Originally Posted by G. Cretin
The first brewers in the U.S. were Native American. We have been here for thousands of years and ETOH madde from grain is not indigenous to Europe, it happened every where humans setteled.
I'm aware of a South American fermented drink made from corn that dates back to the (I think) Maya. The mashing method involved certain women in the community chewing corn and spitting the liquid into jars to ferment. The enzymes in their saliva would break the corn starch into sugars for the yeast. It's quite an.... inventive way to mash grain but I don't think I'll be trying it soon. Does anyone know if the North American continent had a similar drink?
I have some problems with the premise of this guy's theory. Besides the idea that Germans were the first brewers, he also stated that Americans wanted more consistancy. The problem is that before refrigeration and rail, that would have been impossible. Beer brewing was a local craft, with each town/house brewing their own for the resident's consumption. The plans for the American revolution were conspired in town brewhouses. Cider had it's place and from what I can tell was a way to preserve apples and warm the family over the long winter months. After the Revolution whiskey really took off as an anti-British reaction. Reason being that American whiskey was made of corn, a uniquely American grain, and thus helped draw another distinction between us and those folks over the pond. Whiskey also had another advantage over beer and raw corn: It was easily transportable. A farmer could take his corn, distill it into whiskey, and sell it for more cash than the corn would have sold for.
Getting back to beer, I don't think that even rail and refrigeration would have really popularized lagers very quickly. Being such recent inventions for a novelty product it would have driven the price beyond the reach of your average American farmer. I think I recall somewhere that canned beer was a product of WWII, as a cheap way to send brew to the GIs. Apologies in advance if this post seems snotty, not my intention.