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It’s is believed that people have been drinking for more than 11,000 years. When man discovered how to grow cereals for food, eventually he must have stumbled on the fact that cereals were good to drink as well. the Sumerians thought it was so important that they appointed a goddess to keep an eye on things.
In today’s language what they stumbled upon was how to release the natural starches and enzymes in the cereals and use yeast to ferment them into alcohol. Fruits, honey, spices – and even narcotics – were added to the mix to enhance the flavour of the beer and its effects. Adding hops began about 1200 years ago.
Small-scale, domestic, brewing of beer was eventually replaced by units capable of industrial scale output but, more recently, micro-breweries have arrived and begun to make serious inroads into the market, with increasingly popular products which have more taste and less fizz.
Typical of these newcomers is Bewdley Brewery, which started production two and a half years ago in the picturesque Worcestershire town on the banks of the river Severn. This is the first of three pieces on how they do it.