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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Nomads and beer



There has been some serious scientific speculation that the reason our nomadic ancestors settled down was due to the discovery of beer. It takes a settled population to make beer. Someone has to plant the grains and keep an eye on the fields. Once the beer is brewed the fermentation process takes time. Eventually they must have learned that beer tastes better if it rests a while first.

Early civilized life was a pretty steep step down from nomadic life. Civilized people were smaller from poor diets and prone to more diseases. There had to be some serious up sides to civilization and one of those up sides was beer.

As a home brewer myself I've found it very hard to brew due to my semi-nomadic lifestyle. While I don't have to grow my own grains, I do grow some of my own hops. The problem is that by the time time hops are ready I'm running out of time. Even if I'm able to successfully brew, there's not enough time for me to drink it all. In years past I've taken care of the beer surplus problem by throwing a big party. That always works. Other years I've brought some of my brew along, but it's bulky and the bottles are fragile.

One option would be to forget the beer and distill everything down to 180 proof moonshine. I call that “backpacker booze” as most the heavy and bulky water is left behind. Of course, in most places homemade hard liquor is illegal. Governments love to collect their taxes.

Early civilized people lived under constant threat of raids by nomadic people. I wonder how much of that involved the nomads wanting to get their hands on a good brew?

Since most of the world is now “civilized” us nomads can easily get a beer just about anywhere. We don't have to brew it ourselves, which is difficult to impossible while traveling. The next time civilization collapses I'm betting it's the desire for a good beer that reboots the whole crazy process.

-Sixbears

8 comments:

  1. Hi 6-bears!!,
    What a trip!! 'Have ta' say ya' have a really good point about civilization and Beer! Ever since I can remember, "Beer" was everywhere!! As a kid in S/E Louisiana there was the local "Big Three" Falstaff, Jax and Regal.....and coming up was "Dixie!!" Great Beer till the old German Brewmaster died!! 'Talkin about "Homebrew," back when I was in High School one of my buddies, Dave Murray had an older brother who was into making Home brew and so Dave made a batch!! Good fun!! Real yeasty, even had about about a half inch of sediment on the bottom! Those were the daze!!!
    Got Beer?,
    III%,
    skybill-out

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    1. As old Ben Franklin said: Beer is proof that there is a god and he loves us.

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  2. I remember helping my aunt bottle the home brew she made. First you have a good sized crock, then the ingredients as I remember were; white rice, sugar, Fleichmans yeast and water. Not fancy, but this was the sixties.

    And yes it had the sediment in the bottom. You pour the beer in a glass slowly to keep the sediment out of the beer. She would use the sediment in cooking different dishes. The beer or ale was real potent too. Yum!

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    1. The whole craft brew industry in the US is due to the fact that Jimmy Carter made it legal to homebrew. After that quality got a lot better.

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  3. I remember reading somewhere that beer brewed by the Mesopotamians and the Egyptians way back when was pretty gnarly stuff. Didn't sound very alluring.

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    1. They used to drink it with a straw to keep from swallowing the grains. Beer has come a long way since then.

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  4. sorry its late but as a brewer of backpacker beer . Everything you listed is true it takes time and space to do right. Old world BEER wasn't the same as modern brews. Any fermented liquid was called beer our national drink till 1880 was hard apple cider and fruit wines served like cider. Mid west grains made modern beer possible and cheap. Major cities in the mid west prove civilization follows alcohol.

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    1. Thanks for weighing in Gary. At one time I believe apples were grown more for hard cider than anything else.

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