Monday, December 29, 2008

German Brewing History

Here are a couple of links to very interesting and quite detailed web sites that delve into some rather interesting and somewhat obscure aspects of brewing culture and history in Germany.

- 3000 Year History of German Brewing : from hausfrau-brewsters/alewives to monastic breweries; from Charlemagne to the Hofbräuhaus (court brewhouse); and gruit ale to the ubiquitous but late-comer lager.

- The doctoral thesis, written by Matthias Trum, brewmaster at Schlenkerla since 2003, on the subject of "Historical depictions, guild signs and symbols of the brewing and malting handcraft" has some wonderful pictorial sources showing brewers as early as 1425. He also delves into the subject of "tapping signs," among them the hexagonal star that served as the emblem of the brewers guild.

The "History of the Felsenkeller" (Cliff Cellars), located in the village of Schwandorf, is another fascinating beer-related tale. While you'll need to read German to get the full story, there are some interesting photographs that accompany the article which are worth a look.

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