With the hectic pace of life some of us enjoy a drink every now and then to unwind. But when your sipping a brown ale or cool larger in a pub garden this summer you should spare a minute to consider the wise men who discovered the restorative merits of beer in 6000 BC.
The origins of beer can be traced back to southern Mesopotamia to the Sumerians who occupied that territory in 6000 BC. The Sumerians are regarded as the original human civilization but that didn’t stop them discovering a drink who’s popularity spans the globe. The Sumerians were so delighted with their discovery that they prayed to the Goddess Ninkasi to preside over their harvest and protect their favorite tipple.
With its origins dating back over 8000 years, which beers have stood the time and still exist today to be savoured by a worldwide audience?
The following beers five beers have been classified as the world’s oldest beers still under manufacture:
Weihenstephan – established in AD 725, the Benedictine Weihenstephan Abbey in Bavaria, southern Germany, is the oldest, operating brewery in the whole world (built 1040 AD). The brewery is now owned by the Bavarian State Brewery ‘Weihensephan’. It still brews millions of bottles every years and distributes it’s ancient product to over 120 countries around the world.
Augustiner – the Augustinian Brotherhood started brewing Augustiner beer in 1328, 600 years after Welhenstephan. The first brewery was based within the monastery walls close to Munich Cathedral. After nearly 500 years of production the brewery was privatised in the early 19th century and the Augustiner Brau company was created. The brewery soon moved to Neuhauser Strae. Finally in 1829 the Wagner family took control of the business and moved it to it’s current location at the Landsberger Strae in 1885.
Stella Artois – a world renowned brand with global appeal, Stella Artois (Stella) is the most famous of all Belgian beers. The origins of Stella date back to 1366 and it’s distinctive flavour and high alcohol content remain traits from it’s early days that are synonymous with the Stella Artois brand.
Grolsch – a virtual baby in the company of the early German breweries, Grolsch was founded in Holland in 1615 and has been producing a beer that is renowned worldwide for its flavour and character. Grolsch is unique in the time it is given to ferment in a natural fashion with less manual intervention than many modern beers. In 1897 Grolsch introduced the distinctive green bottle with swingtop stopper that distinguishes Grolsch from other beer brands.
Kronenbourg – founded in 1664, modern day Kronenbourg uses this date as a key part of it’s marketing activity. Originating in southern France, the first Kronenbourg brewery was the Hatt brewery in Strasbourg. The brewery relocated in 1850 to Cronenbourg and adapted its name to reflect it’s new home. The company is now owned by Carlsberg but that hasn’t stopped it claiming international respect and remain the best selling larger in France.
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