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Iron Age Braumeisters

by Horst Dornbusch
Between roughly 500 B.C. and the birth of Christ, the Romans began to venture—first carefully, then massively—outside their elongated homeland, which looks on the map like a boot. To do so by land, they had to cross that immense barrier, the Alps, beyond which lay unconquered lands of dense forests, which the Romans called Germania. There the Romans found a separate—and to them, barbaric—culture of people, whose social life seemed to be centered on beer. It took the wine-drinkers from the Apennine Peninsula centuries to conquer these ale-drinking, illiterate savages, only to be conquered, centuries later, by them.

The Teutonic forest dwellers that the Romans encountered in central and northern Europe belonged mostly to one broad cultural grouping, the Germanic tribes, but there were also still remnants of another grouping, the Celtic tribes. The Germans and the Celts had started to make beer from wheat and barley as early as the latter part of the Bronze Age, probably some time before 1000 B.C. The so-called Bronze Age of Europe began with the introduction of copper and bronze metallurgy around 1800 B.C. and is marked by the substitution of stone tools with metal tools. This led to improvements in agricultural implements and cooking gear—both essential for raising grain and making beer from it. The Bronze Age lasted until around 750 B.C., the approximate date of the introduction of iron.

Read the original article at: Beeradvocate

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