This week both Fox News and MSNBC report on how beer may have “lubricated” civilization.  Scientists now believe that early Neolithic people drank beer at celebrations. Scientists also believe early man likely spent considerable time making and procuring ingredients for beer.  It is no coincidence that beer has a big role in history. Fermented beverages show up in virtually every culture.  There is a Sumerian poem to Ninkasi the patron goddess of brewing.  Dogfish Head has a beer based on an archeological dig in present day Honduras.  It is further appropriate to note the role beer played in early American history.September 1620 a group of individuals left England for a New World on board the Mayflower.  Those individuals, the Pilgrims, ran out of beer on their voyage.  Beer was not just a drink of celebration, but also one of survival.  It is believed many people for a better part of history have received vital nutrition from grain through beer.  Additionally, weak beer was used to keep water from being contaminated on ships.  If the Pilgrims had more beer many theorize they would of continued to sail south to the Mid-Atlantic, instead of Plymouth Rock.  That decision would of delayed settlement of the Northeast, and possibly meant that each November millions of Americans would not stuff themselves full of turkey and drink beer while watching football.Beer has without a doubt played huge roles in history.  Its precursor, Mead, was prominent in the Old English poem Beowulf the bane of existence of modern high school students.   German beer purity laws are the oldest food purity laws recorded.  Common American Macro Lager was established as a way to satisfy desires of German immigrants.  Prohibitionists used Anti-German immigrant feelings to establish prohibition in the United States.  Guinness has become the identifying drink of Ireland.

Beer has woven itself into everyday life.  No ball game or holiday seems complete for many without a beer around.  Watch a TV, show many times characters walk in the door from work and simply grab a beer.  My point is beer is nothing new, and I am surprised science is just now figuring out how integral beer has been to the human race from the beginning.




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