Encyclopedia of brewing in Belarus
Brewing traditions are rooted in the distant past. The word "beer" is found in ancient Sumerian, Akkadian, Egyptian and ancient sources. However, the mentioned drinks actually had only a common name, but were brewed according to different technologies and often even without malt. The classic formula "water-malt-hops-yeast" began to be used only in the middle Ages. Then for the first time in the drink got hops, which is a natural preservative. The wide distribution of the Breweries acquired in the North, where the climate was not conducive to the maturation of the grapes.
The prerogative of making beer in Western Europe owned monasteries. The statutes of these institutions allowed the use of drink, but in moderation. In the days of strict fasting beer in General was almost the only permitted food product.
Due to the disinfection by boiling in those days, beer was a safer drink than dirty raw water, so it was drunk by adults and children. High calorie and cheapness of the product helped the poor to survive, there was a saying "Beer - liquid bread".
On our lands drink appeared with the birth of agriculture, in particular, with the beginning of cultivation of barley. The first in the history of beer in Belarus documentary evidence of this fact recorded in the IX-X centuries.
Widespread production of intoxicating drink brought the Renaissance. The secular authorities of Europe, responding to the increase in the mass consumption of the drink, issued decrees regulating the quality of beer and the volume of its production. In 1516, in Bavaria, to combat unscrupulous brewers and scammers, the local ruler legally approved the characteristics that the drink must meet. Subsequently, the decree spread throughout Germany and became one of the oldest known legislative acts concerning food products.
"beer" laws were also issued on Belarusian lands. The Statute on 1588 provided the penalty for causing harm to the hops and regulated volume of beverage, permitted to be produced.
In the XVI century, small domestic Breweries were available in all parts of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Brewed a drink for everyday use, on holidays and celebrations. Each owner with the help of simple equipment could produce the amount of drink that met his needs. Began to appear enterprising figures who" shredded " beer for sale in restaurants and taverns.
The state reacted sensitively to the transition of brewing in the commercial stage and limited the production of the drink "Charter to the wolves" in 1557, including at home. To similar thoughts came and Moscow Principality, where Ivan III, ostensibly because of concern for national sobriety, secured the right to produce beer for the state and allowed its use only on holidays.
The real reasons for the ban were the huge popularity of beer among the population of both countries, which promised considerable benefits for producers. Because the Breweries became the prerogative of the elite and the beginning of taxes to replenish the Treasury. This finally transferred him to the rank of handicraft activity and state monopoly.
In some cases, the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania made concessions to the subjects. So, for special merits to inhabitants of the caused a stir cities or part of their population allowed to brew beer and exempted from payment of taxes. Similarly, people were encouraged to go to the development and cultivation of empty undeveloped land.
The General trend remained unchanged despite exceptions. Brewing in Belarus became a craft. From the XVI century on the territory of Lithuania acquire the spread of Brovary facilities for brewing beer. They were placed, as a rule, near reservoirs. In the adjacent rooms were located taverns, restaurants and other entertainment facilities. Later the brewery of steel wooden stone and began to turn into the whole brewing systems, including malting, drying, warily, baths and other ancillary buildings. It is characteristic that the progress did not concern this branch, all operations at that time were carried out manually, as well as three hundred years ago.
The transition of the brewery on the territory of contemporary Belarus on the industrial level occurred at the end of the XVIII century. It is associated with the name of one of the most successful entrepreneurs and innovators of that time – podcenter on iojima Litavor-Hreptovich. It happened in Beshenkovichi, a place famous for holding a huge fair. Joachim bought the local brewery, reorganized and modernized, and then built a brewery on its basis. A few years later, he easily overlapped the daily need to drink 5-thousand crowd gathered at the monthly Peter and Paul fair.
Political events of the beginning of the XIX century led the Belarusian brewing to decline. Patriotic war, rebellion and political turmoil forced most browere to close. Bavarian beer was brought to the territory of Belarus, Russian Imperial Breweries were opened. Only by 1860 the Belarusian masters managed to reverse the situation and to get permission to brew the drink again. The industry was able to revive and re-establish the production of traditional local Beers, which instantly replaced the foreign.
With the abolition of serfdom, the government reduced taxes. The history of brewing in Belarus went to a new round. By 1868, there were 17 Breweries in Minsk province alone, 13 of them had been set up for permanent production. The industry was reviving and gaining momentum.
Opening in the middle of the XIX century. pasteurization and its active use in the manufacture of beer, which increased the shelf life of the drink, opened a new era in brewing.
The company "Khmelnov" has kept the tradition that came from ancient times from the land of our ancestors, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. This is the experience of Belarusian eyebrows, accumulated over the centuries. Secrets of brewers handed down from generation to generation. Time-honored formula "water-malt-hops-yeast". Nothing superfluous, only the true taste of traditional beer.