History of beer

Beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world, and the third most popular drink after water and tea.
Beer is the oldest fermented beverage, with laws about beer and brewing yet featured in the Hammurabi Code, and also witnessed in a Hymn to Ninkasi, a prayer to the Mesopotamian goddess of beer. But beer paths belong to early neolithic, back to 9500 BC, when cereals were first farmed.

From Sumerian writings and prayers, but also recorded in ancient Egypt, later spread throughout Europe by Germanic and Celtic tribes around 3000 BC, today brewing industry is a globally renowned business.

Beer comes from a natural process of alcoholic fermentation of starch contained in malt grains. In the beginnings, early europeans drank beers containing also fruits, honey, spices and several types of plants, giving beer such a wide range of different flavors and tastes. Hops were instead a later addition to the recipe, first mentioned in Europe around 822 by a carolingian abbot.

Once moved from craft brewing to industrial manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, the invention of hydrometers and thermometers allowed more control and greater knowledge above the brewing process, improving beer quality.

Today brewing industry features many dominant multinational companies on a global scale. But alongside, many thousands of smaller producers still craft their beers, ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries, producing a wide range of beers with different alcohol gradations, usually ranging from 4% to 6% of alcohol by volume, with ultimately also non alcoholic beers available on the market with as much as 0,5%, and there are also special beers having up to 20% of alcohol or higher.