HISTORY OF BEER

Over 3,400 Craft Breweries in the U.S.
The Association of Brewers reports that in 2014 there were a total of 3,418 craft breweries (1,412 Brewpubs, 1,871 Microbreweries, 135 Regional Craft Breweries) in the United States. Today there are even more.

Craft Beer Club delivers craft beers right to your door!
By definition "A microbrewery is a small brewery with a limited production capacity which, of necessity, produces labor intensive hand-crafted beers.? Craft Beer Club takes pride in finding the right mix of microbrewers to share every month with our members. Craft Beer Club reaches out to these hidden gems and delivers 12 or 24 bottles directly to your door, along with an informative color newsletter with articles on the Brewery, Brew master, and the individual beers.

An historic timeline of craft beer

over 5,000 years ago
Beer was part of the daily diet of Egyptian Pharaohs over 5,000 years ago. Then, it was made from baked barley bread, and was also used in religious practices. Historical documentation shows that around 5,000 years ago, ancient Chinese civilizations were brewing a beer-like substance known as kui.
3500?3000 BC
Evidence of beer being made dates to circa 3500?3100 BC from the site of Godin Tepe in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran. Beer may have been known in Neolithic Europe as far back as 3000 BC, and was mainly brewed on a domestic scale.
2500 BC
The Ebla tablets, discovered in 1974 in Ebla, Syria, which date to 2,500 BC, reveal that the city produced a range of beers, including one that appears to be named "Ebla" after the city. Early traces of beer and the brewing process have been found in ancient Babylonia as well. At the time, brewers were women as well, but also priestesses. Some types of beers were used especially in religious ceremonies.
2100-2000 BC
In 2,100 BC, the Babylonian king Hammurabi included regulations governing tavern keepers in his law code for the kingdom. Beer drinking accessories, such as mugs, have also been found in Israel, and date back to nearly 2000 BC.
500-450 BC
Confirmed written evidence of ancient beer production in Armenia can be obtained from Xenophon in his work Anabasis (500 BC) when he was in one of the ancient Armenian villages in which he wrote. Based on historical evidence, it appears that the Egyptians taught the Greeks the beer brewing process. The Greek writer Sophocles (450 BC) discussed the concept of moderation when it came to consuming beer in Greek culture, and believed that the best diet for Greeks consisted of bread, meats, various types of vegetables, and beer or zythos as they called it.

The process of brewing beer grew tremendously during the rise of Christianity. This was primarily because of the roles that monks had in the production of beer. Monasteries were some of the first organizations to brew beer as a trade. Monks built breweries as part of their efforts to provide food, shelter and drink to various travelers and pilgrims.

770 AD
Emperor Charlemagne, the ruler of the Christian kingdom around 770 AD considered beer to be an important part of living, and is often thought to have trained Christian brewers himself. As in ancient times, women were the primary brewers during the Middle Ages. Women took over brewing after the monasteries had really established the process. Ancient Nubians had used beer as an antibiotic medicine.
 
1040
The oldest still operating commercial brewery is the Weihenstephan (Bavaria) abbey brewery, which obtained the brewing rights from the nearby town of Freising in 1040.
 
1256
In 1256, the Aldobrandino of Siena described the nature of beer in the following way:
?But from whichever it is made, whether from oats, barley or wheat, it harms the head and the stomach, it causes bad breath and ruins the teeth, it fills the stomach with bad fumes, and as a result anyone who drinks it along with wine becomes drunk quickly; but it does have the property of facilitating urination and makes one's flesh white and smooth.? Flavoring beer with hops was known at least since the 9th century.
 
1300-1400's
Hopped beer was perfected in the towns of Germany by the 13th century, and the longer lasting beer, combined with standardized barrel sizes, allowed for large-scale export. This type of production spread to Holland in the 14th century and later to Flanders, Brabant and reached England by the late 15th century.

Laws to enforce the use of hops in beer were introduced in England in the 14th century, and later similar laws were introduced in other countries. In England, these laws led to peasant uprisings, since it was considered to spoil the taste, but these uprisings were brutally put down.

In 15th century England, an un-hopped beer would have been known as an ale, while the use of hops would make it a beer.

 
1516
In 1516, William IV, Duke of Bavaria, adopted the Reinheitsgebot (purity law), perhaps the oldest food regulation still in use through the 20th Century. The Reinheitsgebot passed formally from German law in 1987. The Gebot ordered that the ingredients of beer be restricted to water, barley, and hops; yeast was added to the list after Louis Pasteur's discovery in 1857. To this day, the Gebot is considered a mark of purity in beers, although this is controversial.

Most beers until relatively recent times were top-fermented. Bottom-fermented beers were discovered by accident in the 16th century after beer was stored in cool caverns for long periods; they have since largely outpaced top-fermented beers in terms of volume.

 
1857
The discovery of yeast's role in fermentation in 1857 by Louis Pasteur gave brewers methods to prevent the souring of beer by undesirable microorganisms.
1869
The Caledonian Brewery was founded in 1869, Edinburgh, Scotland. Following significant improvements in the efficiency of the steam engine in 1765, industrialization of beer became a reality. Further innovations in the brewing process came about with the introduction of the thermometer in 1760 and hydrometer in 1770, which allowed brewers to increase efficiency and attenuation. Prior to the late 18th century, malt was primarily dried over fires made from wood, charcoal, or straw, and after 1600, from coke. An even earlier reference to such malt was recorded by William Harrison, in his "Description of England", 1577.
1817
The invention of the drum roaster in 1817 by Daniel Wheeler allowed for the creation of very dark, roasted malts, contributing to the flavor of porters and stouts. Its development was prompted by a British law of 1816 forbidding the use of any ingredients other than malt and hops. Porter brewers, employing predominantly pale malt grist, urgently needed a legal colorant. Wheeler's patent malt was the solution.
 
1920
Prior to Prohibition, there were thousands of breweries in the United States, mostly brewing heavier beers than modern US beer drinkers are used to. Beginning in 1920, most of these breweries went out of business, although some converted to soft drinks and other businesses.
 
1945
Bottling beer began in a modern facility, 1945, Australia.
Unlike in many parts of the world, there is a significant market in Europe (the UK in particular) for beer containing live yeast. These unfiltered, un-pasteurized brews are awkward to look after compared to the commonly sold dead beers: live beer quality can suffer with poor care, but many people prefer the taste of a good live beer to a dead one. While beer is usually matured for relatively short times (a few weeks to a few months) compared to wine, some of the stronger so-called real ales have been found to develop character and flavor over the course of as much as several decades.
 
1953
In 1953, New Zealander Morton W. Coutts developed the technique of continuous fermentation. Coutts patented his process which involves beer flowing through sealed tanks, fermenting under pressure, and never coming into contact with the atmosphere, even when bottled. His process was introduced in the US and UK, but is now used for commercial beer production only in New Zealand.

In some sectors brewers are reluctant to embrace new technology for fear of losing the traditional characteristics of their beer.

 
Today
Microbreweries now brew many different types of beer, ranging from ancient styles such as the spontaneously-fermented lambics of Belgium; the lagers, dark beers, wheat beers, stouts, milds, pale ales, bitters, golden ale and new modern American creations such as Chili Beer, Cream Ale, and Double India Pale Ales.