Thursday, February 23, 2012

How Beer Saved The World

It has been awhile since I watched a documentary. I have nothing against this style of film-making but it is just not my go-to genre. I adore movies for the escapism ride that only a fictional tale can take me on. So when I watch a non-fiction film it has to be in an area or a topic that interests me. Many things interest but movies and music are right there at the top; however I have another thing that makes me smile: beer! Now do not misunderstand me. I do not like to get drunk; it does happen sometimes and I usually say (or moan), "I am NOT doing that again". For me, imbibing the malty beverage usually coincides with a happy social aspect like dinner with friends or gabbing with the gals. Sure, I could have a cocktail but liquor and I don't like one another too well so I usually stick to wine or, more often than not, a Guinness.

I divulge all this information about my alcohol drinking habits because I just finished watching one of the most fascinating and educational documentaries I have ever watched: How Beer Saved the World. Yes, you read that right. The title certainly piqued my interest, to say the least, but what I learned about the ancient drink really shocked me. 

This documentary came out last year on The Discovery Channel but I found it on Netflix Instant Play list. It sat in my queue for a few weeks but finally decided to watch it in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon - oh wait, it is Fat Tuesday. That is why I decided to watch it...haha...and no I did not have a beverage, unless you count water, while watching it; but it did make me really want one especially after I learned about what beer has done for modern civilization.

Let me list a few of the accomplishments that beer provided for the human race that you may not know. I certainly did NOT know any of this. If it weren't for beer we may still be living in caves and living a nomadic lifestyle. The accidental discovery of beer around 9000 BC started the following:
  1. Agriculture
  2. Writing
  3. Mathematics
  4. Social Networking
Later it helped build the Great Pyramids of Egypt, helped mold modern economics, became the basis of  health care and helped end the Dark Ages, it shaped American history, spurred on better business ethics with helping get rid of the abusive labor of children and we probably would not have the refrigeration capabilities if it weren't for beer. And most of this happened when people consumed six times the amount of beer as compared to what we consume today.

As I read the list of what beer did for us as a society I still can't believe it. However, the documentary used the following professionals to prove these theories: Anthropologists, Egyptologists, Historians, Microbiologists, Fermentation specialists, Professor of Assyriology, and Economists. 

I want to leave you with a quote from one of America's greatest historic figures (who happened to be a brewer) that was mentioned in How Beer Saved the World:

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy". - Benjamin Franklin


Click on film poster below to watch instantly:


Bill Friday said...

I really, REALLY did know that quote from Benjamin Franklin. Just sayin'.

Tired of Previews said...

For some reason I don't doubt you ;-)