en-es  The Other Reformation: How Martin Luther Changed Our Beer, Too
La otra Reforma: Cómo Martín Lutero cambió también nuestra cerveza.

Nina Martyris, NPR, The Salt, Food History & Culture, October 31, 2017. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/10/31/561117731/the-other-reformation-how-martin-luther-changed-our-beer-too.

Hace 500 años el día de hoy, un desconocido monje sajón lanzó un movimiento de protesta contra la Iglesia Católica que transformaría Europa. La Reforma protestante de Martín Lutero cambió no solo la manera de vivir, luchar, adorar, trabajar y crear arte de los europeos sino también su manera de comer y beber. Porque entre las cosas sobre las que tuvo impacto estaba una bebida apreciada en el mundo entero y especialmente en la Alemania natal de Lutero: la cerveza.

El cambio en la producción de cerveza fue provocado por la flor cónica de color verde claro de una planta extremadamente prolífica –el lúpulo.

Toda cervecería artesanal a la última que vende hoy en día cervezas lupuladas tiene una deuda de gratitud con Lutero y sus seguidores por promocionar el uso de lúpulo como un acto de rebelión contra la Iglesia católica. Pero, ¿por qué decidieron los protestantes adoptar esta bonita flor? y ¿qué tenía que ver con la rebelión religiosa?

En ello espumea una amarga jarra de historia.

En el siglo XVI la Iglesia católica tenía un dominio absoluto sobre la producción de cerveza, dado que tenía el monopolio sobre el gruit –la mezcla de hierbas y extractos naturales (mirto de turbera, artemisa, milenrama, hiedra terrestre, brezo, romero, enebro, jengibre, canela) empleados para sazonar y conservar la cerveza. El lúpulo, sin embargo, no estava gravado. Considerado como una mala hierba indeseable, crecía amplia y vigorosamente –su naturaleza invasiva plasmada en su melódico nombre latino, Humulus lúpulos (que el amante de la música Lutero habría amado), que significa "lobo trepador".

"A la iglesia no le gustaba el lúpulo", dice William Bostwick, el crítico de cerveza para The Wall Street Journal y autor de La historia del cervecero: un relato del mundo a través de la cerveza. "Una razón fue que el siglo XII la mística alemana y abadesa Hildegard había declarado que el lúpulo no era bueno, porque "pone triste al alma del hombre y ahoga sus órganos internos". Así, si eras un bebedor de cerveza protestante y querías tocar las narices al catolicismo, usabas lúpulo en vez de hierbas".

Incluso antes de la Reforma, príncipes alemanes habían promovido el lúpulo; en 1516, por ejemplo, una ley bávara estipuló que la cerveza podría hacerse solo con lúpulo, agua y cebada. Pero la revuelta de Lutero dio a la hierba un impulso significativo. El hecho de que el lúpulo estaba libre de impuestos contribuyó solo a una parte del escenario. El lúpulo tenía otras cualidades que llamaron la atención al nuevo movimiento; principalmente, sus excelentes cualidades de conservación. "Todas las hierbas y especias tienen cualidades conservantes, pero con lúpulo la cerveza podía viajar realmente bien, así que se convirtió en una unidad de comercio internacional que simbolizaba la clase empresarial en crecimiento, que estaba indirectamente conectada con la ética de trabajo protestante y el capitalismo", dice Bostwick.

Otra virtud a favor del lúpulo fueron sus propiedades sedativas. La mística Hildegard tenía razón al decir que el lúpulo sobrecargaba nuestras entrañas. "Duermo seis o siete horas seguidas, y después dos o tres. Estoy seguro que es debido a la cerveza", escribió Lutero a su esposa, Katharina, desde la localidad de Torgau, célebre por su cerveza. El efecto soporífero, apacible del lúpulo podía parecer una desventaja, pero de hecho ofrecía una alternativa bienvenida a muchas de las especias y hierbas usadas por la iglesia que tenían propiedades alucinógenas y afrodisíacas. "Avivadas por estos potentes brebajes, las cervezas de la Iglesia podías ser tan escandalosas como las borracheras de las bebidas germánicas que los presbíteros habían desaprobado hacía tiempo". "Y así, para distanciarse ellos mismos más allá de los excesos papales, cuando los protestantes bebían cerveza la preferían con lúpulo".

Si la Iglesia católica perdió el control sobre la palabra impresa con la invención de la imprenta –el arma tecnológica que aseguró el éxito de Lutero– perdió el control sobre la cerveza con el incremento de lúpulo. "La cabeza se ponía hueca con la cerveza monástica", dice Bostwick. ¿Promocionaba el Protestantismo el lúpulo explicitamente? No lo creo. ¿Pero animaba a usar lúpulo? Yo diría que sí, probablemente".

Lutero habría disfrutado su papel de promoción del lúpulo. Si alguien amaba y apreciaba la buena cerveza, era este monje robusto, sensual y sociable. Sus cartas a menudo mencionaban la cerveza, ya fuera la deliciosa cerveza de Torgau que él ensalzaba como más fina que el vino o la "nasty" (repugnante) cerveza de Dessau que le hacía añorar la cerveza artesanal de Katharina. "Sigo pensando qué buen vino y cerveza tengo en casa, además de una hermosa esposa", escribió. "Harías bien en enviarme mi bodega entera de vino y una botella de tu cerveza". Días antes de morir, en febrero de 1546, en una de sus últimas cartas a su esposa, ensalzó la cerveza de Naumburg por sus propiedades laxantes. Lutero padecía sufrimientos muy severos de estreñimiento y por lo tanto anunció con inmensa satisfacción sus "tres movimientos intestinales" esa mañana.

En una época donde el agua no era segura, la cerveza fue la bebida de todos y el combustible nutricional y social de Alemania. "Era realmente una parte natural y muy común de la despensa hogareña", dice Bostwick. "Yo lo comparo en estos días con un pote de café hirviendo a fuego lento en su encimara. En aquellos tiempos era un tonel de cerveza. La cerveza se elaboraba menos por puro placer que por razones medicinales (llevaba incorporadas hierbas y especias) y por puro sustento. Las cervezas entonces eran más ricas y sustanciosas que hoy en día. Eran una fuente de calorías para las clases bajas que no tenían acceso a alimentos ricos".

No es de extrañar que la cerveza surja en momentos cruciales de la vida de Lutero. Especialmente, después de asumir el formidable poder de la Iglesia Católica, un ecuánime Lutero declaró que Dios y la Iglesia lo hicieron todo, "mientras bebía cerveza con mis (amigos) Philipp y Amsdorf". Las enseñanzas de Lutero fueron parodiadas como "cerveza amarga", y uno de sus críticos lo denigró como un hereje de la indecente ciudad mercantil de Wittenberg, poblada por "gente bárbara que vive de cervecerías y tabernas". Pero cuando ganó fama y se convirtió en un héroe popular, se lanzó una gama de mercancías luteranas, que incluía jarras de cerveza representando al papa como el Anticristo.

Cuando el excomulgado Lutero se casó con la monja prófuga Katharina von Bora, el ayuntamiento de la ciudad regaló a la pareja un barril de excelente cerveza de Einbeck. Fue un regalo adecuado. La cerveza iba pronto a ocupar un papel aún más esencial en la vida de Lutero, gracias a su esposa. La inteligente, talentosa y excepcionalmente competente Katharina no solo dio a luz seis niños y administró la gran casa de Lutero con su interminable corriente de huéspedes sino que también cultivaba un jardín de verduras y árboles frutales, criaba vacas y cerdos, tenía un estanque de peces, conducía un carro y –para la eterna delicia de su esposo– abrió una fábrica de cerveza que producía miles de pintas de cerveza al año. Sus trémulos intentos iniciales produjeron una cerveza rala, débil, pero enseguida le cogió el tranquillo y aprendió cuánta malta tenía que añadir para satisfacer el gusto de su marido. Lutero estaba eufórico –Lord Katie, cómo la llamaba cariñosamente, le había asegurado un aprovisionamiento continuo incluso cuando las fábricas de cerveza de Wittenberg se secaban.

El lugar favorito de Lutero para discutir sobre teología, filosofía y la vida en general no era la taberna sino la mesa. La langa mesa dele refectorio en el cavernoso hogar de Lutero tenía lugar para hasta 50 personas. "Este era el dominio especial de Lutero", escribe Andrew Pettegree en su elegante biografía Marca Lutero: Cómo un monje no anunciado cambió la historia. "Después del día de trabajo, se sentaría con sus amigos y conversaría. Avivada por la excelente cerveza de su mujer, la conversación se volvería general, discursiva y algunas veces desinhibida.

Desinhibida es un eufemismo. Voluble, enérgica y con olor a cerveza, la conversación de Lutero zigzagueaba entre lo sublime y lo escatológico, para asombro de sus estudiantes, que anhelaban cada una de sus palabras. La Iglesia fue llamada prostíbulo y el papa, el anticristo. Los anteriores papas "flatulentos como el demonio" y eran sodomitas y trasvestis. Sus estudiantes coleccionaban esas joyas en un libro llamado "Table Talk". Cuando fue publicado, se hizo viral.

Pero aunque obviamente amaba su jarra de cerveza, no hay ninguna crónica de Lutero estando borracho. De hecho, podía ser bastante gruñón cundo se trataba del comportamiento de la gente ebria. Lamentaba la adicción de Alemania a la cerveza, diciendo, "semejante sed eterna me temo que va a seguir siendo la plaga de Alemania hasta el Último Día". Y en una ocasión declaró, "desearía que la producción de cerveza no hubiera sido inventada, porque se consume una gran cantidad de cereal para hacerla y no se produce nada bueno":

Esto fue sin duda un tanto de fanfarronada. A pesar de sus protestas, la jarra de cerveza de Lutero siempre estaba llena. Amaba la cerveza local, se jactaba de las habilidades para producir cerveza de su esposa y lanzó un movimiento que ayudó a promover el lúpulo. ¿Eso lo hace un santo patrón de la cerveza artesanal?

"Lutero podría palidecer un poco como buen protestante al ser llamado santo", apunta Bostwick, "y ya hay un santo de la producción de cerveza llamado San Arnold, que salvó a su congregación de la plaga haciéndoles beber cerveza. En interés del Protestantismo, yo no lo llamaría santo, pero fue sin duda un entusiasta de la cerveza y muchas cervecerías y fabricas de cerveza tienen una pintura de Martin Lutero en la pared. Así digamos que a pesar de que ciertamente no nos arrodillamos ante él, es conocido y apreciado".

¡Lupulado quinientos aniversario Martín Lutero!
Nina Martyris es una periodista residente en Knoxville, Tenn.
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The Other Reformation: How Martin Luther Changed Our Beer, Too.
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Therein foams a bitter pint of history.
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Hops, however, were not taxed.
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But Luther's revolt gave the weed a significant boost.
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The fact that hops were tax-free constituted only part of the draw.
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Another virtue in hops' favor was their sedative properties.
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The mystic Hildegard was right in saying hops weighed down one's innards.
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"I sleep six or seven hours running, and afterwards two or three.
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"The head went flat on monastic beer," says Bostwick.
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"Did Protestantism explicitly promote hops?
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I don't think so.
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But did it encourage the use of hops?
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I would say, yes, probably."
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Luther would have relished his role in promoting hops.
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"I compare it these days to a pot of coffee always simmering on your countertop.
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Back then it was a kettle of beer.
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Beers then were richer and heartier than today.
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Not surprisingly, beer pops up at pivotal moments in Luther's life.
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It was a fitting gift.
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The long refectory table in the cavernous Luther home seated up to 50 people.
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"The day's labors past, he would sit with his friends and talk.
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Unbuttoned is an understatement.
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The church was called a brothel and the pope the Antichrist.
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Former popes "farted like the devil" and were sodomites and transvestites.
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His students collected these jewels into a book called Table Talk.
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When it was published, it went viral.
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In fact, he could be quite a scold when it came to drunken behavior.
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This was no doubt a spot of grandstanding.
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For all his protestations, Luther's beer stein was always full.
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Does that make him a patron saint of the craft brewery?
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Hoppy Quincentennial, Martin Luther!
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Nina Martyris is a journalist based in Knoxville, Tenn.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year ago

The Other Reformation: How Martin Luther Changed Our Beer, Too.

Nina Martyris, NPR, The Salt, Food History & Culture, October 31, 2017.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/10/31/561117731/the-other-reformation-how-martin-luther-changed-our-beer-too.

On this day 500 years ago, an obscure Saxon monk launched a protest movement against the Catholic Church that would transform Europe. Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation changed not just the way Europeans lived, fought, worshipped, worked and created art but also how they ate and drank. For among the things it impacted was a drink beloved throughout the world and especially in Luther's native Germany: beer.

The change in beer production was wrought by the pale green conical flower of a wildly prolific plant — hops.

Every hip craft brewery today peddling expensive hoppy beers owes a debt of gratitude to Luther and his followers for promoting the use of hops as an act of rebellion against the Catholic Church. But why did Protestants decide to embrace this pretty flower, and what did it have to do with religious rebellion?

Therein foams a bitter pint of history.

In the 16th century, the Catholic Church had a stranglehold on beer production, since it held the monopoly on gruit — the mixture of herbs and botanicals (sweet gale, mug wort, yarrow, ground ivy, heather, rosemary, juniper berries, ginger, cinnamon) used to flavor and preserve beer. Hops, however, were not taxed. Considered undesirable weeds, they grew plentifully and vigorously — their invasive nature captured by their melodic Latin name, Humulus lupulus (which the music-loving Luther would have loved), which means "climbing wolf."

"The church didn't like hops," says William Bostwick, the beer critic for The Wall Street Journal and author of The Brewer's Tale: A History of the World According to Beer. "One reason was that the 12th century German mystic and abbess Hildegard had pronounced that hops were not very good for you, because they 'make the soul of a man sad and weigh down his inner organs.' So, if you were a Protestant brewer and wanted to thumb your nose at Catholicism, you used hops instead of herbs."

Even before the Reformation, German princes had been moving toward hops — in 1516, for instance, a Bavarian law mandated that beer could be made only with hops, water and barley. But Luther's revolt gave the weed a significant boost. The fact that hops were tax-free constituted only part of the draw. Hops had other qualities that appealed to the new movement; chiefly, their excellent preservative qualities. "All herbs and spices have preservative qualities, but with hops, beer could travel really well, so it became a unit of international trade that symbolized the growing business class, which was tangentially connected with the Protestant work ethic and capitalism," says Bostwick.

Another virtue in hops' favor was their sedative properties. The mystic Hildegard was right in saying hops weighed down one's innards. "I sleep six or seven hours running, and afterwards two or three. I am sure it is owing to the beer," wrote Luther to his wife, Katharina, from the town of Torgau, renowned for its beer. The soporific, mellowing effect of hops might seem like a drawback, but in fact it offered a welcome alternative to many of the spices and herbs used by the church that had hallucinogenic and aphrodisiacal properties. "Fueled by these potent concoctions, church ales could be as boisterous as the Germanic drinking bouts church elders once frowned on," writes Bostwick. "And so, to distance themselves further from papal excesses, when Protestants drank beer they preferred it hopped."

If the Catholic Church lost control over the printed word with the invention of the printing press — the technological weapon that ensured Luther's success — it lost control over beer with the rise of hops. "The head went flat on monastic beer," says Bostwick. "Did Protestantism explicitly promote hops? I don't think so. But did it encourage the use of hops? I would say, yes, probably."

Luther would have relished his role in promoting hops. If anyone loved and appreciated good beer, it was this stout, sensual and gregarious monk. His letters often mentioned beer, whether it was the delicious Torgau beer that he extolled as finer than wine or the "nasty" Dessau beer that made him long for Katharina's homebrew. "I keep thinking what good wine and beer I have at home, as well as a beautiful wife," he wrote. "You would do well to send me over my whole cellar of wine and a bottle of thy beer." Days before he died, in February 1546, in one of his last letters to his wife, he praised Naumburg beer for its laxative properties. Luther suffered excruciating agonies from constipation, and it was therefore with immense satisfaction that he announced his "three bowel movements" that morning.

In an age where the water was unsafe, beer was drunk by everyone and was the nutritional and social fuel of Germany. "It was a really natural and very common part of every household pantry," says Bostwick. "I compare it these days to a pot of coffee always simmering on your countertop. Back then it was a kettle of beer. Beer was brewed less for pure enjoyment than for medicinal reasons (it incorporated herbs and spices) and for pure sustenance. Beers then were richer and heartier than today. They were a source of calories for the lower classes who did not have access to rich foods."

Not surprisingly, beer pops up at pivotal moments in Luther's life. Most notably, after taking on the formidable might of the Catholic Church, an unruffled Luther famously declared that God and the Word did everything, "while I drank beer with my [friends] Philipp and Amsdorf." Luther's teachings were mocked as "sour beer," and one of his critics disparaged him as a heretic from the filthy market town of Wittenberg, populated by "a barbarous people who make their living from breweries and saloons." But as he gained fame and became a popular hero, a range of Lutheran merchandise was launched, including beer mugs featuring the pope as the Antichrist.

When the excommunicated Luther married the runaway nun Katharina von Bora, the town council gave the couple a barrel of excellent Einbeck beer. It was a fitting gift. Beer was soon to assume an even more central role in Luther's life, thanks to his wife. The intelligent, talented and exceptionally competent Katharina not only bore six children and managed the Luthers' large household with its endless stream of guests but also planted a vegetable garden and fruit trees, raised cows and pigs, had a fish pond, drove a wagon, and — to her husband's undying delight — opened a brewery that produced thousands of pints of beer each year. Her initial shaky attempts produced a thin, weak brew, but she soon got the hang of it and learned exactly how much malt to add to suit her husband's taste. Luther was ecstatic — Lord Katie, as he affectionately called her, had assured him a steady supply even when Wittenberg's breweries ran dry.

Luther's favorite spot to hold forth on theology, philosophy and life in general was not the tavern but the table. The long refectory table in the cavernous Luther home seated up to 50 people. "This was Luther's especial domain," writes Andrew Pettegree in his elegant biography Brand Luther: How an Unheralded Monk Turned History. "The day's labors past, he would sit with his friends and talk. Fueled by his wife's excellent beer, conversation would become general, discursive, and sometimes unbuttoned."

Unbuttoned is an understatement. Voluble, energetic and beery, Luther's conversation zigged and zagged between the sublime and the scatological, to the amazement of his students, who hung on his every word. The church was called a brothel and the pope the Antichrist. Former popes "farted like the devil" and were sodomites and transvestites. His students collected these jewels into a book called Table Talk. When it was published, it went viral.

But though he clearly loved his tankard, there is no record of Luther being a lush. In fact, he could be quite a scold when it came to drunken behavior. He lamented the German addiction to beer, saying, "such an eternal thirst, I am afraid, will remain as Germany's plague until the Last Day." And he once declared, "I wish brewing had never been invented, for a great deal of grain is consumed to make it, and nothing good is brewed."

This was no doubt a spot of grandstanding. For all his protestations, Luther's beer stein was always full. He loved local beer, boasted of his wife's brewing skills, and launched a movement that helped promote hops. Does that make him a patron saint of the craft brewery?

"Luther might blanch a bit as a good Protestant at being called a saint," points out Bostwick, "and there's already a brewery saint called St. Arnold, who saved his congregation from the plague by making them drink beer. In the interests of Protestantism, I wouldn't call him a saint, but he was certainly a beer enthusiast, and many a beer bar and brewery today has a picture of Martin Luther on their wall. So let's say that while we certainly don't genuflect to him, he's known and appreciated."

Hoppy Quincentennial, Martin Luther!
Nina Martyris is a journalist based in Knoxville, Tenn.