The Earliest Alcoholic Beverage in the World Chemical analyses recently confirmed that the earliest alcoholic beverage in the world was a mixed fermented drink of rice, honey, and hawthorn fruit and/or grape. The residues of the beverage, dated ca.7000–6600 BCE, were recovered from early pottery from Jiahu, a Neolithic village in the Yellow River Valley.
Dr. Patrick McGovernDr. Juzhong Zhang, University of Science and Technology of China Dr. Jigen Tang, Chinese Academy of Social SciencesDr. Zhiqing Zhang, Henan Institute of Cultural Relics and ArchaeologyDr. Gretchen R. Hall, Penn MuseumDr. Robert A. Moreau, U.S. Department of AgricultureDr. Alberto Nuñez, U.S. Department of AgricultureDr. Eric D. Butrym, Firmenich CorporationDr. Michael P. Richards, University of BradfordDr. Chen-shan Wang, Penn MuseumDr. Guangsheng Cheng, Chinese Academy of SciencesDr. Zhijun Zhao, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Dr. Changsui Wang, University of Science and Technology of China
Chemical analyses of ancient organics absorbed, and preserved, in pottery jars from the Neolithic village of Jiahu, in Henan province, Northern China, have revealed that a mixed fermented beverage of rice, honey, and fruit was being produced as early as 9,000 years ago, approximately the same time that barley beer and grape wine were beginning to be made in the Middle East.
In addition, liquids more than 3,000 years old, remarkably preserved inside tightly lidded bronze vessels, were chemically analyzed. These vessels from the capital city of Anyang and an elite burial in the Yellow River Basin, dating to the Shang and Western Zhou Dynasties (ca.1250-1000 BCE), contained specialized rice and millet “wines.” The beverages had been flavored with herbs, flowers, and/or tree resins, and are similar to herbal wines described in the Shang dynasty oracle inscriptions.
The new discoveries, made by an international, multi-disciplinary team of researchers including the Penn Museum’s archaeochemist Dr. Patrick McGovern, provide the first direct chemical evidence for early fermented beverages in ancient Chinese culture, thus broadening our understanding of the key technological and cultural roles that fermented beverages played in China.
- The discoveries and their implications for understanding ancient Chinese culture are published in the PNAS Early Edition (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences): by Patrick E.
- McGovern, Juzhong Zhang, Jigen Tang, Zhiquing Zhang, Gretchen R.
- Hall, Robert A.
- Moreau, Alberto Nuñez, Eric D.
- Butrym, Michael P.
Richards, Chen-shan Wang, Guangsheng Cheng, Zhijun Zhao, and Changsui Wang. Dr. McGovern worked with this team of researchers, associated with the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, the Institute of Archaeology in Beijing, the Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology of Henan Province, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, the Firmenich Corporation, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany), and the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. McGovern first met with archaeologists and scientists, including his co-authors on the paper, in China in 2000, returning there in 2001 and 2002.
Because of the great interest in using modern scientific techniques to investigate a crucial aspect of ancient Chinese culture, collaboration was initiated and samples carried back to the U.S. for analysis. Chemical tests of the pottery from the Neolithic village of Jiahu was of special interest, because it is some of the earliest known pottery from China.
This site was already famous for yielding some of the earliest musical instruments and domesticated rice, as well as possibly the earliest Chinese pictographic writing. Through a variety of chemical methods including gas and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, infrared spectrometry, and stable isotope analysis, finger-print compounds were identified, including those for hawthorn fruit and/or wild grape, beeswax associated with honey, and rice.
The prehistoric beverage at Jiahu, Dr. McGovern asserts, paved the way for unique cereal beverages of the proto-historic 2nd millennium BCE, remarkably preserved as liquids inside sealed bronze vessels of the Shang and Western Zhou Dynasties. The vessels had become hermetically sealed when their tightly fitting lids corroded, preventing evaporation.
Numerous bronze vessels with these liquids have been excavated at major urban centers along the Yellow River, especially from elite burials of high-ranking individuals. Besides serving as burial goods to sustain the dead in the afterlife, the vessels and their contents can also be related to funerary ceremonies in which living intermediaries communicated with the deceased ancestor and gods in an altered state of consciousness after imbibing a fermented beverage.
“The fragrant aroma of the liquids inside the tightly lidded jars and vats, when their lids were first removed after some three thousand years, suggested that they indeed represented Shang and Western Zhou fermented beverages, ” Dr. McGovern noted. Samples of liquid inside vessels from the important capital of Anyang and the Changzikou Tomb in Luyi county were analyzed.
The combined archaeochemical, archaeobotanical and archaeological evidence for the Changzikou Tomb and Anyang liquids point to their being fermented and filtered rice or millet “wines,” either jiu or chang, its herbal equivalent, according to the Shang Dynasty oracle inscriptions. Specific aromatic herbs (e.g., wormword), flowers (e.g., chrysanthemum), and/or tree resins (e.g., China fir and elemi) had been added to the wines, according to detected compounds such as camphor and alpha-cedrene, beta-amyrin and oleanolic acid, as well as benzaldehyde, acetic acid, and short-chain alcohols characteristic of rice and millet wines.
Both jiu and chang of proto-historic China were likely made by mold saccharification, a uniquely Chinese contribution to beverage-making in which an assemblage of mold species are used to break down the carbohydrates of rice and other grains into simple, fermentable sugars.
Yeast for fermentation of the simple sugars enters the process adventitiously, either brought in by insects or settling on to large and small cakes of the mold conglomerate (qu) from the rafters of old buildings. As many as 100 special herbs, including wormwood, are used today to make qu, and some have been shown to increase the yeast activity by as much as seven-fold.
For Dr. McGovern, who began his role in the Chinese wine studies in 2000, this discovery offers an exciting new chapter in our rapidly growing understanding of the importance of fermented beverages in human culture around the world. In 1990, he and colleagues Rudolph H.
Michel and Virginia R. Badler first made headlines with the discovery of what was then the earliest known chemical evidence of wine, dating to ca.3500-3100 BCE, from Godin Tepe in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran (see “Drink and Be Merry!: Infrared Spectroscopy and Ancient Near Eastern Wine” in Organic Contents of Ancient Vessels: Materials Analysis and Archaeological Investigation, eds.W.R.
Biers and P.E. McGovern, MASCA Research Papers in Science and Archaeology, vol.7, Philadelphia: MASCA, University of Pennsylvania Museum, University of Pennsylvania). That finding was followed up by the earliest chemically confirmed barley beer in 1992, inside another vessel from the same room at Godin Tepe that housed the wine jars.
In 1994, chemical testing confirmed resinated wine inside two jars excavated by a Penn archaeological team at the Neolithic site of Hajji Firuz Tepe, Iran, dating to ca.5400 BCE and some 2000 years earlier than the Godin Tepe jar. Dr. McGovern is author of Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture (Princeton University Press, 2003).
Dr. McGovern’s research was made possible by support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the National Science Foundation (2000-2001; award BCS-9911128). The GC-MS analyses were carried out in the Chemistry Department of Drexel University through the kind auspices of J.P.
- Honovich. Dr.
- McGovern also thanks the Institute of Archaeology in Beijing and Zhengzhou for logistical support and providing samples for analysis.
- Qin Ma Hui, Wuxiao Hong, Hsing-Tsung Huang, Shuicheng Li, Guoguang Luo, Victor Mair, Harold Olmo, Vernon Singleton, and Tiemei Chen variously advised on or facilitated the research.
Changsui Wang, chairperson of the Archaeometry program at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei (Anhui Province) was untiring in his enthusiasm for the project, and personally accompanied Dr. McGovern on travels to excavations and institutes, where collaborations and meetings with key scientists and archaeologists were arranged.
How much older is beer than wine?
1. Introduction – Wine has existed on Earth for more than 6000 years, while beer has existed for over 5000 years, Throughout history, both drinks were produced in Ancient Egypt and regions of Mesopotamia. Wine was used in various therapies and treatments, while beer was an essential part of diet, first to appear when people began agriculture.
- The brewing industry is more linked to northern Europe, where due to cold conditions viticulture development was inhibited.
- Both of these beverages are very complex in terms of their ingredients, and besides their long traditions, there are so many characteristics and parameters that determine their final quality, from the quality of raw material (malt and hop for beer and grape for wine), yeast, regimes of alcoholic fermentation, conditions of aging etc.
However, the parameters of all the phases of production and composition of these two beverages have been very well studied by many researchers, since the early 20th century. Besides their flavor, which determines their use, wine and beer are known as rich with bioactive compounds, i.e., antioxidants that increase the interest in their nutritional profile.
- A great number of studies and comprehensive reviews have dealt with the bioactive compounds responsible for the possible health benefits due to moderate wine and beer consumption, and with the different methods of improvement of the antioxidant compounds in these two beverages,
- Much of this research supports the thesis that moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, such are red wine and beer, positively influences the decrease of cardiovascular disease,
Key roles as antioxidants in wine and beer belong to the phenolic compounds, and many of them, such as flavonoids, have an effect on cardiovascular and chronic degenerative diseases, non-flavonoids (stilbenes, hydroxycinnamic, and hydroxybenzoic acids) also positively affect the cardiovascular system,
In addition, it has been recently shown that there is a relation between beer consumption and higher protection against coronary diseases, compared to other spirits, and beer is also associated with bone density increase, and with immunological and cardiovascular benefits, However, there are huge differences between the phenolic profile and content among red wine and beer, primarily due to the different raw material used in their production.
The importance of phenolic compounds for wine and beer is very significant, as their presence influences the final quality of these products. Some polyphenol classes can only be found in beer (chalcones and flavanones) and others are mainly found in wine (stilbenes, proanthocyanidins), while flavanols and flavan-3-ols are found in similar concentrations in both beverages.
- In beer quality they play a key role, as they influence the time of transport and storage, flavor stability, clarity, and color of beer.
- Additionally, phenolic compounds are essential in wine, because they determine the sensorial wine characteristics (taste and fragrance), color, microbiological and oxidative stability, and chemical properties of wine, as they interact with other compounds including other polyphenols, proteins, and polysaccharides.
Production of wine and beer consists of many technological phases, which are influenced by many parameters, and the huge numbers of occurring variables; the changes in biochemistry are very complex. In both beverages, the composition of phenolic compounds is very diverse and depends on many similar parameters, first of all on the genetic factors of the raw material and the environmental conditions during their growth, as well as technological and aging factors,
In regards to beer, malt and hops represent the two main ingredients on which antioxidant compounds depend; actually 70–80% are derived from malt, and the remaining from hops, and this ratio also depends on the type of the beer, Furthermore, during beer making, important technological phases, in which the change of polyphenolic compounds occurs, begins with the malting process (steeping and germination), kilning, mashing, wort separation and boiling, whirlpool rest, through to the fermentation, maturation, and at the end, to the stabilization/filtration and bottling.
Primarily classification of beer is made based on the fermentation process, and in these terms there are lagers, ales, and lambic types of beer. The most consumed are lagers, produced by low fermentation at lower temperatures (6–15 °C), while in contrast ale-type beer is made by high fermentation at higher temperatures between 16–24 °C, and as a result of spontaneous fermentation there is lambic beer.
- Exclusively, grape is used as the raw material for wine production, and based on the color of the used grape varieties, wine is classified into red and white.
- The main difference, and at the same time the most important, between the making of red and white is that during the making of red, along with alcoholic fermentation, maceration i.e., extraction of color and other substances from grape skin and seed occurs, while within the process of the alcoholic fermentation of whites only colorless and clarified grape juice is used in the process of alcoholic fermentation.
As for making rose wine, winemakers use limited skin contact in order to extract color and some compounds, depending on the desired degree of complexity. Due to this maceration, occurring along with alcoholic fermentation during red winemaking, in which the phenolic compounds are extracted from grapes, this step represents the key one in determining the content of polyphenolic compounds in red wine.
Furthermore, because of this step, it is commonly known that red wine contains more antioxidant compounds, and has been more studied and reviewed by researchers in the last decades, Another important step during winemaking in which it is possible to increase polyphenolic compounds is ageing in wood barrels, or with addition of oak alternatives.
Considering the fact that the beer and wine markets are becoming more competitive and saturated, and considering that consumers nowadays are more interested in beverages influencing in positive way their health, novel technologies for beer and wine are developing in order to produce products with higher antioxidant potential, as well with special personality.
What’s the oldest alcoholic?
Viking vice to trendy tipple – Dating back thousands of years, mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits or spices. It was once thought to be the drink of the gods, falling from the Heavens as dew and then gathered by bees.
- Mead was also believed to improve health and prolong life.
- There is also a theory that mead was given to newlyweds to enjoy in the time after their marriage, creating the term ‘honeymoon’.
- Once the Vikings’ drink of choice, mead now has a new and growing following who are putting a modern twist on the historical classic.
Far from the flagons of old, modern mead drinkers enjoy the 9000-year-old beverage served over ice in cocktail glasses. To celebrate the revival of this golden brew, English Heritage has collaborated with The Vanguard — the UK’s first Cocktail Bar & Meadery — to create three new mead cocktails.
When did humans first get drunk?
As winter deepens (in the North — hello, summery South!), many people’s minds are turning towards celebrations of the solstice, many of which are accompanied by (sometimes copious) alcohol consumption. But when did we first acquire a taste for alcohol? Apparently, humans have always had it.
According to a wonderful study appearing in PNAS, alcohol metabolism appeared in our primate ancestors between 7 and 21 million years ago, long before the human species existed. The primate population that evolved to metabolize alcohol eventually gave rise, not only to humans, but also to chimps, bonobos, and gorillas, all of which share our ability to break down booze.
It turns out that our kind has been able to tolerate alcohol for longer than we’ve been human. Metabolizing alcohol is a complex process involving many enzymes, but the researchers focused their efforts on just one, ADH4. ADH4 is expressed in primates’ stomachs and tongues, and has been shown to play a significant role in alcohol metabolism.
Of course, a full understanding of how primates evolved to metabolize alcohol will only emerge after we’ve studied the other enzymes, too, but ADH4 is a good start. I think my favourite thing about this study may have been the surprisingly straightforward, direct approach the researchers chose. They started by making a phylogeny of the ADH4 gene based on its sequence in modern primates.
Each node in the tree represents a hypothetical common ancestor, and the team could infer the structure of the ancestral versions of the protein in each one — what it looked like in the common ancestor of humans, chimps, bonobos, and gorillas, for example, or in the common ancestor of that group and orangutans.
- So far, this is just standard phylogenetics.
- The cool part is what the team did next.
- They engineered bacteria to express the ancestral versions of ADH4, extracted these proteins from the bacterial cultures, and tested their ability to metabolize alcohol.
- In other words, they resurrected proteins that haven’t been seen for millions of years — ADH4 went on changing in each ancestor’s descendants — just to find out if they could break down alcohol.
Amazing! The researchers found that the mutation responsible for alcohol metabolism appeared in our common ancestor with bonobos, chimps, and gorillas. Orangutans can’t break down alcohol; nor can gibbons, baboons, or a range of other primates. The natural question, of course, is “why then?”.
- Why in that group of animals, at that time? It’s a common question in evolutionary stories, and it’s always a tough one to answer with certainty.
- In this case, the researchers point out that the evolution of alcohol metabolism coincided with a major climate disruption around the middle of the Miocene; one of its consequences was the transformation of East African forest ecosystems into fragmented forests and grasslands.
Our ancestors, who may have been knuckle-walking through these grasslands, may have started eating more fruit they found on the ground, rather than in trees. Fruit sitting on the ground rots, and part of that process is fermentation of the sugars into ethanol.
Many hominoids went extinct during the transition from forest to grassland, so the ability to eat fermented fruit might have been quite an advantage. As is so often the case, it’s hard to be sure if that’s actually what happened, but it’s an attractive and plausible explanation. Ref Carrigan et al. Hominids adapted to metabolize ethanol long before human-directed fermentation,
PNAS Early Edition, (2014) doi: 10.1073/pnas.1404167111 Image credits The grape photo is by Hannele Luhtasela-el Showk and is used with permission.
How old is beer in Europe?
Alulu beer receipt – This records a purchase of “best” beer from a brewer, c.2050 BC from the Sumerian city of Umma in ancient Iraq, Beer is one of the oldest drinks humans have produced. The first chemically confirmed barley beer dates back to the 5th millennium BC in modern-day Iran, and was recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and spread throughout the world.
As almost any cereal containing certain sugars can undergo spontaneous fermentation due to wild yeasts in the air, it is possible that beer-like drinks were independently developed throughout the world soon after a tribe or culture had domesticated cereal. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced as far back as about 7,000 years ago in what is today Iran.
This discovery reveals one of the earliest known uses of fermentation and is the earliest evidence of brewing to date. Author Thomas Sinclair says in his book, “Beer, Bread, and the Seeds of Change: Agriculture’s Imprint on World History” that the discovery of beer may have been an accidental find.
The precursor to beer was soaking grains in water and making a porridge or gruel, as grain were chewy and hard to digest alone. Ancient peoples would heat the gruel and leave it throughout the days until it was gone. A benefit to heating the gruel would be to sanitize the water and the temperature required to denature grain proteins would also denature disease microbes.
Leaving the gruel to sit would change it. Fermentation would occur and they noticed the change in taste and effect. Yeasts would settle on the mixture and rapidly consume the oxygen in the mixture. The low oxygen would force the yeast to digest sugars by anaerobic respiration.
Then the yeast would release ethanol (alcohol) and carbon dioxide as by-products and, hence, beer was born. In Mesopotamia, the oldest evidence of beer is believed to be a 6,000-year-old Sumerian tablet depicting people consuming a drink through reed straws from a communal bowl, A 3,900-year-old Sumerian poem honouring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from bread made from barley.
In China, residue on pottery dating from around 5,000 years ago shows beer was brewed using barley and other grains. The invention of bread and beer has been argued to be responsible for humanity’s ability to develop technology and build civilization.
- The earliest chemically confirmed barley beer to date was discovered at Godin Tepe in the central Zagros Mountains of Iran, where fragments of a jug, from between 5,400 and 5,000 years ago was found to be coated with beerstone, a by-product of the brewing process.
- Beer may have been known in Neolithic Europe as far back as 5,000 years ago, and was mainly brewed on a domestic scale.
Beer produced before the Industrial Revolution continued to be made and sold on a domestic scale, although by the 7th century AD beer was also being produced and sold by European monasteries, During the Industrial Revolution, the production of beer moved from artisanal manufacture to industrial manufacture, and domestic manufacture ceased to be significant by the end of the 19th century.
The development of hydrometers and thermometers changed brewing by allowing the brewer more control of the process, and greater knowledge of the results. Today, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries,
More than 133 billion liters (35 billion gallons) are sold per year—producing total global revenues of $294.5 billion (£147.7 billion) in 2006.
Was medieval beer less alcoholic?
Beers of Old Do you know what the most popular drink during World Cup season is? It’s probably beer. CEU Visiting Professor Richard W. Unger studies the best brews from 500 years before the age of LED screens. The history of beer has been best preserved through the centuries.
- Tax reports, regulations, even marketing materials help Professor of Medieval History at the University of British Columbia Richard W.
- Unger learn about beer in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
- The earliest record of a government’s taxation of beer is from 5,500 years ago in Mesopotamia.
- Centuries-old government regulations make it possible to know who brewed how much of what in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.
Unger’s research focuses on the Low Countries (today’s Holland and Belgium) and spreads out across Europe just as the libation’s popularity spread across Europe, to Bavaria, Bohemia, Poland, the Baltic States, Scandinavia and England. Data from Italy and Spain, traditional wine-producing countries, “are hard to come by.” Unger sees the biggest difference between medieval and modern beer in consumption.
Beer hasn’t always been a drink of pleasure but it was drunk in greater quantities and in great variety. Some medieval beers had lower alcohol content and were drunk for breakfast. Other stronger beers were for lunch and dinner and at the end of the day. People in cities in the 16th century drank about 250 liters of beer per person per year, that is a single person consumed three-quarters of a liter a day.
Beer was a democratic beverage in that most people could afford it. Large noble households brewed their own beer, and the servants would drink it just like the ladies of the house did. In the early Middle Ages, monks and members of some noble families had beer for lunch (and wine for dinner) but by the 14th and 15th centuries, in some parts of northern Europe, beer replaced wine for more and more people.
As beer became better through the 15th century more people in more places drank it. For a long time beer has been the “preferred drink of skilled laborers and students.” Students and beer go back centuries – students in the Middle Ages were low-level clergymen who could enjoy their beer tax-free. The quality of beer changed drastically around they year 1200, Unger says.
Brewers in Bremen, Germany, figured out the exact amount and type of hops to add to the beer so that it kept for up to six months. This new knowledge didn’t only mean that customers could now enjoy a pint on hot summer days, but it also enabled brewers to ship their product as far away as England and the Low Countries.
And, as good quality beer started spreading across Europe, more and more people started to drink it and to make it. So how did beer taste in the Middle Ages? “It was fantastic,” Unger says, recalling the taste of a brew that followed a 17th century Dutch recipe. As governments strictly regulated beer production, there is plenty of data on the amount and type of grains and ingredients used in various beers.
In the Middle Ages, however, recreating the same quality of beer from one brew to the next was quite a challenge. A brewery could produce an excellent batch one week, and a terrible one the week later without changing anything. Brewers couldn’t control the yeast, and as the standards of sanitation was quite different, bacteria from the air and the wooden cask could get into the beer and cause contamination.
There was a great variety of brews in the Middle Ages. They were named based on their color, heaviness, price, and other factors. The Belgian Pharaoh beer had nothing to do with Egypt whatsoever and Convent beer wasn’t necessarily made in a monastery. However, the name Einbeck – from a small exporting town in north Germany – might possibly be where “bock beer” originates from.
Consumption has dropped significantly in the past 350 years; about 75-80 liters of beer are consumed per person per year today. In the 21st century though, beer drinking has become more concentrated, Unger says. There is a big market among young men and sports fans, as breweries now sponsor teams and even major sporting events.
The recent rise of craft brewing has also resulted in the expansion of beer drinking, and the variety of beers available now is greater. More women are drinking beer and people match beers with certain foods as has long happened with wine. For those who like a little history with their cheering and beer, there are still a few brews around with long traditions.
Try monastery beers such as Koningshoeven, Duvel, Rochefort or Chimay, spontaneously fermented lambic beers, or good old light Hoegaarden. : Beers of Old
Was alcohol stronger in the past?
Early modern period – During the early modern period (1500–1800), Protestant leaders such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, the leaders of the Anglican Church, and even the Puritans did not differ substantially from the teachings of the Catholic Church : alcohol was a gift of God and created to be used in moderation for pleasure, enjoyment and health; drunkenness was viewed as a sin (see Christian views on alcohol ).
From this period through at least the beginning of the 18th century, attitudes toward drinking were characterized by a continued recognition of the positive nature of moderate consumption and an increased concern over the negative effects of drunkenness. The latter, which was generally viewed as arising out of the increased self-indulgence of the time, was seen as a threat to spiritual salvation and societal well-being.
Intoxication was also inconsistent with the emerging emphasis on rational mastery of self and world and on work and efficiency. In spite of the ideal of moderation, consumption of alcohol was often high. In the 16th century, alcohol beverage consumption reached 100 liters per person per year in Valladolid, Spain, and Polish peasants consumed up to three liters of beer per day.
- In Coventry, England, the average amount of beer and ale consumed was about 17 pints per person per week, compared to about three pints today; nationwide, consumption was about one pint per day per capita.
- Swedish beer consumption may have been 40 times higher than in modern Sweden,
- English sailors received a ration of a gallon of beer per day, while soldiers received two-thirds of a gallon.
In Denmark, the usual consumption of beer appears to have been a gallon per day for adult laborers and sailors. It is important to note that modern beer is much stronger than the beers of the past. While current beers are 3–5% alcohol, the beer drunk in the historical past was generally 1% or so.
- This was known as ‘small beer’.
- However, the production and distribution of spirits spread slowly.
- Spirit drinking was still largely for medicinal purposes throughout most of the 16th century.
- It has been said of distilled alcohol that “the sixteenth century created it; the seventeenth century consolidated it; the eighteenth popularized it.” A beverage that clearly made its debut during the 17th century was sparkling champagne,
The credit for that development goes primarily and erroneously to Dom Perignon, the wine-master in a French abbey, Although the oldest recorded sparkling wine is Blanquette de Limoux, in 1531, the English scientist and physician Christopher Merret documented the addition of sugar to a finished wine to create a second fermentation six years before Dom Perignon joined the Abbey of Hautvillers and almost 40 years before it was claimed that he invented Champagne.
Around 1668, Perignon used strong bottles, invented a more efficient cork (and one that could contain the effervescence in those strong bottles), and began developing the technique of blending the contents. However, another century would pass before problems, especially bursting bottles, would be solved and champagne would become popular.
The original grain spirit, whisky (or whiskey in Hiberno-English ) and its specific origins are unknown but the distillation of whisky has been performed in Ireland and Scotland for centuries. The first confirmed written record of whisky comes from 1405 in Ireland, the production of whisky from malted barley is first mentioned in Scotland in an entry from 1494, although both countries could have distilled grain alcohol before this date.
- Distilled spirit was generally flavored with juniper berries.
- The resulting beverage was known as jenever, the Dutch word for “juniper.” The French changed the name to genievre, which the English changed to “geneva” and then modified to “gin.” Originally used for medicinal purposes, the use of gin as a social drink did not grow rapidly at first.
However, in 1690, England passed “An Act for the Encouraging of the Distillation of Brandy and Spirits from Corn” and within four years the annual production of distilled spirits, most of which was gin, reached nearly one million gallons. “Corn” in the British English of the time meant “grain” in general, while in American English “corn” refers principally to maize,
The dawn of the 18th century saw the British Parliament pass legislation designed to encourage the use of grain for distilling spirits. In 1685, consumption of gin had been slightly over one-half million gallons but by 1714 it stood at two million gallons. In 1727, official (declared and taxed) production reached five million gallons; six years later the London area alone produced eleven million gallons of gin.
The English government actively promoted gin production to utilize surplus grain and to raise revenue. Encouraged by public policy, very cheap spirits flooded the market at a time when there was little stigma attached to drunkenness and when the growing urban poor in London sought relief from the newfound insecurities and harsh realities of urban life.
Thus developed the so-called Gin Epidemic, While the negative effects of that phenomenon may have been exaggerated, Parliament passed legislation in 1736 to discourage consumption by prohibiting the sale of gin in quantities of less than two gallons and raising the tax on it dramatically. However, the peak in consumption was reached seven years later, when the nation of six and one-half million people drank over 18 million gallons of gin.
And most was consumed by the small minority of the population then living in London and other cities; people in the countryside largely consumed beer, ale and cider, After its peak, gin consumption rapidly declined. From eighteen million gallons in 1743, it dropped to just over seven million gallons in 1751 and to less than two million by 1758, and generally declined to the end of the century.
A number of factors appear to have converged to discourage consumption of gin. These include the production of higher quality beer of lower price, rising corn prices and taxes which eroded the price advantage of gin, a temporary ban on distilling, an increasing criticism of drunkenness, a newer standard of behavior that criticized coarseness and excess, increased tea and coffee consumption, an increase in piety and increasing industrialization with a consequent emphasis on sobriety and labor efficiency.
While drunkenness was still an accepted part of life in the 18th century, the 19th century would bring a change in attitudes as a result of increasing industrialization and the need for a reliable and punctual work force. Self-discipline was needed in place of self-expression, and task orientation had to replace relaxed conviviality.
Who is the youngest drunk person?
WATCH: Alcoholic Chinese two-year-old who downs bottles of wine and beer Authorities are puzzled by a Chinese toddler Cheng Cheng’s drink-of-choice, which is not the usual bottle of milk but instead lager – by the bottle full. The two-year-old, also known as ‘Little Winebibber,’ has been, Two-year-old Cheng Cheng screams for bottles of wine and refuses milk or soft drinks While doctors have warmed against the life-threatening damage being caused, his parents continue to joke about his impressive alcohol tolerance. The little boy has learned to hold his liquor given he can finish a whole bottle of beer without suffering any noticeable side effects.
His aunt Cai Teng said: “At that time, all of us in the family have already thought that this child can really drink a lot when he grows up,” adding that whenever a family member drinks in his presence he screams until he is given some. “Sometimes he is really noisy, we have no options but let him to try a little bit of wine,” she said.
The story has sparked outrage within local media, with social services debating whether to place him in alternate care. According to doctors and social service workers the child’s future is at serious risk if the parents continue their half-hearted attempt to deny him alcohol.
How old do drinkers live?
The teetotaler (0 drinks/week) and the excessive drinker (8+ drinks/week) were projected to live to 92 and 93 years old, respectively. The same person having one drink per week was projected to live to 94, and the moderate drinker (2-7 drinks/week) was projected to live 95 years.
Why do humans get drunk?
In the brain, alcohol acts as a depressant, slowing brain responses. This is what causes the feeling of being ‘drunk.’ Using safer drinking practices can help your body process the alcohol you drink and avoid severe intoxication. If you or someone you know struggles with substance use, help is available.
How old is drunk history?
|July 9, 2013 – August 6, 2019
Who was the first man to get drunk?
Definition and origin – In the Bible, the few chapters that come between the creation of Adam and the birth of Noah contain no mention of alcoholic drinks. After the account of the great flood, the biblical Noah is said to have cultivated a vineyard, made wine, and become intoxicated,
- Thus, the discovery of fermentation is traditionally attributed to Noah because this is the first time alcohol appears in the Bible.
- Noah’s wine has been described as a “pleasant relief for man from the toilsome work of the crop”.
- There is debate as to whether certain references to wine in the Bible are actually to a non-intoxicating substance, but, at least in this passage, the Bible states Noah became drunk ( Hebrew : ישכר yiškār ) after consuming wine ( יין yayin ).
It has been suggested that Noah’s wine must have been drugged as it could not have been strong enough to cause him to become intoxicated. Rabbinic literature goes as far as to suggest that the grape vine-branch had its origins with Adam, and that Satan, along with fertilization using animal blood, played a part in the production of the wine.
- It blames those factors (especially the latter two) for the aforementioned potency of the wine.
- From a biblical view, fermented beverages presumably spread throughout the world after Noah’s supposed discovery, as alcoholic beverages are historically widespread.
- Some climates are not suited for the growing of grapes; hence it is purported that humanity was led to discover other means (e.g.
beer ) of not simply satisfying thirst but also stimulating the mind.