further back.
development of beer probably began in the Early Stone
Age when man first started to harvest grain and store
it for later use.
began to boil and ferment grain in water. They produced
a beverage that was at the same time nutritious, refreshing
and kept well. For good reason it was called "liquid
bread," as its origins are inseparable from the cultivation
of cereals and grains. There was a law in the Babylonian
kingdom that provided for the drowning of a brewer in
his own brew if it were judged undrinkable. Several types
of beer were produced in Egypt that were intended for
the different strata of society.
pale beer was meant for the poor. The beers that were
brewed with ginger, dates or honey were reserved for the
highest dignitaries. Beer was considered medicinal and
was used to treat skin and eye illnesses. Very early on
it was the duty of women to produce the nutritious drink
while the men went hunting or made war. At the time of
the Babylonians there already were "beer taverns."
spread of Christianity in Europe brought with it the rise
of wine and subsequently women lost their importance in
the brewing industry. While women continue to be the ones
that produce beer in traditional societies, such as in
Mexico and South America from corn (mais), in the Amazon
region from manioc, and in Africa from sorghum or green
bananas, further developed societies are more likely to
typically leave this activity to men.