Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Beer is known to have existed 7,000 or more years ago. Pottery from Mesopotamia dating back to 4200 B.C. depicts fermentation scenes and shows kings sipping their version of beer through gold tubes. References to brewing have been found in hieroglyphics on the walls of ancient caves in Egypt. Archaeological discoveries show that beer was familiar not only to the Egyptians but also to the ancient Romans, Greeks, Assyrians, Babylonians, Incas, and Chinese. New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has on display a wooden model of a c. 2000 B.C. brewery.
In the twenty-third century B.C. in China, beer was known as Kiu. Even the Vikings made beer at sea in their war ships and drank it out of the horn of a cow. In the Middle Ages, brewing was done in the home by women who were known as "brewsters."
In more modern times, Peter Minuit, after purchasing "New Amsterdam," established the first public brewery in 1622. William Penn, the famous American statesman, was probably the first to operate (in 1638) a brewery on a large commercial scale; it was located in Pennsbury,Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Other famous patriots who owned breweries were Samuel Adams, Generals Israel Putnam and Charles Sum-ner, Ethan Alien, and George Washington. President John Adams (1783-1789) even owned and managed his own tavern.
Fraunces Tavern, the oldest tavern in America still in existence, was founded in 1762 by Samuel Fraunces, a black man. It is located at the corner of Pearl and Broad streets in Manhattan, where George Washington said farewell to his officers after a victory in 1783.

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