History of beer
Beer has been made since the dawn of time.
Indeed, this drink dates back to more than 4500 BC. AD in Mesopotamia, where it was discovered by chance, although it had nothing to do with the beers brewed today. Moreover, this beverage was not yet called beer at the time and its manufacture was exclusively reserved for women.
Later, it was mainly the peoples of Gaul (of which the Belgians were the bravest) who began to manufacture beer in Europe; both Greeks and Romans had a preference for wine. Beer was therefore exclusively consumed in the countries of northern Europe. Nevertheless, these peoples did not know about the use of hops and used various spices which made beer taste bitter. They called this drink "Cervoise".
Beer and the Middle Ages in Belgium
In the Middle Ages, brewing was mainly reserved for monks and each abbey had a brewery. Observant and methodical, the monks improved beer-making techniques, notably using hops for the first time for their aromatic, antibacterial and preservative properties. It is also only from the use of this plant that the hop drink will take for the first time the name of "Bier".
The techniques were more rudimentary, however, and a lot of things were left to chance. The beer was brewed more spontaneously and there was no temperature control or understanding of yeasts.
It was Louis Pasteur who discovered in 1857 that the agents responsible for alcoholic fermentation are yeasts and that they were also an essential element in the formation of aromas. He also discovered that by heating beer to around 60 ° in its final container, it is possible to keep it longer. This process called "pasteurization" is applied today especially to mass beers from very large breweries but has a great impact on the taste and destroys vitamins and nutrients.
The appearance of the Pils
The history of beer has two more important milestones. First of all, the appearance of Pilsner thanks to the industrialization of beer with new techniques. This beer is made with low temperature fermentation and has become very popular. The "Pils" was invented in the city of Pilsen, Czech Republic, and received the name "Pilsener".
Belgian beer today
Today, the traditional method has become very popular again. More and more people are interested in traditional beers and microbreweries; a brewery that produces small quantities of beer and therefore favors quality over quantity. In addition, we combine the traditional methods of the past with more advanced knowledge of how to brew beer by adding new flavors as well as experimenting with many more varieties of hops. Beer is closely linked to Belgian history and now we can taste Belgian beer almost anywhere in the world.
If you want to learn more about brewing beer, we recommend that you read the following article " How to Brew Beer" .