Essay: The history of beer

Beer is one of the most famous and consumed alcoholic beverages throughout the whole world. Almost every country has its own culture involving the consumption of beer, ranging from the ‘Oktoberfest’ in M??nchen which is one of the world most famous beer festivals to the tradition pubs, like The Royal Mile, in Scotland.
The origin of beer goes back thousands of years. It is suggested that the first ‘beer’ was brewed by the ancient Greeks in Mesopotani?? and the oldest recipes for brewing beer dates back to 3900 BC. In Scotland the production of beer dates back approximately 5.000 years.
Beer can be divided in to 2 different categories: ale and lager. Besides ale and lager there is a similar beverage called ‘cider’ which is made from the unfiltered juice of apple that gives cider the ‘sweet’ taste it is known for. Ale and lager have the basic ingredients called ‘malt’ and ‘hop’ in comparison to cider, which gives it more of a bitter taste than cider. Although cider, ale and lager seem to be very similar, they all contain about the same percentage of alcohol and are all fermented by yeast, they are not quite the same, mainly because the basic ingredients are completely different.
Although cider, lager and ale are all equally consumed in Scotland, the country is well known for the vast majority of ales that is. Therefore this paper will explore this subject in more detail. There are many different kind of ales around the world as well as in Scotland, but the most famous are: Pale Ale, India Pale Ale and Scottish Ale. Pale ale was a term, which first appeared around 1703 was, used for beers made from malt dried with coke . It is known for its light malt flavours, pleasantly dry and often bitter aftertaste. Pale Ale has a light colour, in the 19th century was also referred to as a ‘bitter’. India Pale Ale, or ‘I.P.A.’ as it is often called, refers to a style of ale that was develop in England to export to India. Like Pale Ale, I.P.A. was brewed from pale malt and was formulated to survive the long voyages over seas to India. I.P.A. is a hoppy, moderately strong ale with a golden-to-copper colour. Finally there is the Scottish Ale, which can be divided in to different ‘ shilling categories’. The shilling categories originated from the mid 19th century when the price and quality of beer were bases on hogsheads, the stronger or better the quality was the more you had to pay. There are four different categories: 60/- , also referred to as ‘ Light’; 70/-, also referred to as ‘Heavy’; 80/-, also referred to as ‘ Export’ and finally 90/- also known as ‘ Wee Heavy’. In general Scottish ales posses a soft and chewy malt character that may be perceived as caramel or toffee and can range form a golden amber to a deep brown in colour.

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