Beer Brewing

Beer has been a part of the history and culture of many civilizations. The ancient Sumerians had Ninkasi as their beer and brewing goddess. She was also revered for her ability to satiate human lust. Maybe she intended beer as a means to help the Sumerians tame or release their carnal desires. The Sumerians, ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and even Aztecs had gods and goddesses for beer brewing. Often, the beer deities were also considered deities for rain and successful crops. In fact, many cultures treated beer and wine as a staple, the same as bread and meat.

In modern times, beer played a role in the formation of Fedex. Fedex’s founder, Fred Smith, was born to a family of transportation entrepreneurs. The family fortune was started on barges. His predecessors loaded beer barrels from breweries in Tennessee. Using the Tennessee River, the barges went to Paducah, Ky. At Paducah, the Tennessee River empties into the Ohio River. Here, the beer barrels were transferred to steamboats that delivered them
up and down the Ohio River and even into the Mississipi River Valley as well. To keep up with the times, the Smith family bought a Greyhound bus franchise in the early 20th century. Fred Smith went on to revolutionize express package delivery with Fedex.

The green movement, alarmism about man-made global warming and environmental protectionists in general seek to change this. America’s ability to transport goods across the country is considered unsustainable and a threat to the earth and every living creature on it. Think globally and buy locally is their motto. They believe that the modern well-stocked grocery store is an environmental threat because the fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood were trucked into the stores from far away places within the USA and abroad. If food is grown locally or regionally, the transportation of these foods will have less energy consumption and thus less environmental damage.

Just as earlier cultures treated beer as a staple for their diets, these environmentalists argue that beer is as much a threat to mother earth as a loaf of bread or an ear of corn. They believe the raw materials and packaging of beer is unsustainable. They feel that the millions of gallons of fuel burned by trucks and railroads increases the atmosphere’s carbon levels with the greenhouse effects it supposedly creates. All of the beer bottles and cans required either recycling or a trip to a landfill. Microbreweries all across America is their utopian solution to the problem of industrial beer.

Fortunately, America is still a free country with an entrepreneurial spirit. Home beer brewing is becoming more popular in the USA. Whether this growth is due to environmental issues, money saving concerns or just as a hobby with a refreshing product has not been researched. It was legalized in 1968 so home brewing hobbyists did not have to fear an early morning visit from Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency personnel. How does anyone get started with home beer brewing? It is very simple. First, do the homework needed to learn more about home brewing. A google search of “home beer brewing” will give you enough research material to last a lifetime. If you enjoy cooking you may want to prepare your first batch of brew with water, grains, brewers yeast, a cooking pot with an airtight seal, a detailed step by step recipe and a truckload of patience.

If this does not appeal to you, just modify your search to home beer brewing kits. There are many kits available for all budgets. Their brewing capacity will also vary from 2 gallons to 6 gallons or more. They can be purchased online at websites such as eBay, Amazon.com, target.com and others. You may even be able to locate a store that caters to home beer brewing and wine fermentation hobbyists if you want to actually see the kit before making a purchase decision. If you realize after the purchase you do not enjoy the process, the kit can always be sold. If you decide to pursue home beer brewing as a hobby, you can always upgrade your existing kit or even sell it to finance the next level of the hobby.