A brief history of time. And beer.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but I’ve finally gotten around to starting a blog. For the topic of this lovely, little blog, I’ve chosen to focus on good, wholesome, craft beer. It’s something I enjoy learning about, talking about, sharing, and simply, just drinking.

Not to be too geeky, but beer is actually pretty exciting. It’s one of humankind’s oldest beverages. There’s record of beer going all the way back to 9000 BC. There are some who credit it (along with bread) with bringing on the agricultural age and the rise of humans gathering in cities–it’s hard to grow the grains for your beer when you’re a nomad. Remember all those ancient cultures you learned about in grade school–the ancient Egyptians, the Mesopotamians, the Sumerians, the ancient Chinese? Well, they all made some form of a beverage made with fermented grains–beer.

Makes me wonder what kind of hangover cures the ancient Egyptians had.

For most of beer’s history, it was made locally and in small batches, just for the people who lived in that particular area (a ‘microbrew’, if you will). The rise of the industrial revolution saw it being produced on a large and gross scale (I mean ‘gross’ in the disgusting sense of the word) and the American prohibition in the 30’s wiped out the majority of the small, local microbrews. For a large part of the 20th century (during the beer dark ages), ‘beer’ was only Americanized German-style lagers. You got a Heineken if you wanted to be fancy. Now don’t get me wrong; there’s some things that Bud, Miller, Coors (BMC) do well, such as make the same (boring) product taste the same on a huge scale, marketing (creating brand loyalty when all the brands taste the same? amazing!), and employing my friends (Scotty and previously, KJ). But I’m pretty sure the Europeans were laughing at us behind our backs during the beer dark ages. Only drinking BMC your whole life is pretty much like only eating McDonald’s your whole life; sure, it’s American, but I wouldn’t want my national identity defined by it.

The Man destroys our beer and shatters our happiness during the Prohibition. Boo.

Gradually, the beer dark ages got a little brighter. Americans started noticing that the Europeans were making fun of their lack of beer choices and started taking matters into their own hands and homebrewing (even though for a long time it was illegal to nationally, and still is in a few states today). A few micros left over from before the dark ages continued to make craft beer, even though only a few people knew how awesome it was and there wasn’t much of a market. Anchor Brewing was (and still is) one such brewery. They somehow managed to make it through Prohibition and saved a whole beer style (steam beer!) in the process. Thanks to the old micros that survived and the legions of crazy homebrewers, local breweries started popping up again–started by those crazy homebrewers. Nowadays, I can’t pick up Southern Brew News or click on Beer Advocate without learning about a new baby brewery just one town over makin’ crazy new beers. Makes me proud.

So that was a rough intro on beer. There’s a lot more interesting points to make, but to risk boring you (are you bored already?), I’ll save those for another post. I’ll maybe throw in some beer reviews, maybe I’ll just brag to you about what I’m drinking, maybe I’ll just tell you “Hey, stop reading this right now! Go to your nearest good beer store this very moment and buy a bottle of _________!” I might even talk about music a lil bit, or I might let Matt post a thing or two.

Wanna read a funnier version of what I just wrote? Check this out.

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