Visit the Official KCSA Web Site

Visit the Official KCSA Web Site
Click to Visit the Official KCSA Web Site. Unity Through Diversity...Knights Nation!

Friday, July 11, 2008

History 101 - BEER

In reviewing the information on Franziskaner's website after a Knight of general joy and mayhem, I found a section where they share the history of beer and how it led up to the current Weissbier of today. Seeing how my brain cells are in recovery, I thought it best to let the Monk Professor, not to be confused with the Monk Confessor, teach us about BEER!

Weiss Beer - a Beer with a Long Tradition

The Most Important Facts From a Millennia-Old History.

2000 BC - Marduk, the Beer-Brewing God of the Babylonians
The age-old tradition of weiss beer (wheat beer) can be traced back to the ancient Babylonians. The earliest known brewer's emblem is the pickaxe wielded by the Babylonian god Marduk.

1600 BC - Beer in the Realm of the Pharaohs
The first description of a brewery can be found on a clay tablet from ancient Egypt.

800 BC - Beer on German Soil
A beer amphora from the early Hallstatt Period, discovered near the town of Kulmbach, proves that beer was brewed on German soil as early as 800 BC.

4 BC - Beer Conquers the Teutons
By the time of Christ's birth nearly all the Germanic tribes knew how to produce beer and enjoyed drinking it. Even the Romans, who called it a barbaric concoction, were not averse to a sip.

600 - Beer Sacrifices in Bavaria
By the early Middle Ages the art of beer brewing was already being practiced in the foothills of the Alps. An Irish missionary travelling through the lake district of Bavaria records beer being sacrificed to a heathen god.

719 - Lex Alemannorum
In his code of law, the 'Lex Alemannorum', Duke Lantfrit decrees that all bonded peasants must pay tribute in beer to their lords.

815 - Beer in Munich
The earliest evidence of beer brewing in Munich dates from the year 815.

1363 - Franziskaner Beer in Munich
First documentary evidence of the 'brewery near the Franciscans' in the Residenzstrasse. Franziskaner is thus the oldest privately-owned brewery in Munich.

1380 - Bottom-Fermentation Beer from Bohemia
Until now beer was primarily top-fermenting, with the advantage that it could be brewed throughout the year and at very short notice. Unfortunately, due to improper use of 'wild yeasts' floating in the air, it quickly turned sour. Now bottom-fermentation beer arrived in Germany from Bohemia. Although this beer can only be brewed in the cold months of the year (the brewing temperature has to be kept low), it is not nearly as perishable.

1516 - The Bavarian Purity Law
Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria issues the Purity Law. Now beer can only be brewed from malt, hops and water.

1520 - Wheat Beer from Bohemia
Top-fermentation weiss beer ('wheat beer') arrives in Germany, once again from Bohemia. This beer can be brewed throughout the year, but violates the Purity Law by using yeast.

1567 - Weiss Beer Prohibited
Being perishable, weiss beer is declared unhealthy and finally banned altogether by Duke Albrecht IV of Bavaria.

1602 - Weiss Beer Brewing Becomes a State Monopoly
Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria recognizes that weiss beer, far from being hazardous to health, is an ideal refreshment for the population. He gradually places every Bavarian brewery that produces top-fermentation weiss beer under state ownership, thereby creating a state monopoly on the brewing of weiss beer. His goal is to balance the state budget, for since 1572 weiss beer has been taxed four times as heavily as brown beer. In compensation for violating the Purity Law, Duke Maximilian agrees to pay a fine to the chamber of representatives.

1683 - Bavarian Troops Drunk with Victory
The Bavarian troops stationed at the gates of Vienna to fight the Turks are supplied with weiss beer via the Danube. They win in the end.

1798 - End of the Bavarian Weiss Beer Monopoly
Weiss beer becomes less and less important during the 18th century as beer drinkers gradually turn to brown beer. In consequence, Prince-Elector Theodore of Bavaria suspends the weiss beer monopoly.

2000 - Weiss Beer on the Upswing
Weiss beer witnesses a steady upsurge from the 1960s. More and more breweries add this Bavarian speciality to their range of products. Today the Bavarians are once again world champions in the art of brewing weiss beer. The former aristocratic monopoly has become the pleasure of the entire world. Thanks to its constantly high quality, Franziskaner weiss beer too has found many admirers all over the globe and has emerged as one of the world's leading weiss beer brands.

Sir Hook the Beer Professor Confessor of Warrick

1 comment: