13,000 years ago, beer  began conquering the planet ...

Beer originated with the domestication or harvesting of starch-rich plants: cereals, tubers, mealy fruits. Starch became a primary food resource for mankind and the substrate for its fermented beverages. Before the Neolithic period, hunter-gatherers were already concocting fermented beverages with every foodstuff they could find: fruit, honey, grains, tubers, roots and various plants. The Neolithic revolutions occurring all over the world, mostly independantly, fostered the beer proper, a fermented beverage processing from starch. The socio-economic relationship between storing starch and brewing beer crystallised in this early period for all human societies.

These revolutions have upset human existence: agriculture, animal husbandry, exploitation of soils, forests and water, new tools, sedentary life, territorial logics, first cities, social hierarchies,  enslavements and conflicts. We inherit their technical and social consequences for better or worse. They have also shaped the making and use of fermented beverages among almost all the peoples of the world.

Beer continues to find a prominent place among fermented drinks. Its ubiquitous presence amongst almost every ancient cultures or civilisations, as well as contemporary peoples has resulted in a very long, rich and exciting history.

Over the course of thousands of years, beer has undergone constant change. Its modern avatar, the crystal-clear, fizzy, cool drink, has only existed for two centuries. A drop in the bucket compared to such a long history. Most of the metamorphoses of beer have been swallowed up in the turmoil of the past. Others have survived. Beer-Studies dives into this historical bubbling.

First interdisciplinary international symposium about fermented beverages, from June 5 to 8, 2023 in Saverne (France)

Symposium Archeology and history of beer

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