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Cavemen To Columbus
- Beer was probably a staple before bread. 1
- The world's oldest known recipe is for beer.
- Alcohol beverages have been produced for at
least 12,000 years. 3
- Our early ancestors probably began farming
not so much to grow food, which they could usually find easily,
as to insure a steady supply of ingredients needed to make alcohol
- In ancient Egypt, "bread and beer" was a common
- Early Egyptian writings urged mothers to send
their children to school with plenty of bread and beer for their
- The Romans drank a wine containing seawater,
pitch, rosin, and turpentine. A Greek traveler asserted that it
required getting used to. 7
- A Chinese imperial edict of about 1,116 B.C.
asserted that the use of alcohol in moderation was required by
- To the pre-Christian Anglo-Saxons, heaven
was not a place to play harps, but a place to visit with other
departed and enjoy alcohol beverages. 9
- The word "symposium" originally referred to
a gathering of men in ancient Greece for an evening of conversation
and drinking. 10
- Jesus drank alcohol (Matthew 15:11; Luke 7:33-35)
and approved of its moderate consumption (Matthew 15:11). 11
- St. Paul considered alcohol to be a creation
of God and inherently good (1 Timothy 4:4).
- The early Church declared that alcohol was
an inherently good gift of God to be used and enjoyed. While individuals
might choose not to drink, to despise alcohol was heresy.12
- It was largely the monasteries that maintained
the knowledge and skills during the Middle Ages necessary to produce
quality alcohol beverages. 13
- Distillation was developed during the Middle
Ages, and the resulting alcohol was called aqua vitae or
"water of life." 14
- The adulteration of alcohol beverage was punishable
by death in medieval Scotland. 15
- Drinking liqueurs was required at all treaty
signings during the Middle Ages. 16
Braidwood, Robert J., Sauer, Jonathan D., Helback, Hans, Mangelsdorf, Paul C., Cutler, Hugh C., Coon, Careton, S., Linton, Ralph, Stewart, Julian, and Oppenheim, A. Leo. "Symposium: Did Man Once Live by Beer Alone?," American Anthropologist, 1953, 55, pp. 516-526; Katz, S. H. And Voigt, M. M., Bread and Beer: The Early Use of Cereals in the Human Diet, Expedition, 1987, 28, pp. 23-34.
3. Patrick, Charles H.
Alcohol, Culture, and Society. Durham, North Carolina: Duke
University Press, 1952, pp. 12-13. Reprint edition by AMS Press,
New York, 1970.
4. Do It Now Foundation,
Booze: Why Not Ask Why? Tempe, Arizona: DIN Publications,
5. Ghaliounqui, Paul. Fermented
Beverages in Antiquity. In: Gastineau, Clifford F., Darby, William
J., and Turner, Thomas B. (Eds.) Fermented Food Beverages in
Nutrition New York: Academic Press, 1979 pp. 3-19.
6. Heath, D.B. Drinking
Occasions: Comparative Perspectives on Alcohol and Culture.
Philadelphia, PA: Brunner/Mazel, 2000, p. 78.
7. Erdoes, Richard. 1000
Remarkable Facts about Booze. New York: The Rutledge Press,
1981, p. 88.
8. Gernet, Jacques. Daily
Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion 1250-1276. Stanford,
California: Stanford University Press, 1962. (Translated by H. M.
Wright), p, 139; Balazs, Etienne. Chinese Civilization and Bureaucracy.
New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1964. (Translated
by H. M. Wright).
9. Watney, John. Beer
is Best: A History of Beer. London, England: Peter Owen, 1974,
10. Babor, Thomas. Alcohol:
Customs and Rituals. New York: Chelsea House, 1986, p. 4
11. For additional documentation
on the views of Jesus and the early Church see T. Furman Hewitt.
A Biblical Perspective on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol and Other
Drugs. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Department of Human Resources.
Pastoral Care Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, 1980 and Irving
W. Raymond. The Teaching of the Early Church on the Use of Wine
and Strong Drink. New York: Columbia University Press, 1927.
For references to alcohol in the Old Testament categorized into
positive and negative and into realms (physical, psychological,
social, religious or economic), see John M. OBrien and Sheldon
C. Seller, Attributes of alcohol in the Old Testament. The Drinking
and Drug Practices Surveyor, 1982, No. 18, pp. 18-24.
12. Austin, Gregory A.
Alcohol in Western Society from Antiquity to 1800: A Chronological
History. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio, 1985, pp. 44 and
13. Babor, Thomas. Alcohol:
Customs and Rituals. New York: Chelsea House, 1986, p. 11; Cherrington,
Ernest H. (Ed.) Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem.
Six vols. Westerville, Ohio: American Issue Publishing, 1925-1930.
Vol. 1, p. 405; Seward, Desmond. Monks and Wine. London,
England: Trubner and Co., 1878, pp. 15 and 25-35
14. Doxat, John. The
World of Drinks and Drinking. New York: Drake Publishers, 1971,
15. Cherrington, Ernest
H. (Ed.) Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem. Six
vols. Westerville, Ohio: American Issue Publishing, 1935-1930. Vol.
5, p. 2,383.
16. Ford, G. Wines,Brews,
& Spirits. Seattle, Washington: Gene Ford Publications, 1996,