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What’s Beer Done For Us?

Beer, Some would say it’s the greatest invention of them all. The tastiest invention, at least.

In all seriousness, the creation of beer has led to many excellent innovations that have benefited more than just those who love to drink it.

If we look at the history books, it quickly becomes apparent that beer has been instrumental in many useful advances. From cutting child labour, providing jobs and aiding in the creation of agriculture, we have a lot to thank beer for.

So, What’s Beer Done For Us?


1. The Factory

Henry Ford is generally seen as the forefather of the production line but, according to the University of Findlay, it was actually Michael Owens, in 1903, who created the machine that truly revolutionised the production industry. Owens is credited with the invention of a machine that automated the process of creating glass bottles to expedite the beer production process.

Whilst the resulting 80% cut in labour may seem like a bad thing, it is widely seen as the main catalyst behind ending child labour in America.


2. The Neolithic Revolution (agriculture and settlements)

Around 11,000 years ago dramatic changes occurred in the way many humans lived and experts suggest this was mainly thanks to beer.

Prior to this ‘revolution’, humans had been hunter-gatherers living off the land they travelled through. Around 11,000 years ago, they stopped and started cultivating grains. This represented the beginning of organised agriculture, as humans settled to protect and cultivate crops.


Archaeologists believe it’s due to beer. The harsh hunter-gatherer life was a difficult one, whereas beer represented an easier source of carbohydrates and vitamins, which meant better sustenance.

“The reason [wild barley] was domesticated in 9,000 BC is they were using it to make beer.” – Professor Patrick McGovern, University of Pennsylvania


3. Jobs

In the UK alone, beer has generated 400,00 jobs (2011). In the USA this figure raises to 1.75 million.


4. The Star Spangled Banner

Ok, so this might not be right for an English audience. But, out of respect to the return of Loddon’s In Yer Face American IPA, I thought we should include it anyway.

According to Hankering For History The Star Spangled Banner is based on an old drinking song, “To Anacreon in Heaven“, which was used as a sobriety test in taverns.

I can barely pronounce the title sober…


Anything you would add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!


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