Beer Can Be Light Dark Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Many different herbs and spices were used to flavor beers in these unique mixtures. Historian Tesoro says, "Among other things, juniper berries, sweet gale, blackthorn, oak bark, wormwood, caraway seed, aniseed, bay leaves, yarrow, thorn apple, gentian, rosemary, tansy, Saint-John's-wort, spruce chips, pine roots - and above all henbane found their way into these Grut mixtures" (Tesoro). Many of these herbs could be dangerous in even small amounts, and some, like henbane, could provide hallucinations. Because of this, beer began to be viewed superstitiously.

One of the superstitions that began to swirl around beer and beer brewing was the legend of the "beer witch" or "brew witch." Supposedly, these witches cursed the ingredients and could spoil a batch of beer. Superstition surrounded the brewing process, and of course, sanitation was not what it is today, which also contributed to the failure of many a batch of early beer. Since brewing was largely a woman's job in early history, it became normal to blame the beer witch for a bad batch, and the common penalty was death by fire. The last written record of a beer witch being burned was 1591 (Tesoro). The practice faded away as hops became acceptable additions to the brew mixture, which made the brew more stable and acted as a preservative, so the brew lasted longer. Historian Tesoro writes, "With the use of hops the beer revealed its 'clear character.' Beer began to closely resemble the modern product range, both in taste and appearance" (Tesoro). To maintain this newfound clarity, many areas began to develop beer purity laws, which regulated a brew's consistent quality.

The German Beer Purity Law was passed in 1516, and it "established for the first time that only barley (later malted barley), hops, and pure water could be used to brew beer. The use of yeast was not yet known at that time" (Tesoro). However, the fermentation of the finished product depended on yeast molecules in the air, something brewers had no idea of yet. This law is still on file today, and it holds the record of being the oldest still legal food law in the world. However, beer can be imported into Germany that does not comply with the law today, as long as that is stated on the beer (Tesoro). This law helped guarantee the purity of the beer, and helped brewers trade their beers in wider areas across Europe.

In the late 1700s, beer began to be an acceptable court beverage and new inventions such as the steam engine and artificial cooling helped streamline the brewing process. Steam power gained popularity and became an integral part of the brewing process all over Europe and American. An American beer historian notes, "An expert on this period in British brewing comments that 'the advantages of steam-power were proved immediately. Apart from the most concrete saving in the expense of horses, the uninterrupted, rapid work made possible by the engine added efficiency and convenience to its initial economy'" (Baron 157). In addition, brewers came to understand the science of brewing more thoroughly, and they learned the right temperatures to brew perfect beer, and how to brew beer year round. (Previously, brewers could only be made during the winter, as there was no cooling available all summer long.) Breweries relying on steam power for their machinery were called "steam beer breweries" (Tesoro).

Another very important innovation took place in the late 19th century, when Louis Pasteur began studying beer and learned more about microorganisms in the process. Eventually, Pasteur developed pasteurization from his studies. This process helps purify a number of foods, from milk to cheese, and during his studies, Pasteur also uncovered the fact that beer (and other foods) could be contaminated by unsanitary brewing conditions (Tesoro).

Finally, modern metal keg barrels were not introduced for beer until 1964. Previously, beer was still transported in traditional wooden kegs. The metal kegs are easier to clean and sanitize, and fit under bars much easier than the old kegs. The beer can originated in America in the 1930s, and modern beer brewing has turned into an art form, especially in brewpubs and houses around the world (Editors). In America, beer is practically the national drink, holding a place in the hearts of sports fans and bar patrons from coast to coast.

Beer has a long and varied history in America. The first settlers brought beer with them as they crossed the Atlantic from Great Britain, and some of our founding fathers were brewers as well. (Thomas Jefferson is just one example). Just as in Europe, early brewing tended to be done at home by women, because they were the ones who baked bread, and beer and bread making went hand in hand (Baron 31). However, the need for beer (and other supplies) was so great in the Virginia Colonies after arrival in 1607 that the London Company supplying the colonists aspired to build a brewery there, not only to quench the colonists, but also to bring in revenue back to England (Baron 4). Just as in England, there were strict controls on the brewing process. In fact, in early Boston, Puritan elders decreed just how much of each ingredient should go into a brew (Baron 35).

While beer has a long history in the country, it really came into being in the mid-1800s, when German immigrants began streaming into the country, bringing their beer-making skills with them. The Germans did not bring beer with them, as many people believe. Instead, they modified the way Americans were already making beer. Beer historian Stanley Baron notes, "The modern lager, with its emphasis on lightness, dryness and sparkle, is an American adaptation of the original German brew and may be considered, in both its character and its method of production, as an indigenous creation" (Baron x). Thus, German ingenuity and American innovation combined to create some of the most common American beers. (Think Adolph Coors, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Anheiser-Busch just to name a few.) the distinction between dark and light beer came about sometime during this time, and American beers have developed into lighter, brighter versions of many of their European cousins.

What is the difference between beer and ale? Ale is a stouter, heartier brew, and can trace its roots back to European roots, specifically Great Britain. Beer historian Baron continues, "Only the ale we drink today, and -- in special localities -the stout and porter, can in any way be identified with the English brewing tradition that preceded the German. Those drinks, so dear to our eighteenth-century forebears, were lustier, more alcoholic, darker and flatter than the ruling beverage of today" (Baron x). Thus, beer had metamorphosized from the earliest civilizations to a drink at least relatively similar to the drink we enjoy today by the end of medieval times. Beer continued to evolve in Europe, and then America, and is still evolving today. It can be light, dark, heavy, or "lite," but beer, and the culture surrounding beer, is so prominent it is difficult to imagine society without this beverage. What would the Super Bowl be without Bud Light ads, after all?

In conclusion, beer is more than a beverage. It is an historic drink used to conjure up and appease the gods, make solitary life more bearable, and add to the overall enjoyment of a meal. The first beers were far different from beer we know today, they were cloudy, bitter, and perhaps even filled with mash. And yet, those ancient beers transformed, little by little, into the drink the world knows and loves today. So, the next time you pop the top on an ice-cold beer, stop and think about all the history that came before, and you may appreciate this malty thirst-quencher just a little bit more than usual.


Baron, Stanley. Brewed in America: A History of Beer and Ale in the United States. Boston: Little Brown, 1962.

Editors. "Beer." 21 July 2004. 22 Feb. 2007.

Hajar, Rachel. "Friend and Foe - the Middle Eastern Origins of Beer." World and I Nov. 2001: 206.

Tesoro, Eugenia. "History of Beer."…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Beer Can Be Light Dark " (2007, February 22) Retrieved December 10, 2016, from

"Beer Can Be Light Dark " 22 February 2007. Web.10 December. 2016. <>

"Beer Can Be Light Dark ", 22 February 2007, Accessed.10 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Light Breeze and a Few

    Up here in this parking lot cell coverage was never very good. I wonder if she knows about the improvement (no one who knows this neighborhood would have even attempted to make a call up until September of this year) or just happened to be making a call and it went through. A senior citizens community bus pulls in and parks right in front of the store, in a place

  • Corona Beer Modelo Corona Beer

    Figure 2, 2009 Global beer Products Segmentation provides an analysis of the distribution of 2009 sales of beer by type. Corona is considered a Lager and is in the most crowded area of the market, making differentiation difficult. Grupo Modelo's decision to concentrate on its channel alliances and partnerships is critical for their long-term growth in such a consolidating and challenging market. In a sense Grupo Modelo has chosen

  • Young Goodman Brown and Morality

    ) Doubts enter Brown's mind on page 15, as he looks "up at the sky" (which of course is pitch black in the deep forest at night) and doubts whether there is a heaven. But he cries out that he will "stand firm" - so readers know he still hopes to be strong and resist what is happening to him. But this night is not about resistance: "The cry of grief,

  • Global Branding of Stella Artois Porter s 5 Forces

    global branding of Stella Artois Porter's 5-forces analysis of the beer industry Bargaining power of buyers The bargaining power of buyers is very high in the beer industry. Consumers have many choices, spanning from other alcoholic beverages to other brands of beer, including smaller labels as well as the major brands. Also, beer is not strictly a necessity. Consumers can conceivably 'do without' if the price is too high. Bargaining power of suppliers The

  • Scarface Latin American Culture Scarface

    Both films irritated their relevant critical establishments, and in this way, De Palma's remade was truest to its source. Scarface 1983 savagery and energy united with its political portrait of the illicit drug trade form a memorable and powerful evocation of 1980s narco-corruption (Prince 231). One of the most striking disparities amid the 1932 Scarface and 1983 Scarface is between Tony Camonte, who makes a fortune through selling bear, but

  • Badlands Terrence Malick

    images in the film Badlands by Terrence Malick are often disharmonious, wherein the potential importance of an encountered object evades the thinking, activity, and perception of the characters. It is as if Malick desires for every object in the scene to dance around available categories, without settling into any particular one. This indecisiveness and abstract conception seems to become his saving grace and what makes the film so interesting

  • Diamonds Advertising

    Diamond Advertising Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, according to a concept popular in the 1950s. Alternatively, diamonds might also be forever, a concept popularized in advertising for several decades. Diamonds are a symbol of love, but they have hardly been the source of much loving interaction between various populations of humans. In fact, diamonds have been at the root of intense and deadly strife in Sierra Leone, most notably,

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved