I just had the pleasure of reading the best story on beer ever.
[quote]How Microbrew Can Save the World
By Chris O’Brien, Foreign Policy in Focus. Posted October 25, 2006.
Small-scale, homebrew beer production plays a vital role in sustainable development throughout the world.
The world’s cup runneth over with living beer traditions. But this vast repository of cultural brewing capital is under attack by global corporations. The top five brewing companies, all of which are American- or European-owned, control 41 percent of the world market. Perversely, economists and politicians calculate the conquest by industrial breweries as economic growth while the value of small-scale traditional brewing goes uncounted. Much will be lost if this global “beerodiversity” is lost to the forces of corporate-led homogenization.
The globalization of beer not only destroys the social, spiritual, and health-related benefits of small-scale home beer production. It also undercuts the vital role that home brewing plays in sustainable development throughout the world. For 10,000 years, brewing has been conducted at home, primarily by women, who were entrusted with safeguarding traditions that strengthen social bonds and build community identity. As an important component of diet, beer was distributed by female household heads according to the values of the community, which moderated consumption to socially acceptable levels.[/quote]Article continues - follow the link…
Chris O’Brien combines two favorite things: drinking beer and saving the world. He is author of the new book Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World, and serves as director of the Responsible Purchasing Network at the Center for a New American Dream.
Now isn’t that the best approach to sustainable development you’ve ever heard? Well, since the hemp thing anyway. Okay: beer and pot, together can save the world. That message has got to work. Hmnnn. Maybe we need to get rid of the puritans first.
What’s missing: betelnut, cocaine, ecstasy, meth… Those drugs are not good for us. Be natural. (burp)
Another quote: The pyramids were essentially vast beer storerooms, symbolizing Egypt’s power over its neighbors, with whom they conducted large-scale trade in grains and beer.