deserves ent European beer culture Heineken beer is a pinnacle of the centuries-old European beer culture. Beer originally came from the Near East. From the oldest-known brewers, the Sumerians, it came to Europe via the Babylonians, Egyptians and Ro mans. Especially in Central European countries beer caught on well. That was where barley, beer's most important raw material, grew best. Countries situated more to the south preferred wine. Initially, beer brewing was a task for the housewife, just like baking bread. Because of the growing fire hazard many towns decided to set up public brewhouses. These formed the basis for the first breweries. At the same time monastery brew eries were set up. The monks had a great advantage. They were able to read and write, which meant that they could record their complicated brewing reci pes and pass them on to other brewers. The monasteries brewed three different beers: a weak beer for pilgrims, a stronger beer to drink themselves, and a special beer for important guests. Beer like water In the Middle Ages beer was drunk in vast quantities: some 400 litres per head of the population per year. At the moment the average consumption in the European beer-drinking countries is be tween 40 and 140 litres per person. Medieval people drank so much beer because they had no other choice. Wine was too expensive and you couldn't trust the water: it was a source of con tagious diseases. Strangely enough, beer was safe to drink. The reason why was only discovered centuries later: brew water is boiled, and bacteria can't survive that. Nor can they withstand al cohol. Beer played an important role in everyday life. You could earn a lot of money with it and so it was subjected to heavy taxes. At first it was only the brewer who had to pay duty. Later on the innkeeper had to pay tax for tapping beer, and the citizen for drinking it... Whilst these taxes were pushing up the cost of drinking beer, new and differ ent drinks such as coffee, tea and cocoa made their entry into Europe. Over the years these became increasingly cheaper and gradually took over beer's position as the people's beverage. Many of the smaller breweries had to close, and with their demise countless local beers also disappeared. The first Pilsener Until just over one hundred years ago, all beer was top-fermented. In other words: the yeast, an indispensable ingredient of beer, floated on top of the brew. In 1839 a completely different type of beer was created in Pilsen, Czecho slovakia. The brewers of Pilsen discov ered that it was also possible for the yeast to do its work at the bottom of the beer, provided that the brew was cold 15 THE WORLD OF HEINEKEN

Jaarverslagen en Personeelsbladen Heineken

World of Heineken | 1989 | | pagina 15