Liquid Bread

Liquid Bread: Beer and Brewing in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Wulf Schiefenhövel
Helen Macbeth
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 264
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qd5gz
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  • Book Info
    Liquid Bread
    Book Description:

    Beer is an ancient alcoholic drink which, although produced through a more complex process than wine, was developed by a wide range of cultures to become internationally popular. This book is the first multidisciplinary, cross-cultural collection about beer. It explores the brewing processes used in antiquity and in traditional societies; the social and symbolic roles of beer-drinking; the beliefs and activities associated with it; the health-promoting effects as well as the health-damaging risks; and analyses the modern role of large multinational companies, which own many of the breweries, and the marketing techniques that they employ.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-216-0
    Subjects: Anthropology, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. LIST OF FIGURES
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. LIST OF TABLES
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xii)
    WS and HMM
  6. LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  7. INTRODUCTION: ASSEMBLING PERSPECTIVES ON BEER
    (pp. 1-12)
    Wulf Schiefenhövel and Helen Macbeth

    What made you pick up this book? Was it the thought of that foaming pint while you relaxed in a British pub, a German beer garden, a Czech restaurant, an American or ‘Continental’ bar, on a beach or ski slope or in front of the television at home? Wherever your beer was purchased, in much of the world you would have been offered choice. The choice might only have been between different brand names of bottled beer, or it might have been between a wide range of ales, lagers, wheat and other beers from a cask, a keg, cans or...

  8. CHAPTER 1 NATURAL INGESTION OF ETHANOL BY ANIMALS: WHY?
    (pp. 13-20)
    W.C. McGrew

    Why would any organism habitually ingest a toxic substance? If toxins decrease net fitness in terms of lifetime reproductive success, then natural selection should favour individuals that avoid consuming them, versus those that do. Ethanol is such a toxin, e.g. it directly kills nerve cells. Yet, it is naturally consumed by a variety of animal taxa, both invertebrate and vertebrate: Diptera, especiallyDrosophilaspp.; Hymenoptera; Lepidoptera; among birds, Passeriformes, e.g. waxwings,Bombycillaspp.; among mammals, Bovidae, Proboscidae, Suidae (for review of references, see Dudley 2000; Eriksson and Nummi 1982). So, do the benefits outweigh the costs?

    Ethanol is produced by...

  9. CHAPTER 2 HEALTHY OR DETRIMENTAL? PHYSIOLOGICAL, PSYCHIATRIC AND EVOLUTIONARY ASPECTS OF DRINKING BEER
    (pp. 21-34)
    Peter Kaiser, Gerhard Medicus and Martin Brüne

    Alcohol, in one of several aspects, is a valuable food source as it provides a high amount of energy per weight (see table 2.1); this was probably the reason for the large amounts of beer being given to workers in Mesopotamia (Damerow 1996) and throughout history. Beer, like wine, contains a large number of potentially health-promoting substances and had, in the past, an important role, since water was often contaminated with pathogens likeEscherichia coli,Salmonella typhimurium, etc., whereas beer, due to its content of alcohol and carbonic acid, was, from this perspective, a much safer drink than the water...

  10. CHAPTER 3 BEER: HOW IT`S MADE – THE BASICS OF BREWING
    (pp. 35-46)
    Keith Thomas

    An advertising campaign promoted by the UK Brewers’ Association in the mid 1930s contained the challenging title ‘Beer is Best’. Intended to revive the poor sales at the time, it was an early statement of the long-held belief in the value of beer. Today that belief is being rigorously tested, not least in the light of ethanol’s pathological effects, but also to accord credit where beer’s nutritional content may provide unseen benefits. Moreover, beer is more than a flavoured solution of ethanol but an ingredient of culture contributing positively in many cases but negatively in others.

    The Brewers’ Association’s claim...

  11. CHAPTER 4 INTERDISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE BREWING TECHNOLOGY OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST AND THE POTENTIAL OF THE COLD MASHING PROCESS
    (pp. 47-54)
    Martin Zarnkow, Adelheid Otto and Berthold Einwag

    The ancient Near East was the homeland of beer brewing. Numerous written documents from the third millennium bc onwards inform us about the fundamental role of beer for daily alimentation and social events (Milano 1994). Considering the amount of consumed beer, brewing must have taken place on a large scale. However, no clear archaeological evidence for brewing has so far been found in a private or an official building at a Mesopotamian site.

    Excavations at Tall Bazi in Northern Syria have led to new insights into malt and beer making in ancient times (Zarnkow, Spielederet al. 2006). At Tall...

  12. CHAPTER 5 BEER IN PREHISTORIC EUROPE
    (pp. 55-62)
    Hans-Peter Stika

    In contrast to wine, which is made from sugars derived from fruit, beer production is based on starch. Cereals were, and still are, used in brewing. Other starch sources (manioc, yam, sweet potato, quinoa, etc.) may be used. Yeast is also necessary for fermentation. This fungus turns sugar into alcohol but cannot work on starch which is the main component of cereals. Therefore, it is necessary during the brewing process to convert the starch into sugar. This is normally done by germinating the grain which induces the production of the enzyme to split the starch into maltose. After drying, the...

  13. CHAPTER 6 BEER AND BEER CULTURE IN GERMANY
    (pp. 63-70)
    Franz Meussdoerffer

    The subject of beer culture in Germany embraces two variables: beer in respect of its impact on culture on the one hand, and on Germany on the other. Beer and beer brewing have been part of cultural activities from its recorded advent about 4,000 bc in Mesopotamia (Nelson 2005). Much more difficult to identify for the purpose of discussion is the question of Germany. Germany has, except for very short periods of her history, never been a united, centrally governed country. For most of the time states diverse in population density, dialect, economy, and culture formed a more or less...

  14. CHAPTER 7 EUROPE NORTH AND SOUTH, BEER AND WINE: SOME REFLECTIONS ABOUT BEER AND MEDITERRANEAN FOOD
    (pp. 71-80)
    F. Xavier Medina

    The aim of this chapter is to offer a brief reflection on how beer, as an ancient drink in the Mediterranean area, has been traditionally excluded from the ‘Mediterranean diet’ model. As Montanari (1996) said, two ‘classic models’ exist in Europe: the ‘Northern model’ (pork and beer) versus the ‘Southern model’ (bread and wine). However, we cannot forget that beer had an important role in Egypt (in the eastern Mediterranean basin) and that the most ancient vestiges of beer in Western Europe were found in the Mediterranean area. If the ‘Mediterranean diet’ is a social construction, then why is beer...

  15. CHAPTER 8 LIVING IN THE STREETS: BEER ACCEPTANCE IN ANDALUSIA DURING THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
    (pp. 81-88)
    Isabel González Turmo

    The title of this chapter is not accidental. Drinks usually facilitate social relationships and these, where the climate permits, mainly take place outside the home. Of all drinks, beer is perhaps the one which is most frequently consumed ‘in the street’, that is to say, in pubs².

    People’s taste for draught beer and the need for mechanisms and quantities which allow drawing it properly make the existence of pubs an essential condition for the consumption of certain kinds of beer. However, it so happens that each place and each region constructs its own taste values and its own ways of...

  16. CHAPTER 9 THE THIRST FOR TRADITION: BEER PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
    (pp. 89-100)
    Paul Collinson and Helen Macbeth

    This chapter represents an attempt to draw together various themes related to the changing nature and context of drinking habits in the United Kingdom (UK) during recent decades, with a specific focus on the brewing and consumption of beer. We begin by presenting an overview of the main developments within the brewing industry in the UK since the late 1970s, noting in particular the trend towards consolidation of production and the concomitant decline of regional and local breweries. These observations are related to changing patterns in the way beer is now produced and marketed in the UK. The second section...

  17. CHAPTER 10 BEER IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
    (pp. 101-110)
    Jana Parízková and Martina Vlkova

    There are several reasons to write about beer in the Czech countries, not only because of a long tradition and the great local popularity of this beverage, but also because of one statistic: the Czech Republic has the greatest consumption per capita and per year in the world (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations 2009). This is similar to neighbouring Bavaria, where local consumption of beverages generally differs little from that of the Czechs. The consumption of beer and of other alcoholic beverages has been stable over the last few decades, even when significant changes in the political,...

  18. CHAPTER 11 ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AND BINGE DRINKING IN GERMAN AND AMERICAN FRATERNITIES: ANTHROPOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS
    (pp. 111-124)
    Gerhard Dammann

    Excessive beer-drinking is a characteristic aspect of college or university student life, especially when it is organised in fraternities.

    In German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) certain kinds of fraternities, theVerbindung(which literally means, bonding or union), have a long tradition. Most are restricted to male membership. Some have a nationalistic ideology, but most are politically neutral. Some are affiliated with a religious denomination (especially of the Catholic church), but many are secular. Members ofStudentenverbindungen(the student fraternities) normally wear a ribbon and a cap in the colours of their fraternity to show their affiliation. Fraternities still have...

  19. CHAPTER 12 RUGBY, RACING AND BEER IN NEW ZEALAND: COLONISING A CONSUMER CULTURE
    (pp. 125-132)
    Nancy J. Pollock

    Both bread and beer are major cultural icons in the New Zealand lifestyle. They represent manifestations of consumer colonisation of New Zealand and the Pacific. Introduced less than 200 years ago by settlers from Britain, they have very rapidly developed a strong hold over the social scene as well as over the language of consumerism. A crate of beer, or a ‘six-pack’, is the necessary accompaniment when watching a rugby match or horse racing on television with one’s mates. The crate shared with a ‘mate’ helps to lubricate and intoxicate – and hopefully celebrate! A mate is an especially good...

  20. CHAPTER 13 BEER, RITUAL AND CONVIVIALITY IN NORTHERN CAMEROON
    (pp. 133-146)
    Igor de Garine

    Beer drinking is widespread in Africa – and Northern Cameroon appears to be a good area in which to study it, as it is home to six ethnic groups: the Masa, Muzey, Tupuri and Kera, located in the lowland, flooded area of the Logone River; and the Koma and the Duupa, who dwell in the Alantika mountains in North-West Cameroon on the Nigerian border (see figures 13.1, 13.2 and 13.3.) Beer can be studied from many perspectives: nutritional, religious, social and economic. I shall say something on each aspect and then develop those aspects which are relevant to its social...

  21. CHAPTER 14 THE GENDER OF BEER: BEER SYMBOLISM AMONG THE KAPSIKI/HIGI AND THE DOGON
    (pp. 147-158)
    Walter van Beek

    Throughout Sub-Saharan Africa beer is an important economic enterprise, a vehicle of social relations and also a repository of symbolism (Jolly 2004; Abbink 2002). Here I shall concern myself with the third aspect, symbolism. Usually, beer links up with ancestors, as throughout Africa the consumption, exchange and sharing of beer ties in closely with the lineage system and its local history (e.g., Mueller–Kosack 2003). In this article I want to follow up on this approach, and show that beer symbolism is more dialectic and contradictory than is usually assumed. In fact, beer seems to highlight the arenas between men...

  22. CHAPTER 15 RITUAL USE OF BEER IN SOUTH-WEST TANZANIA
    (pp. 159-170)
    Ruth Kutalek

    In south-west Tanzania people know two types of traditionally fermented drink.Ulanziis from the sap of a bamboo species which grows in the cooler climates of the mountainous regions. Its harvest is highly seasonal – only during the rainy season do the bamboo sprouts produce enough sweet sap to be collected and fermented. Production and marketing are usually done in small-scale enterprises. Taking care of the bamboo groves and harvest of the sap is the task of women and men alike. The groves are usually owned by individuals who are able to earn, by Tanzanian standards, not inconsiderable amounts...

  23. CHAPTER 16 BREWING SORGHUM BEER IN BURKINA FASO: A STUDY IN FOOD TECHNOLOGY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL LINGUISTICS
    (pp. 171-182)
    François Belliard

    Sorghum beer is the traditional beverage of many savannah populations throughout Africa, whereas forest populations often drink palm wine. Beer can also be made with millet or corn, depending on the region. It appeared in Ancient Egypt and is still consumed, even where occidental beers are sold.

    In a short first part I shall give some information about the consumption of beer among thegyóòhéethnic group of Burkina Faso. The data for this article have been collected during three fieldwork trips in 1998–2000 in the Yantenga village (Diabo rural municipality, Gourma province), 210 km east from capital town...

  24. CHAPTER 17 RICE BEER AND SOCIAL COHESION IN THE KELABIT HIGHLANDS, SARAWAK
    (pp. 183-196)
    Monica Janowski

    While I was living in the Kelabit community of Pa’ Dalih in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the etiquette described above accompanied the drinking of tea and coffee atiraufeasts in the Kelabit Highlands in Sarawak, Malaysia.¹ Until the 1960s, it was part of the ceremony accompanying the drinking ofborak– rice beer. The Kelabit were, in the past, famous for the quantities ofborakwhich they made and drank. Now, though, they no longer make rice beer. Here I want to look atborak-drinking in the past, at the reasons for the abandonment of borak, and...

  25. Chapter 18 TRADITION AND CHANGE: BEER CONSUMPTION IN NORTHEAST LUZON, PHILIPPINES
    (pp. 197-208)
    Dante M. Aquino and Gerard A. Persoon

    A few years ago the government of the Philippines launched a campaign to strengthen their national identity by popularising various national symbols, as throughout its history since independence the lack of national identity has been the concern of many politicians and nationalist authors. In addition to the common national symbols like the flag, the national anthem and the national heroes, other national symbols were widely publicised. Among these are a national bird (the Philippine eagle,Pithecophaga jefferyi), a national tree (narra,Pterocarpus indicus), a national animal (water buffalo,Bubalus bubalis), a national dance (the bamboo dance calledtinikling), a national...

  26. CHAPTER 19 CULTURE, MARKET AND BEER CONSUMPTION
    (pp. 209-222)
    Mabel Gracia Arnaiz

    This paper analyses the types of messages used by the Spanish beer industry in recent decades to promote its product. Not only has beer consumption consolidated since the 1980s but the type of product, its associated representations and its use have changed. First, I shall consider the role that advertising has played in this change, and then I shall highlight the ideas used by advertisers to guarantee and strengthen the ties between the industry and beer on the one hand and the broad range of consumers on the other.

    The food and agriculture industry has been modernised in an attempt...

  27. CHAPTER 20 BEER AND EUROPEAN MEDIA: GLOBAL VS. LOCAL
    (pp. 223-232)
    Luis Cantarero and Monica Stacconi

    Eating and drinking are physiological needs which can be approached by the researcher from various perspectives. Today, in Europe, in order to comprehend food behaviour it is necessary to consider the relationship between the two apparently opposite poles of functionality and pleasure (Flandrin and Montanari 1996: 863). It is worthwhile wondering what role beer plays within this modern food system. Without ignoring its physiological function, we believe that beer belongs at the pleasure pole, which derives from conviviality. In the past however, depending on the historical period and on the culture, the motivations for beer consumption were not confined to...

  28. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 233-238)
  29. INDEX
    (pp. 239-248)