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30

Beer was commonly drunk in the middle ages (and renaissance), but what they drank is different from the beer we're used to today. Beer and ale, being grain-based, were important dietary staples -- it's said that beer is liquid bread, and that's not far off. For the common man (not nobility), in particular, grain made up a substantial part of the diet, with ...


24

The Quotation Firstly, I shall examine the passage in the original Greek: ἔσται γὰρ μέγας ἐνώπιον τοῦ Κυρίου, καὶ οἶνον καὶ σίκερα οὐ μὴ πίῃ, καὶ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου πλησθήσεται ἔτι ἐκ κοιλίας μητρὸς αὐτοῦ. The two words we are intereted in here are 'οἶνον' ('wine'), and 'σίκερα' ('strong drink'). The second ('σίκερα') is interested in that it is a loan ...


23

There are strains of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (brewer's yeast) such as WLP099 - Super High Gravity Ale Yeast that reportedly can tolerate up to 25% alcohol by volume. The world's strongest beer is Snake Venom coming in at a colossal 67.5% abv. Sources cite it as freeze-distilled, where the beer is frozen and the ice (pure water) is drawn off, leaving a ...


22

You don't need to know what something is to use it effectively. Though yeast was only identified as a microorganism recently, it has been known as the cause of fermentation for many centuries. It's easy to underestimate how sophisticated people throughout history were. Before yeast was monocultured in labs it was actively cultured by brewers. They would ...


21

Today they're largely just traditional. However, originally they helped: To keep the beer cool by preventing airflow from above. To keep insects and other contaminants out. To prevent spillage while cheers-ing and generally carousing. See the following article on Stein Lids for more detail.


17

Trappist beer is a designation of the origin of the beer, rather than a designation for the style. That is, it must come from one of the ten Trappist monasteries recognised by the International Trappist Association. There are similarities between the styles produced by these monasteries, but if one decided to make something in a completely different style ...


14

As Slyboty notes correctly, beer is a very ancient drink predating the oldest written records (and likely any archeological discoveries.) For millennia though beer was made only from fermented malt with various add-ons. The major change that gave origin to modern beers though is the addition of hops, for the first time creating a beer closely resembling ...


14

There has been a bit of a battle recently, with Brewdog and Schorschbräu constantly topping each other's efforts: BrewDog Blog. Currently it's a Schorschbräu Schorschbock 57% finis coronat opus, which comes in at 57.7%, beating Brewdog's latest effort: Schorschbräu Schorschbock 57% finis coronat opus. I'd say the strongest commercially viable option (these ...


14

You are correct that in countries like France and Italy, beer consumption is replaced by much higher wine consumption. Why? Because they can. It's a cultural difference that has been developed and ingrained over many centuries, back to when trade was more limited and more difficult, and Northern Europe was colder than it is today. For much of that ...


13

The simple answer is "nobody knows." I must apologize for being a bit of a history nut here and this may tell you far more than you ever wanted to know... Fermentation of grain is universal, as is fermentation of fruit and honey. You find it in the new world with drinks like chicha (an Andean drink where saliva provides the amylase to break down corn ...


10

The answer is complex, to be honest. In the Middle Ages? Where? When? These are important questions. Lumping around a thousand years and very different cultural eras (ranging from the Vendell-era Norse to the Byzantine Empire) into the same label is problematic at the very least. The answer I think to the question as stated has to be "no" insofar as ...


10

There are a few theories out there, and their veracity, like that of most historical "facts", is hotly debated. One theory begins in 1722 when Ralph Harwood, a London brewer, created a beer called Entire. For some time, working folk had been drinking a blend of beer, ale, and strong beer, which pubs would mix to balance out their stocks and maintain ...


9

Not only has variety improved, but so has the technology and agronomy of brewing. Malt variety, yield, and efficiency Crop science has increased the size of barley kernels and the amount of starches available to convert to sugar. The common grain at the time was 6-row malt, today the most common brewing barley is 2-row. Understanding of the malting ...


8

In answer to part of your question, there are probably no other reasons for large-scale cultivation of hops in the 8th century other than for brewing. While hops were used in medicine, the major national herbals of Anglo-Saxon England don't mention them. That we have strong references in early 8th century England (see "Anglo-Saxon Food and Drink" by Ann ...


8

Part of it is philosophical Why are airplane pilots regulated differently from car drivers? Because it's much easier to do damage with one vs the other. Likewise, it's a lot easier to get so drunk that you do something stupid (or just get alcohol poisoning) on liquor than beer. As such, they're treated differently. Part of it is political The companies ...


8

Historically small beer is believed to be between 2 and 3.5% ABV, based on notes from Belgian monasteries which produced small beer from the 3rd runnings of the mash and original French Saison recipes. Those numbers are probably accurate for brewing between the middle ages and about the 1500s. Small beer got a little stronger a few hundred years later when ...


8

The term "cider" is generally reserved for apples. There are 'pear ciders' such as Woodchuck that use the name, but as Wikipedia points out, "A similar product made from pears is called perry but sometimes (incorrectly) called Pear Cider in the marketing of some producers' products". I personally can forgive this, since pears are closely related to apples, ...


8

The Trappists are members of a Roman Catholic religious order. Trappists follow a rule of St. Benedict stating that they should "live by the work of their hands", which means many Trappist monasteries sell goods for income. The order has no particular prohibition against alcohol, so producing beer is an entirely reasonable profession for the monks. The ...


8

The explication to your question is multi-faceted and not so easy to understand if one is neither Roman Catholic nor understanding of the nuances of religious life (Trappist). The Trappists were founded in 1664 as a branch of the Benedictine Order at the La Trappe Abbey. The abbot of La Trappe has a greater authority of jurisdiction than the other trappist ...


8

Oh... something I am a real expert at! You are mixing your context when calling vines hybrids. There are three ways you can grow grapes for fruit. 100% original "own rooted" vines, grafted vines and hybridized vines. Let's back up so I can explain why that is. Many Americans in the 1600-1800s tried unsuccessfully to bring European vines to North America ...


7

The steins with their lids seem to have come about as a result of the bubonic plague to serve as sanitary measure and thus keep flies and other insects (fleas) out of the beer. From about 1340 until 1380, a bubonic plague, or Black Death, killed more than 25 million Europeans! As horrible as this historic event was, it prompted tremendous progress for ...


7

He was an English author who was a noted expert on beer and whiskey, and he wrote a number of books on beer, probably most famously The World Guide to Beer.


7

More than a millenia ago, there were few standardized recipies for herbs to add during the beer brewing process. "Gruit" referred to the herbal mixtures used to flavor and preserve beer. Gruit was usually sold under papal license exclusive to certain areas at various monasteries and therefore represented a monopoly in Christian areas of the Catholic Church....


7

According to LiveScience, beer dates back to the dawn of cereal agriculture, loosely pinpointed at 10,000 B.C.E. in ancient Mesopotamia, the region of southwest Asia currently occupied by Iraq. I also recall watching a documentary a few years back (unfortunately can't remember the name to properly cite it) which claimed that humans started settling ...


7

IMHO, I would classify ciders, perrys, and meads to be more like wine than beer -- they are made by fermenting fruit or honey without substantial change to the base ingredients. Beer is made from malted grain, which must first be mashed to convert starch into fermentable sugars. Beer must contain 4 essential ingredients: Malt extract (from the grain), hops, ...


7

Prohibition was an Era in American history from 1920-1933 - and - it failed miserably. If anything, it made alcohol more popular. Prohibition, in general, also means to prohibit something via law or religion though. The religious aspect is the only case that one can see prohibition working. ::Insert Mormonism/Islamic religion/et cetera here::


7

There were two types of drinks back in that time. Beer and Wine. Both hardly resembled what they are today. Beer was very weak, under 4% alcohol, while wine was probably in the normal range of 12-14%. Distilling had not been invented by the Muslims until 700 A.D. (anno Domini). If I apply Occam's Razor here, I would say that it's wine and probably a higher ...


7

There are several factors at play here. If we think about how grapes were maintained hundreds or thousands of years ago, it was kind of a slapdash affair. In the beginning they probably just grabbed whatever grapes they could off a vine growing up a tree. Later they just haphazardly planted grapes in a field hoping for the best and they mixed everything, Red ...


7

Old advertisements show that it was made starting in 1900 in Portland, Maine. It consisted of a syrup made of pineapple, orange, lemon, raspberry, and strawberry juices with sugar, red food coloring, and sodium benzoate as a preservative. Unfortunately, I can't find anywhere what the ratios are, but I'd start by doing equal parts of juice in a 1:1 ratio with ...


6

I do not know much but I know there is a published book about that. Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by Richard W. Unger. Some lines from the excerpt of the book: Modern beer, however, has little in common with the drink that carried that name through the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Looking at a time when beer was often a nutritional ...


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