History of the World in Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

The first piece of literature that has endured over the years, the Epic of Gilgamesh, also testifies about the existence and consumption of beer, even attributing it the power to signify the civilization as opposed to the world of the beast that did not have any use of such drink. One of the heroes in the legend, Enkidu, is brought into the civilized world though the contact with a woman, consumption of beer and hygiene: "Enkidu's primitive nature is demonstrated by his lack of familiarity with bread and beer; but once he has consumed them, and then washed himself, he too becomes a human and is then ready to go to Uruk, the city ruled by Gilgamesh" (the History of the World in Six Glasses, p.27). The first recorded literary piece is linked with the largest city in Mesopotamia and the first alcoholic beverage to be used by humans at a large scale.

In ancient times, beer is also known to have been produces and used in various forms, but also in the Americas and in Asia. The ancient Mayas, the Incas and respectively by Tibetans. Later, the ancient Germans started to brew beer in order to use it for religious purposes, but also to drink it at their tables and gatherings. "in the Finnish poetic saga Kalewala, 400 verses are devoted to beer but only 200 were needed for the creation of the earth. According to the Edda, the great Nordic epic, wine was reserved for the gods, beer belonged to mortals and mead to inhabitants of the realm of the dead"(a History of Beer, http://www.alabev.com/history.htm)

The first major technological improvements in the production process of beer belonged, as many other improvements in the production of alcoholic beverages, to the Christian monks in Europe. After attempts to find a new ingredient that would keep beer from spoiling for longer periods of time, one of the most important ingredients to be used for the preservation of beer became the hops and it was used in Flanders. After that, the Germans were those who left their definitive mark on the production process of beer, by setting the standards to be kept in order for a beverage to be approved as beer. If first beer entered into history though the first depictions of Mesopotamians drinking together though straws from a huge clay pot, then into literature through Enkidu, the civilized hero in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the third stage in its recorded history was its entering into legislation: the law called the Reinheitsgebot issued by the Germans at the beginning of the sixteenth century marked the German hegemony in the world of this popular and ancient alcoholic beverage.

The history of the United States is also linked with beer, along with the other beverages that accompanied the tumultuous history of this country. There is a Beer Institute in Washington DC that "was organized in 1986 to represent the industry before Congress, state legislatures and public forums across the country" (Beer Institute, http://www.beerinstitute.org/index.asp). If tea provided the causes for Rebellions in the North American colonies, beer also accompanied troops during the Independence War and kept the soldiers refreshed. The founding fathers, followed the model of their ancestors who had established and run breweries in the colonies and continues to encourage its production and consumption.

It is hard to image a world without beer and the fact that Tom Standage saw beer as one of the six most important beverages that kept humanity company and marked various events in the history of the human kind only reinforces its importance gathered thorough hundreds and thousands of record along the millennia.

Standage, Tom. A History of the World in Six Glasses. 2005. Walker Publishing Company. New York

Beer Institute. Retrieved: Oct 17, 2009. Available at: http://www.beerinstitute.org/tier.asp?bid=142

A History of Beer. Retrieved: Oct 18, 2009. Available at: http://www.alabev.com/history.htm

Sources Used in Document:

Standage, Tom. A History of the World in Six Glasses. 2005. Walker Publishing Company. New York

Beer Institute. Retrieved: Oct 17, 2009. Available at: http://www.beerinstitute.org/tier.asp?bid=142

A History of Beer. Retrieved: Oct 18, 2009. Available at: http://www.alabev.com/history.htm

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