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BEER

inscriptions.[1] The substitution of Beelzebub for Beelzebul by the Syriac, Vulgate and other versions implies the identification of the New Testament arch-fiend with the god of Ekron; this substitution, however, may be due to the influence of the Aramaic B‘el-debaba, “adversary,” sometimes held to be the original of these names.

There is no trace of Beelzebul or Beelzebub outside of the Biblical passages mentioned, and the literature dependent on them. If we assume a connexion between the two names, there is nothing to show how the god became in later times the devil.

In Paradise Lost, Book ii., Beelzebub appears as second only to Satan himself.

Bibliography.—Lightfoot, Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae, Works, vol. ii. pp. 188 f., 429, ed. Strype (1684); Baethgen, Beiträge zur semitischen Religionsgeschichte, pp. 25, 65, 261. Commentaries on the Biblical passages especially Burney and Skinner on Kings, Meyer and A. B. Bruce on the Synoptic Gospels, and Swete on Mark. Articles on “Baal,” “Baalzebub,” “Beelzebub,” “Beelzebul,” in Hastings’ Bible Dict., Black and Cheyne’s Encycl. Bibl., and Hauck’s Realencyklopädie; on בעל זבב in Clarendon Press Hebr. Lex.; and on זבל and זבול in Jastrow’s Dict. of the Targumim, &c. (W. H. Be.) 


BEER, a beverage obtained by a process of alcoholic fermentation mainly from cereals (chiefly malted barley), hops and water. The history of beer extends over several thousand years. According to Dr Bush, a beer made from malt or red barley is mentioned in Egyptian writings as early as the fourth dynasty. It was called 1911 Britannica - Beer - heqa.png or heqa. Papyri of the time of Seti I. (1300 B.C.) allude to a person inebriated from over-indulgence in beer. In the second book (c. 77) of Herodotus (450 B.C.) we are told that the Egyptians, being without vines, made wine from barley (cf. Aesch. Suppl. 954); but as the grape is mentioned so frequently in Scripture and elsewhere as being most abundant there, and no record exists of the vine being destroyed, we must conclude that the historian was only partially acquainted with the productions of that most fertile country. Pliny (Natural History, xxii. 82) informs us that the Egyptians made wine from corn, and gives it the name of zythum, which, in the Greek, means drink from barley. The Greeks obtained their knowledge of the art of preparing beer from the Egyptians. The writings of Archilochus, the Parian poet and satirist who flourished about 650 B.C., contain evidence that the Greeks of his day were acquainted with the process of brewing. There is, in fact, little doubt that the discovery of beer and its use as an exhilarating beverage were nearly as early as those of the grape itself, though both the Greeks and the Romans despised it as a barbarian drink. Dioscorides mentions two kinds of beer, namely ζῦθος and κοῦρμι, but he does not describe them sufficiently to enable us to distinguish them. Sophocles and other Greek writers, again, styled it βρῦτον. In the time of Tacitus (1st century after Christ), according to him, beer was the usual drink of the Germans, and there can be little doubt that the method of malting barley was then known to them. Pliny (Nat. Hist. xxii. 82) mentions the use of beer in Spain under the name of celia and ceria and in Gaul under that of cerevisia; and elsewhere (xiv. 29) he says:—“The natives who inhabit the west of Europe have a liquid with which they intoxicate themselves, made from corn and water. The manner of making this liquid is somewhat different in Gaul, Spain and other countries, and it is called by different names, but its nature and properties are everywhere the same. The people in Spain in particular brew this liquid so well that it will keep good a long time. So exquisite is the cunning of mankind in gratifying their vicious appetites that they have thus invented a method to make water itself produce intoxication.”

The knowledge of the preparation of a fermented beverage from cereals in early times was not confined to Europe. Thus, according to Dr H. H. Mann, the Kaffir races of South Africa have made for ages—and still make—a kind of beer from millet, and similarly the natives of Nubia, Abyssinia and other parts of Africa prepare an intoxicating beverage, generally called bousa, from a variety of cereal grains. The Russian quass, made from barley and rye, the Chinese samshu, made from rice, and the Japanese saké (q.v.) are all of ancient origin. Roman historians mention the fact that the Britons in the south of England at the time of the Roman invasion brewed a species of ale from barley and wheat. The Romans much improved the methods of brewing in vogue among the Britons, and the Saxons—among whom ale had long been a common beverage—in their turn profited much by the instruction given to the original inhabitants of Great Britain by the Romans. We are informed by William of Malmesbury that in the reign of Henry II. the English were greatly addicted to drinking, and by that time the monasteries were already famous, both in England and on the continent, for the excellence of their ales. The waters of Burton-on-Trent began to be famous in the 13th century. The secret of their being so especially adapted for brewing was first discovered by some monks, who held land in the adjacent neighbourhood of Wetmore. There is a document dated 1295 in which it is stated that Matilda, daughter of Nicholas de Shoben, had re-leased to the abbot and convent of Burton-on-Trent certain tenements within and without the town; for which re-lease they granted her, daily for life, two white loaves from the monastery, two gallons of conventual beer, and one penny, besides seven gallons of beer for the men. The abbots of Burton apparently made their own malt, for it was a common covenant in leases of mills belonging to the abbey that the malt of the lords of the manor, both spiritual and temporal, should be ground free of charge. Robert Plot, in his Natural History of Staffordshire (1686), refers to the peculiar properties of the Burton waters, from which, he says, “by an art well known in this country good ale is made, in the management of which they have a knack of fining it in three days to that degree that it shall not only be potable, but is clear and palatable as we could desire any drink of this kind to be.” In 1630 Burton beer began to be known in London, being sold at “Ye Peacocke” in Gray’s Inn Lane, and according to the Spectator was in great demand amongst the visitors in Vauxhall. Until tea and coffee were introduced, beer and ale (see Ale) were, practically speaking, the only popular beverages accessible to the general body of consumers. Since the advent of tea, coffee, cocoa and mineral waters, the character of British beers has undergone a gradual modification, the strongly alcoholic, heavily hopped liquids consumed by the previous generation slowly giving place to the lighter beverages in vogue at the present time. The old “stock bitter” has given way to the “light dinner ale,” and “porter” (so called from the fact that it was the popular drink amongst the market porters of the 18th century) has been largely replaced by “mild ale.” A certain quantity of strong beer—such as heavy stouts and “stock” and “Scotch” ales—is still brewed nowadays, but it is not an increasing one. The demand is almost entirely for medium beers such as mild ale, light stout, and the better class of “bitter” beers, and light beers such as the light “family ales,” “dinner ales” and lager.

The general run of beers contain from 3 to 6% of alcohol and 4 to 7% of solids, the remainder being water and certain flavouring and preservative matters derived from the malt, hops and other materials employed in their manufacture. The solid, i.e. non-volatile, matter contained in solution in beer consists mainly of maltose or malt sugar, of several varieties of dextrin (see Brewing), of substances which stand in an intermediate position between the sugars and the dextrins proper, and of a number of bodies containing nitrogen, such as the non-coagulable proteids, peptones, &c. In addition there is an appreciable quantity of mineral matter, chiefly phosphates and potash. Dietetically regarded, therefore, beer possesses considerable food value, and, moreover, the nutritious matter in beer is present in a readily assimilable form.

It is probable that the average adult member of the British working classes consumes not less than two pints of beer daily. A reasonable calculation places the total proteids and carbohydrates consumed by the average worker at 140 and 400

  1. Lidzbarski, Handbuch der nordsemitischen Epigraphik, i. pp. 240, 377.