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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Corn beer in history

Large-scale chicha production has been documented in the archaeological record from the Moche, Wari, Tiwanaku, ChimĂș, and Inca civilizations. There is archaeological evidence that elite women were responsible for brewing in the Wari culture (600 to 1000 AD).

During the Inca period, officials at all levels of the imperial administration were required to provide large amounts of chicha to local elites and their constituents at feasts that worked to bind conquered peoples to the Inca imperial enterprise. The drink was made from maize and was available at every main Inca settlement within the empire.

When the Spaniards marched into the Inca capital of Cuzco in 1533, chicha was the common, everyday beverage within the vast Inca empire.

According to writing of Spaniards chicha was produced under state administration and distributed as part of reciprocal obligations. In addition, chicha drinking was an integral part of the religious and political ceremonies; for instance, during imperial celebrations, the bodies of dead leaders, kept in special buildings, were dressed in fine clothing, brought into the plaza, and offered a toast of chicha.

In 1796, John Boston in Australia invented the first fermented alcohol beverage corn beer. He brewed a beverage from Indian corn bittered with cape gooseberry leaves.

The Great Depression, combined with a series of dust storms and severe drought (known as the ‘dust bowl’), significantly affected the nature of the brewing process during the 1930s. Instead of barley, cheaper grains such as corn and rice were used, and, with these ‘substitutes’, ‘lager’ style beer was brewed.
Corn beer in history

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