The Geography of Beer in Europe from 1000 BC to AD 1000

  • Max Nelson


Today there is a great proliferation of beer styles, most of which were developed in Europe in the modern era, but some evidence exists for a simpler geography of beer in ancient Europe. Barley was the common cereal used by beer-makers (those outside of southern Italy and Greece), while wheat was also used in much of western Europe as a secondary cereal while millet instead was used in the east. Although many types of plant additives were no doubt used in beer, two main ones became popular: sweet gale, first attested in the region of the Rhine estuary around the first century BC, and hops, first widely popularized in the Ile de France area in the ninth AD. Honey too was often used in beer throughout western Europe, except perhaps for the Iberian peninsula and Ireland. It must be stressed that this picture is based on highly fragmentary evidence, and it may be incorrect in many particulars. It may be hoped that future archaeological discoveries will add much to our knowledge.


Roasted Barley Beer Style Wheat Beer Base Cereal Wheat Malt 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Languages, Literatures, and Cultures DepartmentUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada

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