The popularity of beer is already well documented. However, very little is known about the history and significance of this great drink. Some people date the use of beer as early as 6th millennium. Certain references to the drink can be found in the documented history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Beer is produced by fermentation of sugars derived from starch-based material. Going by this logic, it seemed pretty simple to produce beer by fermenting any substance containing carbohydrates.
The ancient references notwithstanding, the commercial manufacture of beer started only during the industrial revolution, and by the end of 19th Century, the home production of beer actually came to an end. And with the rapid developments in science and technology, newer machines were being manufactured, like hydrometers and thermometers, to aid the brewers in the production of different varieties of beer. In the modern world, beer is manufactured using varied starch sources, like malted barley, yeast, corn, rice, sugar, millet, sorghum, cassava, potato, agave etc.
The significance of beer in the modern society can be gauged from the fact that hardly any social gathering is complete without serving beer as a beverage. Of course, it is a favorite drink in pubs, discotheques, casinos, and other eating and entertainment joints. Of late, beer festivals have captured the imagination of people all across the globe. Germany is the first country that comes to mind, which holds Oktoberfest, the largest beer festival in the world. UK has its own annual Great British Beer Festival held in London during August. Similar beer festivals are popular in smaller countries, like Estonia, Norway, Hong Kong, Vietnam, New Zealand, some some larger countries, like US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Argentina.
Undoubtedly, the commercial value of beer has skyrocketed in almost every part of the globe mainly because of its universal acceptance as a less-alcoholic beverage. It is a widely held, though unfounded, belief that beer is responsible for younger generation's tilt against harmful intoxicating drugs. However, facts do not support this belief. On the contrary, medical experts opine that beer can benefit heart if taken in moderation.
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