Beer is old, like 7,000 BC old. Maybe even more. Of all of the varieties of beer we drink, however, there are basically only two types of beer, ales and lagers. From prehistoric nomads to modern-day microbreweries, Lyle and Danny discuss beer and very little else in this episode of Flash Past.
It is believed that prehistoric nomads may have made beer from grains and water, even before they learned how to make bread. Clay tablets dating back to around 4300 BC tell us Babylonians made different varieties of beer, possibly up to 20 of them.
The Egyptians knew a thing or two about beer. They brewed it for commercial use and served it to royalty. They even used it as medicine; yes it actually has medicinal properties. While many different things were used to make beer over the years including millet, maize, persimmon, rice, rye, and sweet potatoes, the Egyptians made it primarily from barley. It’s speculated that they even grew the barley specifically for beer production, as it apparently doesn’t make very good bread.
By 55 BC the Roman legions had introduced beer to Northern Europe, but it wasn’t until more than 500 years later that brewing began in the rest of Europe. That’s a lot of stuff, and that’s just the tip of the BC iceberg.
Want to know what happened in beer history after year zero? Guess you’ll have to listen to the show to find out.
Last Show’s TRIVIA Question:
What company owns the rights to “Tooth Fairy”?
We’d read that a toothpaste company owned the rights to the name tooth fairy, but can’t find anything to substantiate the claim. So, in light of that, no one owns the Tooth Fairy…to our knowledge.
This Show’s TRIVIA Question:
There is a brewery, right here in Pensacola, FL. What is it called?
On the next show, Lyle and Danny talk about smoking things like meats and cheeses.
Links and references
- Video talking about different types of beer.
- Very good breakdown of beer types – slideshow
- Informative Wikipedia article
- CraftBeer.com style finder – very cool tool
- Sam Adams’ founder really loves beer – just thought you’d enjoy the video
- Concise Timetable of Beer History