El origen de las cervezas de trigo - Beer Sapiens

7000 years of history

Friends beer sapiens, today we are going to go back quite far in the history of beers. Neither more nor less than the year 5000 BC (year above, year below). Because one of the earliest archaeological remains of beer is from that time, and furthermore, it was a wheat beer.

These indications appeared in Sumer (the current Middle East) and are related to the development of the first human agricultural settlements. And it makes sense, since if man began to cultivate wheat, he surely began to investigate all its uses as well.

7000 años de historia

It is also true that this first alcoholic drink may not have had much to do with what we consider today a beer. It was more like a wheat soup, or simply wheat macerated in water, with a certain alcoholic component, which was drunk through a straw to avoid drinking the grains that floated on the surface.

Something more similar to our current beer was the one made by the Egyptians. They perfected the recipe and set up factories that produced no less than 4 million liters per year at the time of Ramses II. And they were also wheat beers, as it is believed that the main ingredient in this Egyptian beer was a variety of wheat called spelt.

In fact, this drink was extremely important since it was an indispensable part of the diet of this town. And it is that wheat provides certain characteristics that make these beers a very interesting food. In addition, the grain of wheat has a higher percentage of proteins than that of barley, which gives a typical turbidity in these beers and, more importantly, an abundant and compact foam due to because proteins act as a net for carbon dioxide bubbles.

However, in the 15th century this type of beer almost disappeared.

Wheat beer: a precious commodity

As we have already seen, this style of beer was very popular. Both for the taste and for its nutritional qualities, people consumed large amounts of wheat beer. So big that people preferred to use this grain to make beer rather than bread.

La cerveza de trigo: un bien precioso

For this reason, which was becoming very problematic, in Bavaria the famous German Beer Purity Law was issued in 1516, establishing —among other things— that the beer was made with 3 unique ingredients: barley malt, hops and water; reserving other cereals such as wheat and rye for bread production.

Fortunately, whoever made the law cheated, and the king himself proclaimed at the same time an exception to this rule, by which wheat beer could be made... but only for the nobles. It was his favorite beer

In Belgium, another of the main producing countries of wheat beers, this style almost also disappeared due to the force with which lager beers entered the market. It was not until the 1960s that wheat beers were "rediscovered" by Pierre Celis, who founded his brewery in the same town where the famous Hoegaarden had been brewed since the 15th century.

However, friend Beer Sapiens, don't worry. Today there is no danger that this style will disappear: 1 out of every 3 grains grown in the world is wheat. And only 0.5% of the world's wheat production goes to brewing. So we have beer for a while.

But what exactly is a wheat beer?

There are quite a few styles grouped under the great category of wheat beers But nevertheless we can give you some clues to identify this category of beers.

Pero, ¿qué es exactamente una cerveza de trigo?

The first thing is that for a beer to be considered wheat, the mix must contain a significant amount of this cereal, that is, wheat malt. The rest will normally be barley.

A fun fact is that wheat adds very little flavor to a beer, but it does add a distinctive, silky mouthfeel. The wheat can be malted or not. They are generally unfiltered beers, and therefore their appearance is a bit “turbid”.

The characteristics that best define it are its acid, refreshing and sparkling character. Although they used to be typical of summer, today they can be drunk all year round. Not surprisingly, this type of beer represents almost 30% of total beer consumption in the German state of Bavaria.

An important piece of information is how to serve a wheat beer. The ideal is to pour 2/3 of the liquid with the glass tilted so that the beer hits the side of the glass, and then shake the bottle in a rotating motion before continuing to pour the remaining third and then pouring the rest with the glass upright. This way you can enjoy all the properties (flavor, aroma, foam) characteristic of this style. Cheers!

Cervezas de trigo

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