Satisfying

your thirst for beer

Knowledge

Education

How it All Began –
History of Beer

Since its origins around 4300 B.C., beer has seen many variations but the basic premises stay the same. It’s something you can always count on … a nice, cold beer at the end of a long day.

c. 4300 BC

Recipes are found on Babylonian clay tablets with at least twenty types of beer. Beer is also used as a daily wage for workers.

c. 4300 BC

Recipes are found on Babylonian clay tablets with at least twenty types of beer. Beer is also used as a daily wage for workers.

 
c. 1600 BC

Beer is part of one hundred medical remedies, according to Egyptians texts.

c. 1600 BC

Flavoring for beer during this time includes balsam, hay, dandelion, mint, wormwood seeds, horehound juice, crab claws, and oyster shells.

c. 1600 BC

Flavoring for beer during this time includes balsam, hay, dandelion, mint, wormwood seeds, horehound juice, crab claws, and oyster shells.

 
c. 55 BC

During war campaigns, the Roman legions introduce beer to the rest of Europe.

c. 49 BC

After crossing the Rubicon, Caesar toasts his soldiers with beer, commencing the Roman Civil War.

c. 49 BC

After crossing the Rubicon, Caesar toasts his soldiers with beer, commencing the Roman Civil War.

 
c. 23 BC

The Chinese brew what they call “kiu.”

500 AD

For the next five hundred years, Europe begins practicing brewing in monasteries and convents.

500 AD

For the next five hundred years, Europe begins practicing brewing in monasteries and convents.

 
500 AD

Beer is used for trading, payment and taxing.

800 AD

Germans use barley and wheat in their beer.

800 AD

Germans use barley and wheat in their beer.

 
1000 AD

A new ingredient, hops, is added to the brewing process.

1200 AD

In Germany, Austria, and England, beer becomes a commercial enterprise. The Germans like their beer cold so it is stored in Alpine caves. The English like it warm and store it in cellars.

1200 AD

In Germany, Austria, and England, beer becomes a commercial enterprise. The Germans like their beer cold so it is stored in Alpine caves. The English like it warm and store it in cellars.

 
1420

Brauerei Beck becomes Germany’s first brewing guild.

1491

Christopher Columbus comes across natives making beer from corn and black birch sap.

1491

Christopher Columbus comes across natives making beer from corn and black birch sap.

 
1516

In Germany, the Beer Purity law is established. It says that barley, hops and pure water are the only ingredients to be allowed in the beer brewing process.

1553

Beck’s Brewery is founded.

1553

Beck’s Brewery is founded.

 
1587

Sir Walter Raleigh of Virginia is the first to brew beer in the New World. However, his fellow colonists snub his beer and request ale from England.

Late 1500s

For breakfast, England’s Queen Elizabeth I drinks strong ale.

Late 1500s

For breakfast, England’s Queen Elizabeth I drinks strong ale.

 
1602

Dr. Alexander Nowell discovers that ale will last longer in corked glass bottles.

1612

The first commercial U.S. brewery opens in New Amsterdam (what is now New York City.)

1612

The first commercial U.S. brewery opens in New Amsterdam (what is now New York City.)

 
1674

Harvard College opens its own brewhouse.

1757

George Washington’s personal notes reveal his personal recipe “To Make Small Beer.”

1757

George Washington’s personal notes reveal his personal recipe “To Make Small Beer.”

 
1842

In Pilsen, Bohemia, the first golden ale is made.

1860

Eberhard Anheuser, a St. Louis businessman, loans money to a local brewery and later buys the interests of minority creditors.

1860

Eberhard Anheuser, a St. Louis businessman, loans money to a local brewery and later buys the interests of minority creditors.

 
1876

The American Budweiser brewing company is founded by Adolphus Busch, son-in-law of Eberhard Anheuser, in St. Louis, Missouri.

1876

Louis Pasteur develops the pasteurization process to stabilize beer.

1876

Louis Pasteur develops the pasteurization process to stabilize beer.

 
1880

In the USA, there are a little over 2,300 breweries.

Jan. 16, 1919

Ratification of the 18th amendment to the US Constitution begins the illegalization of the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol.

Jan. 16, 1919

Ratification of the 18th amendment to the US Constitution begins the illegalization of the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol.

 
Jan. 16, 1920

National Prohibition officially takes effect.

1921

August A. Busch, head of Anheuser-Busch, makes a statement to the public regarding Prohibition: “Those who are obeying the law are being ground to pieces by its very operation, while those who are violating the law are reaping unheard-of rewards. Every rule of justice has been reversed.”

1921

August A. Busch, head of Anheuser-Busch, makes a statement to the public regarding Prohibition: “Those who are obeying the law are being ground to pieces by its very operation, while those who are violating the law are reaping unheard-of rewards. Every rule of justice has been reversed.”

 
1928

The anti-Prohibition AAPA (Association Against the Prohibition Amendment) reports that enough hops have been sold during the year to make 20 million barrels of prohibited beer. They contest that the loss in taxes on these sales is a reason to end Prohibition.

1933

The 21st Amendment repeals the 18th Amendment, making alcohol legal again.

1933

The 21st Amendment repeals the 18th Amendment, making alcohol legal again.

 
1964

Metal kegs are introduced in Germany.

1976

New Albion Brewing Company, in Sonoma, California, is opened by Jack McAuliffe and is America’s first micro-brewery.

1976

New Albion Brewing Company, in Sonoma, California, is opened by Jack McAuliffe and is America’s first micro-brewery.

 
1981

Only 52 breweries in operation in the United States.

2005

Craft beer becomes the fastest growing adult beverage

2005

Craft beer becomes the fastest growing adult beverage

 
2008

More than 1,400 breweries in operation in the US and Smithsonian Magazine states: “The best beers in the world today are being made in the US.”

2012

The craft brewing sales share in 2012 was 6.5 percent by volume and 10.2 percent by dollars. 2,347 craft breweries operated for some or all of 2012, comprised of 1,132 brewpubs, 1,118 microbreweries and 97 regional craft breweries.

2012

The craft brewing sales share in 2012 was 6.5 percent by volume and 10.2 percent by dollars. 2,347 craft breweries operated for some or all of 2012, comprised of 1,132 brewpubs, 1,118 microbreweries and 97 regional craft breweries.

 
2014

Craft brewers reached 11 percent volume of the total U.S. beer market. Additionally, craft dollar share of the total U.S. beer market reached 19.3 percent in 2014, as retail dollar value from craft brewers was estimated at $19.6 billion. More than 3,400 U.S. breweries operated for some or all of 2014, of which 99 percent were small and independent craft brewers as defined by the Brewers Association. Of those craft breweries, there were 1,412 brewpubs, 1,871 microbreweries and 135 regional craft breweries.