Tales from the Maker – A Brief History of Beer and Cheese

I’d like to remind everyone why you should consume beer and cheese. These two essential foods are the very reason we are gathered in civilization. One of the first stone carvings in human history was found in Mesopotamia and was composed of early beer ingredients and rations for the Sumerians. Rudimentary beer was also the life force for the ancient Egyptians. The Giza Plateau was built by workers that were nourished and paid entirely in beer. Pharaoh tombs we’re lined with vats of fresh beer and just recently we’ve even tried to replicate these historic brews. Entire civilizations were built because beer was a food that could be stored away and kept safe. The alcohol formed by yeast killed harmful bacteria…that would otherwise harm our early ancestors. But sterilized, the life-giving nutrients from the concoction could be stored during months of food scarcity such as harsh winters, poor hunting or even downright awful fishing (the worst). The ancient grains that fabricated basic beer became so important that people needed to keep constant watch over the crops…thus turning us from hunters and gatherers to dwellers who formed farmlands, strongholds, and eventually great civilizations.

Cheese also uses invisible microscopic friends in the form of bacteria, yeast, and molds to produce a product which turns milk, a extremely perishable material almost magically into a tangible safe provision that extends its shelf life much further than its basic form could ever do. We all know milk is every mammal’s first food source. Where would we be without mother’s milk? Maybe we’d last a couple days without it. Wouldn’t we be better off to find a way to preserve it? Cheese is mankind’s first food product…period…and soon after became one of our first forms of money. To this day there are banks that will take cheese as cash equivalent in lien of a loan. Parmigiano-Reggiano is actually stored in climate controlled banks in northern Italy. Beer and cheese ARE human history. Without them we might still be running around in the woods trying not to be food for other, less-inventive, four-legged species. Instead, we gathered together and developed. We now sleep in comfy homes, drive cool little cars to work and send astronauts to the moon.

All because of beer and cheese? Believe it. Bread came much later but was a welcome edition to our larders. On a much smaller scale I believe you can achieve great gladness by merely holding a beer in one hand and a wheel of cheese in the other. Regardless, trying new options is worthy of your time. I will try to make those decisions a bit easier for you. You see, trying new beers and cheese is what your ancestors have been doing since the beginning. It’s how we evolved. We’ll dive into beer and cheese history in upcoming months.

Have a beautiful day.

  • The Oxford Companion To Cheese: https://www.oxfordreference.com/display/10.1093/acref/9780199330881.001.0001/acref-9780199330881;jsessionid=7E35863E99483F9B1FBDDAD1C1655D21
  • The Encyclopedia of Beer : The Beer Lover’s Bible – A Complete Reference to Beer Styles, Brewing Methods, Ingredients, Festivals, Traditions, and More). Christine P. Rhodes (Editor): https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/141715

Leave a Reply