Short guide to history (of beer)

The European medieval world and later times is an exotic one. It's difficult to grasp how this world functioned, a wide variety of influences were at work all at the same time. There is one thing fixed and for sure; we know everything is changing all the time. A short guide:

Lifespan: Generations followed each other at a quicker pace.
Globalization: The world was getting ever smaller.
Walks of life: The Dukes of Holland drank Hamburg beer, the poor had 'thin beer'.
Increase in population: European cities held a few thousand people at most.
Crop failure and inflation: Beer is getting thinner because prizes were fixed. After some time we get a 'double' beer.
Changing economic hotspots: From the Hanseatic sphere to the Dutch golden age and on to Great Britain.
City fires: Sometimes a city burns down to the ground completely. A big catastrophe but also an impulse of change and renewal.
From cities to countries: City governments get less important on the emergence of nation states.
Religious battles: European Catholic south and the Reformatory Hanseatic north.
Plague: Between 1347 and 1351 about one third of world population dies. Well into the 17th century the disease returns regularly. 10 - 20% death-rate on a city population is normal.
Tax laws: Big and sometimes greatest influence.
Science: Ever more knowledge and better processes.

Frederik Ruis


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