For The Real Love Of Beer

Comments (20)

For the Love of Beer

It's almost scary to write about beer as a topic. An emotional product especially to men, saying something controversial about the product may result in a local bar brawl. Consider, for example, the fact that beer did not actually originate in Germany but by the Sumarians in ancient literature.

Sumaria lay between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, encompassing Southern Mesopotamia. The Sumarians discovered the fermentation process by chance. Of course, nobody knows today, exactly how this occurred, but it could be that a piece of bread became wet and was simply forgotten. After a short time the bread began to ferment, resulting in an inebriating pulp. The Sumarians were able to repeat this process and are assumed to be he first civilized culture to brew beer. They had discovered a "divine drink" which they offered to their gods.

But exactly when beer was first brewed cannot be determined. Two slate tablets are displayed in the British Museum in London, which were, in the year 1926, scientifically estimated to be about 9000 years old. The scientist, a Mr. E. Huber, was of the opinion that the inscriptions on these tablets showed the coarse milling of emmer (A prehistoric grain type, similar to spelt, used for the brewing of beer). He concluded that this was possibly the oldest evidence of the brewing of beer. More recent research has indicated that the tablets are probably not so old as Mr. Huber thought and that even the connection with the brewing process may be doubtful.

The Egyptians carried on the tradition of beer brewing. They also used unbaked bread dough for making beer. Peasants along the Nile, the so-called Fellahs, still make beer the same way today. The Egyptians added dates to the brew to improve the taste. The importance of beer brewing in ancient Egypt can be seen from the fact that the scribes created an extra hieroglyph for "brewer".

Ascetic monks, known for their self-effacing lifestyle, ironically popularized the practice of beer drinking. The reason these religious individuals got hooked on 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!

Fast forward to modern times: There are more brands of beer than there are brands of soft drinks - which but demonstrates the drink's popularity. But with the popularity of the Atkins diet, even men are asking just how many carbs are found in the average beer.

Here are the facts. First, beer has no fat. Unfortunately, it can have plenty of calories, because it contains carbohydrates, protein and alcohol. A gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories, a gram of protein 4 calories, a gram of fat 9 calories and a gram of alcohol a little over 7 calories.

Fuller bodied beers contain more calories and carbs. Robert Holland, co-owner of the Universal Joint tavern in Oakhurst, said, "If any of our customers were interested in a low-carbohydrate beer they ought to consider quitting drinking."

Now that wouldn't be nice, would it?

Medla Cerza is the owner and webmaster of Beer Beer which is a premier resource for Beer information. For more information go to :