Women have been neglected in the history of alcohol. This author decided to change that | Food and cooking


In 1956, archaeologists working in the Raqefet cave in northern Israel, which once housed the Natufian people (13,050-7,550 BC. Archaeologists had already found prehistoric evidence of beer in the remains of ancient breweries that surfaced in China, Mesopotamia and North Africa. But it was the oldest – and it was the oldest to a large extent. Beer residue – a thin oatmeal type beer – found in Raqefet Cave precede other archaeological evidence by at least 5,000 years.

Since humans have grown grains like wheat, barley, and rice, humans have fermented at least some of them into beer. The Mesopotamians produced beer from bread and documented its ritual consumption on stone tablets. The ancient Egyptians, who recorded the world’s first beer recipe on papyrus rolls, drank it during religious ceremonies. The Nubian culture of the central Nile valley used beer as an antibiotic. In 2,100 BC. Beer has become so inextricably linked to the ancient cereal civilizations of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa that the Greek writer Sophocles (450 BC a healthy diet. (At a time when the Greek average lived about 35 years, Sophocles, it should be noted, lived to the ripe age of 90.)

Fast forwarding centuries and beer production is now a demanding science comprising complex flavor profiles, exotic additives, carefully dosed formulas and huge sterilized stainless steel vats. Gone are the thick and syrupy drink favored by the Germanic tribes and disdained by the ancient Romans. Instead, breweries today produce tasty, easy-to-drink beers. Long evolved from the fermented porridge of the Natufians, modern beer satisfies a range of tastes for a global market.

Beer styles are distinguished by three key factors: color (light to dark), hoppy bitterness (0 to 100 IU bitterness, or IBU), and alcohol content (3 to 20% alcohol per volume). From classic bacteria to cultured bacteria, Stacker identified 35 different styles and used BeerAdvocate’s extensive craft beer database to determine the best individual beers among them. Ratings and rankings are correct as of March 2021.

From Canada to Belgium, read on to find the best beers of all styles, then go out and be old Sophocles proud.

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