Beer- A Brief History 

Here at Loddon we’re keen on our celebrating our history. We hope that was evident with the production of our commemorative Scramble beer, which celebrated the brave ‘few’ who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Battle of Britain.

Brewed using a special 1945 recipe, the beer is a testament to a time since past. Some ‘craft’ beers of today would be unrecognisable to those servicemen and women who would have enjoyed beers akin to Scramble.

But beer has been an integral part of our culture throughout history. So we thought we’d journey back and see how our favourite tipple first came to be.

Going back to 3000 BC, the Babylonians supposedly had 20 different types of beer. Unfiltered and cloudy, the beer would have been very sour to taste prompting the ancient civilization to drink it through a straw.

Even with a putrid taste beer was popular and Babylonians were paid part of their wages in it. It didn’t stop the Egyptians either and skipping forward to 1500BC, they were sensible enough to mask the taste by adding dates to the brewing process.

Fast forward once more- we did mention it would be short- and we reach the Romans. The Romans much preferred wine, as they believed it to be the nectar of the gods with beer more the preserve of Barbarians.

They clearly didn’t get the opportunity to taste Ferryman’s Gold on a warm summer day…

By 800AD Germanic peoples were brewing beer. As Tacitus noted:

“To drink, the Teutons have a horrible brew fermented from barley or wheat”

But this was an important stage in the history of beer as the use of hops became prevalent- as they believed it to ‘reduce putrefaction.’ Unfortunately for the English, this trend didn’t spread to England until the 15th century.

Beer during the medieval period was an important commodity; it was quite literally more precious than water. This was due to the poor sanitation of the times culminating in water was rife with dangerous bacteria, whereas beer’s ‘cooking process’ helped eliminate some such elements.

By 1516, Germans had started mass-producing beer and had even introduced the Beer Purity Law to ensure standards were met across the board. This ensured a certain level of quality for German beer and was something that was quickly replicated across Europe.

Entering the early 19th century and Louis Pasteur discovered yeasts role in fermentation. Shortly thereafter, the increasingly commercialised beer market enjoyed the introduction of bottling, refrigeration and the advent of railways to transport beers across country.

The rest, is history.

Scramble is still available to buy from the shop, either online or in the farm shop! 

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