Belgrade Beer Fest 2024



Beer has a long and fascinating history dating back thousands of years. Beer is believed to have been first brewed in ancient Mesopotamia around 4000 BC, from barley and other grains. The ancient Egyptians also brewed beer and it was considered a staple in their daily diet. In fact, beer was so important to the Egyptians that it was even used as currency.

As time passed, the art of brewing spread throughout the world. There is historical evidence that the Egyptians taught the Greeks how to make beer and it was very popular in both ancient Greece and Rome until wine became the drink of choice.

One of the reasons for the popularity of alcoholic beverages was the uncertain quality of the water supply. Although people did not understand the science, there was a clear indication that drinking water increased the likelihood of contracting diseases such as cholera.

Sophocles wrote in 450 BCthat he believed that the best diet for the Greeks was: bread, meat, vegetables, and beer, but that beer should be drunk in moderation.


It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that beer became the drink of choice for many Europeans, especially in countries like Germany, Belgium, and England. In this historical period, beer was made by monks in monasteries all over Europe, and some of them were among the best brewers of their time. In fact, they were responsible for the development of many techniques that are still used in brewing today, if also for the modernization of the production process, because they added a key component to it – hops.

As a result, medieval monasteries, places of austere living and asceticism, became the first European breweries. Fasting, prescribed by strict monastic rules, did not allow the consumption of food, but no regulation forbade beer, which also had considerable nutritional value.

Monasteries were also stops on pilgrimage routes, and beer served as welcome food for weary travelers. That’s how the monasteries made beer the favorite alcoholic drink of the Middle Ages, available to everyone, from kings, bishops, nobility, to the common people.

During the Industrial Revolution, beer production moved from small-scale brewing to large-scale production. This enabled the mass production and distribution of beer around the world and led to the development of many different types of beer.

Further innovations in the brewing process came with the introduction of thermometers and hydrometers in the 19th century, which allowed brew masters to increase efficiency in brewing the popular drink. Also, the discovery of the role of yeast in fermentation in 1857 by Louis Pasteur gave brewers methods to prevent the souring of beer by undesirable microorganisms.

The most dangerous blow to beer history came in the 1920s, during the Prohibition era in the United States. Although George Washington owned a brewery and Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in a pub, the “land of the free” declared war on beer and other alcohol, banning their consumption. Prohibition (which ended in 1933) had the side effect of introducing people to watered-down beer, which is still present today, especially among mass-market beers.


Today, beer is enjoyed by millions of people all around the world. There are countless types of beer available, each with its own unique taste and characteristics. Some people even brew their own beer at home, using traditional methods or modern equipment to make the alcoholic drink favored by many.

Another significant step forward when it comes to the beer production is related to modern times, and that is craft beer. Produced in small private breweries
(but also in large companies), craft beer has made serious gains in the market, bringing a historically unprecedented variety of styles, while some craft brewers are even reviving ancient recipes, bringing the history of beer full circle.

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