Beer in the Middle Ages
At the dawn of the Middle Ages it was when beer went from being a drink of barbarians to having a close connection with the Church. Where the climate was not appropriate for life, priests could consume and even produce beer as a substitute for wine.
The Church's relationship with beer during the Middle Ages is due in part to the tax exemptions enjoyed by monasteries. The monks did not have to pay taxes, and they had lands with which to provide themselves. In fact,in the year 817 a council is held in the city of Aachen to regulate production and consumption of beer by the clergy.
It is true that in some areas of Europe it was the peasants who brewed the beer in their homes, but in general they weremonks in their abbeys responsible for preserving, perfecting and popularizing beer as a staple food. We must take into account the unhealthy conditions, the lack of hygiene and the diseases that swarmed during a good part of the Middle Ages. Water used to be undrinkable, making it a vector of infection.
We have to think of beer as a food with a high nutritional component, which is also safe and economical. Boiling the beer water serves to sterilize it; In addition, alcohol is a powerful preservative that allows beer to be preserved without harmful microorganisms. It was oneperfect solution for medieval society.
It is true that until the 12th century gruit was used to flavor beer instead of hops.Gruit was a mixture of different herbs and spices that were added as a flavoring and preservative. These functions were best performed by hops, hence their popularity. It was in 1079 that Abbess Hildegarde of St. Ruprechtsberg wrote about the benefits of hops in beer.
In fact,Wilhelm IV of Bavaria enacted the Reinheitsgebot Purity Act in 1516, which required brewing only with water, barley malt and hopslo. The main cause of this law is found in that William IV of Bavaria had a monopoly on barley.
A brewery still remains from the Middle Ages, and it is the oldest standing in the world. The GermanWeihenstephaner, recognized for its wheat beers, dates back to 1040. It was in that year that the Bishop of Freising gave the abbey the right to brew.
It is not difficult to understand how this period of history is defining of the beer culture that we enjoy today. Just take a look at the abbey beers or the addition of hops.