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Origins Of Beer

Origins Of Beer

Beer is a beverage created through a fermentation process of a starch grain and sugar. This combination creates a naturally carbonated drink.

The Alulu Beer Recipe from the Sumerian City of Ur in Ancient Iraq is said to be the first written beer recipe in history, dated at around 2050 B.C. However, the history of beer is thought to be much longer, stretching back to around 6000 B.C. Over time, beer made its way into Europe, where it was primarily home-brewed until the Industrial Revolution, during which time the invention of the thermometer, hydrometer and Louis Pasteur's discovery of yeast all changed the way beer was brewed.

Today, there are literally countless beers created by both large and small companies around the world, leaving a plethora of choice for the beer connoisseur. In Australia alone, the resurgence of smaller brewers over the last ten years has resulted in a wider variety and higher quality of beer being available, alongside those from larger brewing companies.

The quality, taste and variety of beer vary a great deal, and often a favourite brew can come down to both country traditions and personal preference. For example, English Ales are often served at room temperature, whereas Australian beers are served up well chilled. The pouring of beers in Germany, which have a higher protein content than English Ales, require special glasses that allow more foam at the top of the beer. The variety, taste and method of serving beer are often steeped in culture, and in many countries is an important part of life.

The way beer is brewed also affects the end result. For example, brewing ale is traditionally a top fermenting process that does not require the colder temperatures needed in the bottom brewing method of a lager beer, due to the different yeast varieties used. Because of the colder fermentation process, lagers are usually lighter in colour and are crisper in taste than ales.

Between the lager and the ale there are many varieties of beer to choose from, including Pale Ale, Stout, Pilsners, Wheat Beer and Bitter. Micro Brewers are reviving older traditions, such as the Indian Pale Ale and Golden Ale, and inventing new tastes with ingredients such as chili and, in Australia, native produce such as wattle seed. Other breweries have made their mark by producing one distinctive type of beer, such as Guinness, which is perhaps Ireland's most famous brew. A thick, black Porter beer, Guinness is renowned for being one of the trickiest beers to pour, testing the mantle of bar tender like no other.

From the backyard barbie to a pre-show drink at the opera, beer has become an important part of Australian life. Australian breweries are making their mark on the world beer scene too, and some have been awarded top accolades for their inventive and inspirational beers