The First Beer

The first reference to anything beer-releated was around 4000 BC. Ninkasi,the Sumerian Goddess of Brewing and Beer, is depicted on stone tablets with a recipe of what is believed to be the earliest form of beer.

In the beginning...

...was the word, and the word was beer! The modern word beer has origins in at least four European areas, one for each compass point. As beer was then exported to other continents, the words themselves followed, giving historians a clue as to how beer colonised the world!

Many western European countries use words similar to our own familiar beer; a word which stems from the Latin bibere, meaning a drink or beverage. This has become bier, bière, birra, and so on.

Eastern countries, in contrast, have a distinct Slavonic origin taking the old word for barley, piwwo, to become Pivo.

In the north, in Scandinavia for example, 'ale' is a parallel with similar words like øl and olut.

And finally, cerveza is used in the south were words like cerveja, sirbisi, sör, and cwrw derive themselves from Gaul. Although Gaul itself, now France, changed to bière in the 15th century.

This extract is taken from 'The British Beer Book', written by our very own beer sommelier!

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Beer matching. This week : Fish

There are two taste profiles attached to matching beer and fish. The first is to keep everything light, in accordance to the fish, so lagers are a good choice here. The second is to contrast the strong saltiness of fish (particularly oysters) with a strong taste in another area (with stouts and geuzes.)

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