The history of beer goes back to the ancient China and Mesopotamia, where writings have been found that describe how spelt or barley was used to produce a thick mush to which crumbed bread was added. To improve the flavour, candy and herbs were additionally mixed in. "Breadbeer" is also found in ancient Egypt, where especially Ramses II had large quantities brewed as an offering to Amon-Ra. After the victory of Nabuchodonosor over the Egyptians (605 BC), hop is introduced in the Egyptian beers.
The Greeks and Romans prefer wine and beer to them is the drink for the poor and the barbarians. Despite this, excavations in the more northern regions of the Roman empire show that beer was brewed there. They had probably learned it from the Gallians, masters in brewing their "cervoise". It was probably them that invented the wooden cask for the conservation. Before that one used amphores, jars and kettles were used. Among the Germans, the Bajuvarians had a strong reputation in brewing and drinking. Not very surprising if one knows that this tribe was located in the present Bavaria. Besides the four elements, they recognize a fifth one : the beer.
In the early Middle Ages (8th, 9th century) brewing is a home industry until the reign of Charlemagne (771 - 814). He orders that every inhabitant should apply himself to the production of grain which is to be used for brewing beer. From then on, artisinal industry starts to develop, so we can speak of breweries. It takes until the 1300's before the brewing industry realy flourishes. Bavaria has over 500 monastery breweries in those days. Beer is before all considered as a food source. The beer porridge which is produced is very nutricious and because the water is boiled one has less chance for infections. Moreover, meat and fish are very salted so people massively take to the beer, which quickly becomes the national drink. Apart from the monks who use the beer to provide their livelihood, the government quickly steps in to the beermarket : already in 1350 Munich issues an ordonance to control the production of the beer. The installation of guilds who guard the tradition and quality is typical for the Middle Ages.