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Saturday, August 22, 2009

History of Beer: A Timeline

Here is a brief overview of the world's history on the news topic of beer...from the year 4300 BC through July 2009 (it will be updated from time to time)...presented in a timeline format with associated/suggested link topics for your further research enjoyment (includes an exact date where possible):

Ancient History
Historians speculate that prehistoric nomads may have made beer from grain & water before learning to make bread. Beer became ingrained in the culture of civilizations with no significant viticulture. Noah's provisions included beer on the Ark.

4300 BC,
Babylonian clay tablets detail recipes for beer. Beer was a vital part of civilization and the Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Hebrew, Chinese, and Inca cultures. Babylonians produced beer in large quantities with around 20 varieties. Beer at this time was so valued that it was sometimes used to pay workers as part of their daily wages. Early cultures often drank beer through straws to avoid grain hulls left in the beverage. Egyptians brewed beer commercially for use by royalty served in gold goblets, medical purposes, and as a necessity to be included in burial provisions for the journey to the hereafter.

Different grains were used in different cultures:

a) Africa used millet, maize and cassava.

b) North America used persimmon although agave was used in Mexico.

c) South America used corn although sweet potatoes were used in Brazil.

d) Japan used rice to make sake.

e) China used wheat to make samshu.

f) Other Asian cultures used sorghum.

g) Russians used rye to make quass or kvass.

h) Egyptians used barley and may have cultivated it strictly for brewing as it made poor bread.

1600 BC
Egyptian texts contain 100 medical prescriptions calling for beer. If an Egyptian gentleman offered a lady a sip of his beer they were betrothed.
Early brewers used herbals like balsam, hay, dandelion, mint, and wormwood seeds, horehound juice, and even crab claws & oyster shells for flavorings. Romans brewed "cerevisia" (Ceres the goddess of agriculture & vis meaning strength in Latin).

55 BC
Roman legions introduce beer to Northern Europe.

49 BC
Caesar toasted his troops after crossing the Rubicon, which began the Roman Civil War. Before the Middle Ages brewing was left to women to make since it was considered a food as well as celebration drink.

23 BC
Chinese brewed beer called "kiu"

500-1000 AD
the first half of the Middle Ages, brewing begins to be practiced in Europe, shifting from family tradition to centralized production in monasteries and convents (hospitality for traveling pilgrims).

1000 AD
By this time Europe had about 50 monastic breweries.
Links: Beer

1671 Apr 22
King Charles II sat in on English parliament after which he gave his Royal Assent to the several Bills that were presented to him, fourteen private Acts, and eighteen public, including an act for exporting “Beer, Ale, and Mum.”
Links: Britain, Beer

The annual 12-day Bergkirchweih beer festival began in Erlangen, Germany.
Links: Germany, Beer

Arthur Guinness began brewing a dark-brown stout in the town of Leixlip, Ireland.
Links: Ireland, Beer

Trappists monks at St. Sixtus in Belgium began brewing Westvleteren beer in order to finance construction of a new monastery.
Links: Belgium, Beer
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John Wagner established Nevada's longest-operating brewery in Carson City during the rush to Virginia City. The Carson Brewing Co. built a new two-story brewery in 1865 in the commercial form of Classical Revival, on the corner of Division and King streets, where it was later turned into an arts and performance center.
Links: USA, Nevada, Beer

William McGillin began opened McGillin’s Olde Ale House in Philadelphia. In 2009 it celebrated its sesquicentennial.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Beer

The first US federal tax on beer was levied to finance the Civil War.
Links: USA, Beer, Civil War (US)

Jacob Leinenkugel, an immigrant from Bavaria, founded Leinenkugel Beer to supply the lumberjack community of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. In 1988 the family business agreed to be acquired by the Miller Brewing Co.
Links: USA, Wisconsin, Beer

The Brooks and Carey Saloon opened on Mission Road, Colma, Ca. It was later renamed the Brooksville Hotel. Frank Molloy purchased the place from Patrick Brooks in 1929 and renamed it Molloy's.
Links: USA, Beer, SF Bay Area, Colma
System Renewal
Optimizing legacy applications

Cassilly Adams (1843-1921), American painter, completed a 9x16 foot painting titled “Custer’s Last Fight.” It was purchased by Adolphus Busch, president of Anheuser-Busch, in 1888. Lithographs of a smaller copy of the work began to be reproduced in 1896. In 1895 Busch donated the work to the US Seventh Cavalry. It was destroyed by a fire at Fort Bliss, Texas, in 1946.
Links: Artist, USA, Beer

In Chicago Louis Glunz set up shop as a wine, beer and spirits merchant at Wells and Division streets. By 2009 the Louis Glunz Beer company represented Chicago-land consumers with the largest portfolio of Micro, Specialty and Import Beers with 665 brands and 172 breweries worldwide.
Links: USA, Chicago, Wine, Beer

Philippine brewer San Miguel began making beer.
Links: Philippines, Beer

Charlie Wacker, director of the World's Columbian Exposition and a friend of Louis Glunz, was instrumental in making Louis a bottler of Schlitz beer for the Chicago Exposition.
Links: USA, Illinois, Chicago, Beer, Expo

The US tax on a barrel of beer was reduced from $2 a barrel to $1.60.
Links: USA, Taxes, Beer
Timelines organized by subjects.

The San Francisco Brewing Company established a facility at 155 Columbus Ave, South San Francisco.
Links: USA, SF, Beer, SF Bay Area

1918 Sep
Pres. Woodrow Wilson ordered all US breweries to shut down on December 1 in order to save grain for the war effort.
Links: USA, Beer, WilsonW

1918 Dec 1
US breweries shut down due to a September directive from Pres. Wilson.
Links: USA, Beer, WilsonW

1934 Feb 20
In San Francisco a fire destroyed the recently opened Anchor Brewing Co. at 1610 Harrison St. The plant specialized in steam beer for which SF was once famous.
Links: USA, SF, Beer, Fire

1935 Jan 24
The 1st canned beer, "Krueger Cream Ale," was sold by Krueger Brewing Co. of Richmond, Va.
Links: Virginia, Beer

Latrobe Brewing of Latrobe, Pa., began making Rolling Rock, a pale lager. It was later acquired by InBev SA. In 2006 Rolling Rock was acquired by Anheuser-Busch, which moved operations to Newark NJ. In 2008 Anheuser-Busch was acquired by InBev SA.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Beer

The Old Milwaukee brand was first brewered by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company of Wisconsin. It was the first beer brand launched exclusively as a “popular” beer.
Links: USA, Wisconsin, Beer

1959 Jan 22
The Adolph Coors Co. of Golden, Colombia, introduced the aluminum beer can.
Links: USA, Colorado, Beer

The West End Brewing Co., producers of Utica Club Beer, began running TV commercials in the Northeast US. The ad campaign included the Schultz and Dooley ceramic mugs based on the ad characters.
Links: USA, New York, Beer

Gablinger’s beer, named after Swiss chemist Hersch Gablinger, was launched by Rheingold Breweries. Joseph Owades (1919-2005, brewmaster, developed the process to remove starch from beer and gave the formula to Meister Brau. The product failed but Meister Brau was sold to Miller Brewing. Miller successfully marketed the beer as Miller Lite.
Links: USA, Beer

Fritz Maytag bought out Laurence Steese and took over the Anchor Brewing Co.
Links: USA, SF, Beer

1988 Peter Bronfman (1929-1996) and his brother Edward Bronfman co-owned the Montreal Canadiens hockey team. Their uncle, Samuel, was the founder of the liquor company, Seagram Co. Ltd. The brothers acquired holdings in Brascan Ltd., a property mgmt. company, Noranda Inc., a natural resource company, and John Labatt Ltd., one of Canada’s 2 biggest brewers.
Links: Canada, Hockey, Beer, Liquor

The SF pub Liverpool Lil’s began operating at 2942 Lyon St.
Links: USA, SF, Beer

The Albion Brewery was declared a SF historical landmark.
Links: USA, SF, Beer

1974 Jun 4
Ten Cent Beer Night was an ill-fated promotion held by the American League's Cleveland Indians during a game against the Texas Rangers at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.
Links: USA, Ohio, Baseball, Beer

1979 Feb 1
US Pres. Jimmy Carter legalized home brewing.
Links: USA, Beer, CarterJ

1980 Sep 26
A bomb attack at the Oktoberfest in Munich killed 13 people.
Links: Germany, Beer

1982 Jun 10
The Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company and the Old Milwaukee brand was acquired by Stroh Brewing Company of Detroit. The Old Milwaukee brand was first brewered by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company.
Links: USA, Michigan, Wisconsin, Beer

1983 Nov 9
Alfred Heineken, beer brewer from Amsterdam, was kidnapped and held for a ransom of more than $10 million. Heineken was freed Nov 30. Cor van Houton, the kidnapper, was shot to death in 2003.
Links: Netherlands, Beer

1983 Nov 30
Police freed kidnapped beer magnate Alfred Heineken in Amsterdam.
Links: Netherlands, Beer

The Mendocino Brewing Co. became the 1st Brewpub in California and only the 2nd in the nation to open since Prohibition.
Links: USA, California, Beer

The Reagan administration, spurred by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) ordered US states to raise their drinking age to 21 or lose 10% of their federal highway funds.
Links: USA, Beer, Liquor, ReaganR

1986 Feb
Eduardo Cojuangco (b.1935), aka Danding and crony capitalist to Pres. Marcos, fled the Philippines. Cojuango had acquired a controlling stake in San Miguel beer using public funds deposited in a bank that he controlled. In 1999 Mr. Cojuango regained his position as head of the board of San Miguel even pending litigation for 'ill-gotten wealth."
Links: Philippines, Beer

1989 Aug 24
British brewery Bass bought the Holiday Inn hotel chain.
Links: Britain, M&A, Beer

In Finland the Wife Carrying contest was initiated to revive a 200 year old tradition from when Ronkainen the Robber tested aspiring members of his gang by making them carry huge sacks on their backs through an obstacle course. Cash prizes and the wife’s weight in beer was awarded to the winners.
Links: Finland, Women, Beer, Sociology, Games

In Germany the Reinheitsgebot law of 1516 was relaxed to allow foreign brewers to sell their beer in Germany.
Links: Germany, Beer

In Tanzania in a privatization drive part of the government stake in Safari beer was sold to a South African company.
Links: South Africa, Tanzania, Beer

South African Breweries (SAB) moved into the China market.
Links: China, South Africa, Beer

Anheuser-Busch Cos. bought the largest brewer in central China and began selling Budweiser in major Chinese cities.
Links: USA, China, Beer

1996 Aug 27
In Indianapolis 4 police officers engaged in a fight outside the city’s Circle Center mall. They were off duty and had just consumed a large amount of beer in the city’s luxury suite at a ball game. They were later tried for battery, disorderly conduct and public intoxication but the 1997 trial ended in a hung jury.
Links: Baseball, Beer, Indiana

In Germany low-tetrahydrocannabinol hemp was made legal and quickly became a fast-growing cash crop. A young Berlin brewer began to add its flowering buds to his beer in violation of the 1516 Reinheitsgebot law on beer ingredients.
Links: Germany, Beer, Agriculture

1997 Feb
Ahmed Zayat, an Egyptian American, took over the Al Ahram Beverages Co. and began to build a state-of-the-art brewery to produce Egyptian Stella and Danish Carlsberg Beer.
Links: Egypt, Beer

1997 Jul 16
Jerold Mackenzie was awarded $26.6M for being fired from Miller Brewing in 1993 for sexual harassment for relaying a Seinfeld episode to a co-worker. Higher courts later threw the entire award out. In 2003 Mackenzie accepted an out-of-court settlement for $625,000.
Links: TV, Beer, Lawsuit

1998 May 2
Police fired tear gas into a crowd of 3,000 students at Michigan State Univ. who were protesting the end of drinking at Munn Field.
Links: Michigan, Beer

1998 Dec 26
President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, urged Congress to lower the blood-alcohol limit for drunken driving nationwide to 0.08 percent to conform with 17 states and the District of Columbia. The other 33 states have 0.10.
Links: USA, Wine, Beer, Liquor, ClintonB
System Renewal

Anheuser Busch paid an estimated $80 million for exclusive alcohol rights to the 2002 and 2006 soccer World Cup tournaments. In 2000 Germany was selected as the host for the 2006 tournament and German fans became furious over the prospect of drinking Budweiser at the tournament.
Links: USA, Germany, Beer, Soccer

2000 Jun 1
Stores across Japan emptied beer vending machines to comply with a voluntary ban on beer vending to help reduce alcoholism.
Links: Japan, Beer

2000 Aug 28
Foster’s Brewing of Australia reported a deal to buy the California Beringer winery for some $1.5 billion.
Links: Australia, Wine, Beer

The Firestone Walker brewery relocated from Santa Barbara, Ca., to Paso Robles. The brewers fermented their ales in used wine barrels.
Links: USA, California, Beer

2002 Jan 3
Alfred Henry Heineken (78), builder of a global beer brand, died in the Netherlands. Freddie designed the green bottle and logo. In 1983 he was abducted for weeks and released unharmed.
Links: Netherlands, Beer

2002 Dec
In Uganda Nile Breweries, owned by SABMiller began selling a new kind of clear lager-like beer called Eagle. Industrial enzymes were used to convert starches in sorghum to sugars. It sold well and expanded to other countries in the region.
Links: Uganda, Beer

China surpassed the US to become the world's largest beer market by volume.
Links: China, Beer

South African Breweries bought America’s Miller Brewing for $5.6 billion.
Links: USA, South Africa, Beer

2003 Feb 20
The Station, a Warwick, Rhode Island, nightclub erupted in a raging fire during a pyrotechnics display at a rock concert, 98 people were killed and 200 others injured. Flammable soundproofing was later blamed. In Feb, 2006, Dan Biechele, manager of the band, pleaded guilty to 100 counts of manslaughter in exchange for up to 10 years in prison. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison. In 2008 Anheuser-Busch and a Rhode Island beer distributor agreed to pay $21 million to settle lawsuits brought by survivors of the fire.
Links: USA, Pop&Rock, Beer, Fire, Lawsuit, Rhode Island

2004 Jan 9
The German Neuzeller Kloster Brewery announced plans to introduce its "Anti-Aging-Bier" this year and sell it in grocery and drug stores.
Links: Germany, Beer

2004 Feb 28
In Finland hundreds of trucks prepared to roll onto frozen roads at midnight, stocked with beer and hard cider for a population that eagerly awaits a historic government measure that will cut alcohol prices by nearly 40 percent.
Links: Finland, Beer

2004 Apr 16
After analyzing 730 confirmed cases of gout from among a group of 47,000 men over 12 years, London researchers demonstrated that drinkers are more likely to get gout, and that beer is worse and wine is best. Gout is caused by deposits of crystals of a chemical called uric acid in joints. Alcohol consumption leads to "hyperuricaemia" -- when the body produces too much uric acid.
Links: Britain, Medical, Chemistry, Biology, Beer

2004 Apr 19
Researchers reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine that fairly heavy alcohol consumption appears to moderately increase the risk of cancer in the colon and rectum.
Links: Medical, Wine, Beer, Liquor

2004 May 5
British-based SABMiller launched an unsolicited HK$4.3 billion ($550m) bid for Harbin Brewery, China’s 4th largest brewer.
Links: Britain, China, M&A, Beer

2004 Jun 1
Anheuser-Busch offered HK$5.58 per share for China’s Harbin Brewery Group Ltd. 2 days later SABMiller withdrew its HK$4.30 offer.
Links: China, Beer

2004 Jul 3
Two Estonian students clinched the country's seventh straight wife-carrying world championship on Saturday, winning the "wife's" weight in beer and a sauna.
Links: Estonia, Beer

2004 Aug 27
It was reported that SABMiller was investing $82.2 million to build a brewery in Dongguan, Guangdong province, China.
Links: China, Beer

2004 Aug
An $11 billion merger between Belgium’s Interbrew and Brazil’s largest brewer AmBev formed InBev.
Links: Belgium, Brazil, Beer

2004 Sep 18
Munich's mayor opened the southern city's 171st Oktoberfest festival for a crowd of some 500,000.
Links: Germany, Beer

Billy Gaines and Duncan Carrroll, graduates of Carnegie Mellon Univ., developed a Web site called along with a multiplayer online beer-pong game. Beer pong had gained popularity on college campuses in the 1990s.
Links: USA, Internet, Beer, Games

2005 Feb 7
In England and Wales new laws came into effect that allow pubs, clubs and other drinking venues to apply to stay open 24 hours a day.
Links: Britain, Wales, Beer

2005 Apr 4
In Canada Edward Bronfman, Canadian businessman, died. Bronfman and his brother, Peter, built Edper Investments Ltd. into a business with interests ranging from forestry and mining to banking, beer and hockey to form the core of what is today Brascan Corp.
Links: Canada, Beer

2005 Jul 19
British firm SABMiller announced a $7.8 billion purchase of Grupo Empresarial Bavaria, South America’s 2nd largest brewer. The Santo Domingo family of Colombia were Bavaria;s controlling shareholders.
Links: Colombia, Britain, Beer

2005 Jul 27
It was reported that some Chinese beer makers used small quatities of formaldehyde to improve color and prevent sediment from forming during storage. Major producers said they did not use the additive. The practice was abandoned in the West.
Links: China, Beer

2005 Sep 17
Germany’s 172nd Oktoberfest opened and will run to Oct 3.
Links: Germany, Beer

2005 Oct 3
Munich's two-week Oktoberfest drew to a close, and organizers said more people visited this year but they drank less beer than in 2004.
Links: Germany, Beer

2005 Nov 23
In Britain and Wales the early pub closing times, that had governed drinking in Britain since their introduction during World War I, were set to end at midnight. The laws had required most pubs to close at 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10:30 p.m. on Sundays. New rules allowed pubs, bars, shops, restaurants and clubs to apply to open any hours they like, although each license must be approved by local authorities.
Links: Britain, Wales, Wine, Beer, Liquor

Vijay Mallya (27) inherited the UB Group of India when his father, Vittal Mallya, died of a heart attack. Sales for UB then grew from $100 million to $1.6 billion in 2003. Import duties on foreign liquor of up to 550% protected his business.
Links: India, Beer, Liquor

In Laos the state-owned enterprise Beerlao, which traces its origins to French colonial times, added dark brew and a light beer to its regular lager this year and went into a 50-50 joint venture with Denmark's Carlsberg Breweries, the world's No. 5 beer-maker.
Links: Laos, Beer

2006 Jan 23
Belgian brewer InBev NV, the world's largest brewery by volume, said it has agreed to buy the largest brewer in China's Fujian province for 614 million euros ($740 million).
Links: Belgium, China, Beer

Maureen Ogle authored “Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer.”
Links: USA, Beer, Books

2007 May 28
Britain’s public health minister said beer, wine and hard liquor packaging in Britain will carry warning labels next year detailing how many units of alcohol each drink contains as well as recommended safe drinking levels.
Links: Britain, Wine, Beer, Liquor

2007 Jul 31
A new study reported that drinking wine or beer every day increases the risk of bowel cancer. The British Daily Telegraph reported 35,000 people are diagnosed each year with bowel cancer and that it kills 16,100 a year.
Links: Canada, Medical, Wine, Beer

2007 Aug 30
Michael Jackson (65), a leading world beer critic, died in London. He praised the brews of Belgium and his books "The Great Beers of Belgium" and "World Guide to Beer" introduced them to many export markets, including the United States.
Links: Belgium, Britain, Beer

2007 Oct 9
Brewers SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing said they have agreed to combine their US operations to create a business that will have annual sales of $6.6 billion and be the second-biggest market player behind Anheuser-Busch.
Links: Canada, USA, Beer

2008 Jan 25
Scottish & Newcastle, the UK's largest brewer, announced it has agreed to be bought by Carlsberg and Heineken, for around 7.6 billion pounds.
Links: Britain, M&A, Beer

2008 Jun 9
Budweiser, US beer brewer, announced that it would go on sale in Vietnam.
Links: USA, Vietnam, Beer

2008 Jun 11
InBev, the Belgian-Brazilian brewing giant, offered $46 billion, or 65 dollars a share, in cash for Anheuser-Busch in a bid to create an unrivaled global brewing giant.
Links: Belgium, Brazil, USA, Beer

2008 Jul 13
Belgian-based brewer InBev announced it will buy Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion.
Links: Belgium, USA, Missouri, M&A, Beer

2008 Nov 18
Belgian brewing giant InBev announced it had completed the takeover of Anheuser-Busch to create the world's biggest brewer. Beijing agreed to Belgium-based InBev SA's takeover of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.'s Chinese operations as part of their global merger, but limited future acquisitions on anti-monopoly grounds.
Links: Belgium, USA, China, Beer

2009 Mar 9
French lawmakers passed an amendment to ban the sale of alcohol to teens under 18, part of an effort to tackle the rise of binge drinking in a country known for a relaxed attitude toward a little libation.
Links: France, Wine, Beer, Liquor

2009 Jul 1
Utah ditched a 40-year-old requirement for bar customers to fill out applications and pay a fee to become a member of a private club before entering a bar.
Links: USA, Utah, Beer, Liquor

2009 Jul 20
In Malaysia Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno (32), Muslim woman, was sentenced to six lashes and a fine of 5,000 ringgit ($1,400) for having a beer in a nightclub. She would become the first woman in Malaysia to be given the punishment under Islamic law.
Links: Malaysia, Women, Beer, Sociology


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