Beer History

4300 BC: Babylonian clay tablets detail early recipes for beer; beer was a major part of civilization for the Babylonian, Egyptian, Hebrew, Chinese and Inca cultures. It was sometimes used to pay workers for daily wages.

1600 BC: Egyptians texts contain over 100 medical prescriptions calling for beer!

500-1000 AD: The first half of the Middle Ages, brewing begins in European monasteries and convents. Before the Middle Ages all brewing was done by women because it was considered a food as well as a drink.

1000 AD: Hops begin to appear in the brewing process, Hello IPA’s…

1200 AD: Beer brewing is established as a commercial enterprise in Germany, Austria and England. Germans preferring “lagers” and the English preferring “Ales”

1420: Germans develop the “lager” method of brewing beer; lower temps with bottom fermentation.

1516: Reinheitsgeobot; Bavarian purity law making it ILLEGAL to use any ingredients but water, barley and hops in the brewing process….they didn’t know yeast existed!

1553: Beck’s Brewery founded and still brewing today. Ever had one?

1612: First commercial opened in New Amsterdam (NYC, Manhattan) after colonists posted ads in London newspapers for experienced brewers.

1620: Pilgrims land on Plymouth Rock because beer supplies were running low…no seriously.

1789: James Madison proposes” the manufacture of beer in every state in the union”

1842: First golden lager is produced in Pilsen, Bohemia

1860: Commercial refrigeration

1876: Automatic bottling and pasteurization is developed to stabilize beers, 22 years before the process was applied to milk.

1880: 2300 breweries in the US

1914: Commercial competition kills the number of US breweries down to 1400

1933: Prohibition ends for beer (April 7)

1935: Only 160 breweries survived prohibition. The beer can is introduced.

1965: Fritz Maytag purchases Anchor Brewing Company: this move single handedly saved craft beer in the US. CHEERS!!

1966: Budweiser is the first brand to sell 10 million barrels in a year.

1976: New Albion is the first in the re-birth of the microbreweries opening in the world famous Napa Valley area of California.

1988: Goose Island Brewing Company opens it’s doors in Chicago, IL. Matilda anyone?

1992: US beer industry produced and sold 2.62 billion cases of beer.

1993: US beer retail beer sales exceed $45 billion.

1996: Here comes Gumballhead! Three Floyd’s Brewing Company is born!!

2000: 1,147 craft breweries produce 6.1 million barrels of beer.

2005: Bud Light becomes best selling light beer in the world.

2008: Anheuser-Busch combines with InBev; the new company becomes the largest brewer in the world.

2011: 1,989 total US breweries, highest total since the 1880’s! Keep it up!!

2012 and beyond: Sky’s the limit…