What Is the History of Beer?

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Created On: Monday, 21, October 2019
Modified On: Monday, 04, November 2019

Native Americans in the United States had corn beer long before the Europeans came bringing their own version of the beer. In fact, within some of the notable dates in beer history, the word beer is mentioned going back to 1800 BC. By 1573, Heinrich Knaust writes the first ever extensive book about brewing in Germany and talks about over 150 different types of beer. Between 1919 and 1933, the United States saw prohibition, which outlawed the sale of alcohol, which was the 18th Amendment. On December 5th, 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, and President Franklin Roosevelt signs into law legislation that allows the sale of 3.2% alcohol beer. In 1982, the Hilton Harvest House in Boulder Colorado held the first great American beer festival, hosting 20 brewers and serving 35 different kinds of beer. By 2012, the craft brewing industry began to notably increase its sales share in the industry, and by 2018, craft brewers hold 12.7% volume of the total United States beer market.

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The modern era of American beer really began in the 19th century, yet in 1612, the first New World brewery opened in New Amsterdam, which is now Manhattan. In 1810, there were merely 132 different breweries, and the per-capita consumption simply amounted to a gallon, and by 1873, there were over 4000 breweries. It was not until 1914 when the per-capita consumption of beer reached 20 gallons, which is consistent with is what is happening today. When 1918 came, the country only had one-quarter of the breweries left, but the industry was changing long before prohibition began in 1919, because of the German immigrants arriving in the United States. German immigrants brought with them the knowledge to brew all types of malt lagers, and most Americans began to acquire a taste for lighter tasting lagers, which led to the elimination of many breweries. In 1983, within the United States, there were an estimated 80 breweries, operated by 51 independent companies, but by the end of the century, more breweries are operating in the United States than any country in the world.