The liquid gift to humanity known as beer has been with us for a long time. A really long time. The first recorded recipes are around 4,000 years old – those ancient Egyptians really were onto something. Beer has evolved throughout the ages, was standardized in Germany in the 16th century and was sometimes drunk instead of water as it was much less contaminated. Needless to say, beer has garnered countless fans. Here are some of the more notable ones.
Ale reigned supreme in the time of The Bard, and Shakespeare would have grown up with a healthy love of the drink, especially as his own father was an official ale taster by profession (at the time a very well respected and important job). Ale involved a slightly different fermentation process than beer, which was quickly gaining in popularity in Shakespeare’s day. He’s likely to have enjoyed both, and his plays are filled with obvious odes to his love of drinking, such as “A quart of ale is a dish for a king” from his play A Winter’s Tale.
At one time just an obscure German monk, Martin Luther not only become a religious revolutionary who started the Protestant Reformation, he was also a major part of changing the way beer is brewed. In Luther’s day, the Catholic Church had a virtual monopoly on beer production as it controlled the supply of herbs used to flavor and preserve beer. Luther, a beer lover and man of action, helped promote the use of hops as an alternative, democratizing beer production and further annoying the Catholic Church. His most famous quote? “God has given the people two staples in the form of grain: bread and beer.”
The hard-living poet and author drank a lot of beer, practically all day every day of his adult life. He used it as a way to numb his more depressing thoughts, as a way to escape everyday life and as a way to literary inspiration. Almost every photo of him sees him with a bottle or can of beer in hand. His philosophy can be summed up by his quote, “When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn’t have you by the throat.”
The 44th President became the first Beer Lover of the United States (BLOTUS?) as he was such a fan of craft beer that he opened the first known home brewery in the White House. White House Honey Ale began production in 2011 and by 2012 was being sold in three variations: a blond ale, a porter and a brown ale. His predecessor Thomas Jefferson is of course a well-known brewer, but there’s no evidence that he ever brewed beer in the White House.
OK, so he’s a fictional character, but is there a more globally famous beer drinker? As the great man said, “Homer no function beer well without.”
If you’re a beer fan, you’re in great company. We at Balmaghie value knowledge, passion, and flavor paired with a reverence for the process of beer making. The finest ingredients and a meticulous process make for a fine end product. Find out more at Balmaghie.com.