From what we are told in the history books, we need thank the Sumerians or the Mesopotamians’ for fermenting what could be called a grain drink or beer. But I think the honour should go to the Saint Corbinian who helped found the Weinhenstephan Monastery and Brewery, in Friesing. Now, I’m not getting into an argument about which is the oldest brewery in the world, but it can be said that Weinhenstephan has been brewing beer there since 1040 and that alone is a staggering achievement. I will give a special mention to Weltenburg Abbey Brewery, one of their neighbours, which opened ten years later and claim to have the oldest dark ale beer in the world.
Weinhenstephan, is also one of the few places in the world that together with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) offers a course in “Brewing and Beverage Technology. It can also be said that the German’s take their beer making very seriously and ever since 1516 when the Bavarian Government passed a Purity Law “Reinheitsgebot”, stating that only barley hops and water could be used to produce beer.
Now on the bigger world plain, Germany does not come close to the volumes that China and the USA produce, but they can most certainly be proud of the fact that they have 1528 different breweries in Germany. So the next time you drink a beer in Germany, pace yourself because you have many many more to taste!