Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced as far back as about 7,000 years ago in what is today Iran. This discovery reveals one of the earliest known uses of fermentation and is the earliest evidence of brewing to date.
In Mesopotamia, the oldest evidence of beer is believed to be a 6,000-year-old Sumerian tablet depicting people drinking a beverage through reed straws from a communal bowl. A 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honoring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread. In China, residue on pottery dating from between 5400 to 4900 years ago shows beer was brewed using barley and other grains.
The invention of bread and beer has been argued to be responsible for humanity’s ability to develop technology and build civilization.The earliest chemically confirmed barley beer to date was discovered at Godin Tepe in the central Zagros Mountains of Iran, where fragments of a jug, at least 5,000 years old was found to be coated with beer stone, a by-product of the brewing process.
Beer may have been known in Neolithic Europe as far back as 5,000 years ago, and was mainly brewed on a domestic scale.
During the Industrial Revolution, the production of beer moved from artisan manufacture to industrial manufacture, and domestic manufacture ceased to be significant by the end of the 19th century.The development of hydrometers and thermometers changed brewing by allowing the brewer more control of the process, and greater knowledge of the results.
Source: Wikipedia, Google images