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Musings from Moyieboy ...
It's beer o'clock and all is well
January 4, 2018
By Ken Carpenter

 "Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza." ~ Dave Berry

It is likely that many people imbibed more beer over the holidays than they usually would in a two-month period. So, just to rub it in a little bit, I decided to provide a little history to go with the beerheads.

Mankind has been heaping praise upon beer for 9,000 years or longer. It is thought by many that the invention of bread and beer hurried the development of civilization. I'm sure millions of beer-bellies would agree, if they were capable of more than gurgling.

The path which humanity chose to tread was actually changed forever by the thirst for beer. Sometime around 5000 BC many of the Neolithic nomads gave up their wandering ways to settle down to a life of farming. They needed grain to supply one of their favorite food sources, and while they liked their bread OK it was the craving for beer to wash it down with that put the brakes on their roaming.

A famous Sumerian prayer called "The Hymm to Ninkasi" was not solely created for religious purposes. In a time of widespread illiteracy, incorporating the recipe for beer into a prayer to a goddess only made good sense. Praise the Lord and pass the bowl of lager.

They took their beer drinking seriously in ancient Babylonia too. The Code of Hammurabi (c. 1750 BC) provided the laws of the day, one of which was a sentence of death for any merchant caught diluting his beer. Guess they didn't care for light beer in those days.

In the Middle Ages many of the monasteries in Europe were renowned for their breweries. The monks who made the brew were rewarded for their efforts by being allowed to drink five quarts of beer every day. I'm surprised they were able to make beer or anything else besides a healthy supply of urine. In case you are wondering, beer was also allowed when the monks were fasting. It kind of makes a fast sound a little less daunting doesn't it?

For centuries beer was one of the primary fuels for the armies of the world. The British Army once supplied a cash allowance for beer to its soldiers, and that one penny was good for six pints of ale per day.

Part of the reason the old Vikings went "berserk" during battle was the copious amounts of ale they imbibed beforehand. It seems that pillaging was always a lot more fun when you were staggering around.

The high regard for beer extended into the medical field in the old days too. Amazingly enough, over 100 illnesses in 1600 BC Egypt were treated with beer. I find it difficult to believe that it cured very many real maladies, but it probably did improve quite a few sour attitudes and soothe a pain or two. On second thought, it might have cured half of them.

More than 35 billion gallons of beer are sold yearly around the globe, producing revenues of $294.5 billion. The Czechs are the premium beer swillers on the planet, downing an average of 160 liters per year.

There is a very good reason that Czechoslovakia leads the world in beer drinking; beer there is cheaper than Coke. A half-liter costs just 30 cents, while the same amount of Coke is 85 cents and club soda is 29 cents.

Homer Simpson, a fictional cerevisaphile (beer enthusiast) of biblical proportions, could die very happy there. He was once heard to say, "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."

I would quickly agree that Homer goes overboard with his love for brew.

Then again, it might depend on how many people were in the room.
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