Beer: A Global History by Gavin D. Smith

By Gavin D. Smith

Pilsners, blonde ales, India light ales, lagers, porters, stouts: the types and varieties of beer are never-ending. yet as assorted because the drink is, its allure is universal—beer is the most-consumed alcoholic beverage on this planet. From ballparks to eating places, bars to brewpubs, this multihued beverage has made itself a nutritional staple all over the world. Celebrating the background of those renowned libations during this interesting tome, Gavin D. Smith strains beer from its earliest days to its modern consumption.
 
whereas exploring the evolution of brewing know-how and the way it mirrors technological adjustments on a much wider fiscal scale, Smith travels from Mexico to Milwaukee, Beijing, Bruges, and past to offer a legion of beer manufacturers their due. He then delves into the expansion of beer-drinking tradition and food-beer pairings and gives details on beer-related museums, gala's, guides, and internet sites. He additionally presents a variety of recipes that would be better with the downing of a pitcher or of the amber nectar. Containing a wealth of element in its concise, splendidly illustrated pages, Beer will entice connoisseurs and informal fanatics alike.

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The populace of western Europe have a liquid with which they intoxicate themselves, made from grain and water. The manner of making this is somewhat different in Gaul, Spain and other countries, and it is called by different names, but its nature and properties are everywhere the same. Just as the presence of vines on their native soil made the Romans wine drinkers, so a lack of vines had led to the spread of brewing across Europe. Countries with cooler climates that could not support viniculture tended to be rich in barley and wheat.

The broader German purity law is more liberal, allowing for the introduction of sugar from external sources, and other variations on the Bavarian original. Both are enshrined in German tax legislation. Germany is currently the fifth-largest beer producer in the world, where once it ranked second only to the USA. Today, China leads the way, followed by the USA, Russia and Brazil, and German domestic beer consumption has correspondingly fallen in recent decades, down by almost one-third in the last 30 years.

In Britain, an apparently ever-growing demand for beer meant that by 1900 some 40 million barrels were being brewed per annum, though the temperance cause was also attracting support. Despite the growing levels of consumption, brewery numbers declined as in the USA, with the process commencing some years before, when national giants such as Whitbread & Co. started to absorb smaller rivals into their empires. The years before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 were times of economic recession, and more brewing company amalgamations and closures resulted.

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