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Rob Miller
Rob Miller owns and operates Goebel Liquor, family owned since 1971, located at the corner of Maple and West Streets. Rob's World of Beers selection, offers over 450 microbrews and imports. Rob has worked hard to make his beer selection the best available, short of taking a drive to Dallas or Denver. When not on the road prospecting new products for the store to introduce to Wichita, you can usually find Rob at a sporting event, or any activity involving one of his five children. You can contact Rob at Goebel Liquor, e-mail: stoutsman@aol.com, or by phone at (316) 943-2911.
Beer, Wine & Spirits
2003-08-01 11:28:00
Who invented beer?
Who invented beer?   Answer: The beer we enjoy so much today has a very long and fascinating history. Although there is no way to determine the exact time in which beer was first introduced, its making can be traced back approximately 6,000 years to the Sumerians. It appears that they accidentally discovered the fermentation process when wild barley was left soaking in water and it turned into a mash, which fermented. When this was diluted and filtered it made a pleasant, nourishing beverage, rich in vitamin B12 and a supplement to a low-meat diet. The Sumerians realized the aroma was appealing and began repeating this beer brewing process. They labeled beer as "divine" and regularly offered it to their gods.   During the second millennium B.C., the Sumerian empire collapsed and the Babylonians became the rulers of Mesopotamia. Since their culture was based upon that of the Sumerians, it is not surprising that the Babylonians also practiced the art of brewing beer. It is reported that this group knew how to brew 20 different types of cloudy, unfiltered beer. Often times, the beer was made from malted grain that was lightly baked into loaves, which then were broken into water and fermented. The thick, syrupy beer would be drunk through tubes. Beer was so important to this society that strict laws were made to deal with the rationing of it. For instance, a normal worker was only allowed 2 liters per day, civil servants 3 liters, and administrators and high priests up to 5 liters per day. At this time, women were in charge of the brewing process because it was seen as household work.    Ales came first. In the UK (a monarchy where ale is still king), brewing was done in the home by the woman of the house, along with the baking of the bread. The alewife's nut-brown ale was probably slightly sweet, lightly carbonated, and served from the barrel a few days after fermentation was complete. Early brews were fermented at warm temperatures using a kind of bread yeast.   The pilgrims brought ale with them to America. A depleted supply was reason enough for the Mayflower to forego warmer climates and land at Plymouth Rock. An essential of the Puritan diet, ale was rightfully considered a healthier beverage than water, which was often unsafe.    The thirsty settlers quickly set up breweries in the colonies. Barley was planted and harvested, but early ingredients in colonial brew kettles also included corn, pumpkins, parsnips, and oats. Walnut chips were sometimes added for aroma. These hearty ales sustained the pilgrims, fortifying them through the winter 'dry periods'.   Although lager wasn't recognized as a style until the 1800s, it's likely the first lagers were brewed in Bavarian monasteries. Clever monks discovered the virtues of a bitter herb - hops - that helped to preserve and flavor beer, as well as balance the sweetness of the malt. The monks wanted a great tasting; nutritious drink to serve with their meals and during fasting. Beer was used to satisfy the hungry monks because the consumption of liquids did not break the rules of fasting. The brewer-monks also discovered that fermenting beers in cool cellars provided clean, delightful brews. The sophisticated new beer was later distinguished from the older ale style with the name "lager" a derivation of the German word lagern, which means, "to store."  Their love for the beverage turned into a business. The monasteries eventually opened their own pubs and heavily promoted their great tasting beer.    Today, the world of brewing is going back to its roots. Craft brewed lagers are complex, malty, and rich. Fresh, robust ales are brewed in the U.S. A new generation of craft brewers is producing a gorgeous wealth of fine lagers and ales, and we are all the richer for it. Did you know…?    Before thermometers were invented, brewers would dip a thumb or finger into the mix to find the right temperature for adding yeast. Too cold, and the yeast wouldn't grow. Too hot, and the yeast would die. This thumb in the beer is where we get the phrase "rule of thumb".    In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's".    Beer was the reason the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. It's clear from the Mayflower's log that the crew didn't want to waste beer looking for a better site. The log goes on to state that the passengers "were hastened ashore and made to drink water that the seamen might have the more beer".    After consuming a bucket or two of vibrant brew they called aul, or ale, the Vikings would head fearlessly into battle often without armor or even shirts. In fact, the term "berserk" means "bare shirt" in Norse, and eventually took on the meaning of their wild battles.    In 1740 Admiral Vernon of the British fleet decided to water down the navy's rum. Needless to say, the sailors weren't too pleased and called Admiral Vernon "Old Grog", after the stiff wool grogram coats he wore. The term "grog" soon began to mean the watered down drink itself. When you were drunk on this grog, you were "groggy".     Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle", is the phrase inspired by this practice.   For more beer fun visit: http://www.goebelliquor.com/, and make your plans now for the Midwest Beer Fest in Wichita, Oct. 18th, 2003.
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