Brewing House and Breweries
At a site called Eberdingen-Hochdorf in southwest Germany, archeologists excavated the remains of brewery dated to between 600 and 400 BC. The findings included unusually well-preserved grains of partially germinated barley, indicating that malting activities had taken place there. At this site, slow fires were used to dry the malt after germination. Other ancient methods of drying malt include sun-drying (possible only in hot, dry climates) and laying malted grain on hot stones.
In the eighth and ninth centuries A.D., monasteries in Europe emerged as the first large scale brewers. It was only in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries that brewing developed as commercial venture. Both monastic and commercial brewers were taxed on their production. This tax was largely based on the state control of gruit, a flavoring agent probably composed of a mixture of dried herbs, including wild rosemary and bog myrtle (Mirica gale). It was not until around 1300 that beer flavored with hops (which also served to better preserve the beer) was imported in large quantities from Hamburg.