Appreciation of beverage alcohol is hard-wired into our DNA. Over the past several hundreds of years, mankind has become more adept at making beverage alcohol to satisfy our taste for it. For a person interested in perhaps one day launching a craft distillery business, this Course provides valuable insight into the history of various types of beverage alcohols along with their legal definitions that a craft distiller would have to abide by. This is the same learning material that I used to offer in-person prior to the Covid pandemic.
Welcome to the History of Alcohol course. If you are perhaps interested in one day launching a craft distillery business, this course provides valuable insight into the history of various types of beverage alcohols along with their legal definitions that a craft distiller would have to abide by.
Our taste for alcoholic beverages is hard wired into our DNA. Mankind has been enjoying beverage alcohol for 8000 years now. Over time, mankind has learned how to make better and better alcohol. This lecture traces these developments.
One of the earliest spirits created was Brandy. Today consumers the world over enjoy the taste of Brandy. There is even a specialized, carefully regulated type of Brandy - called Cognac that consumers quest after. This lecture will show you how Brandy is distilled.
In the 1800's, the common man realized that one did not need land and a vineyard to make alcohol. It was figured out that cereal grain could be used to make "voda", a spirit that was the forerunner of today's Vodka.
In the 1400's when Portuguese mariners visited India they noticed a curious plant - the sugar cane. When the Portuguese later came to what is today the Caribbean islands, they brought with them some sugar cane plant which flourished in the local climate. Before long, it was figured out that an alcoholic beverage could be made from the molasses left over from the sugar extraction process.
In the 1600's, the Dutch were the dominant global power and they traveled as far as the Indonesian islands, bringing back with them cargoes of exotic spices. The Dutch learned to infuse their alcohols with these spices and Geneivre was created. This juniper-tasting spirit soon gained popularity in England where it became known as Gin.
The 1600's saw a massive influx of settlers to America. They brought with them their favorite grains from the Old Country. These grains grew in the climate of the New World. Moreover, corn was found to be already flourishing in this area. It did not take long before the settlers were using whatever rudimentary equipment they had to make alcohol. Whisky had arrived in North America!
Two classes of beverage alcohol that are experiencing a re-surgence in popularity are Liqueur and Agave spirit ( ie Tequila). This lecture describes the legal basis for these spirit types and provides ideas for how a start-up craft distiller can start making beverage alcohol that meets these category guidelines.