en-fr  The Other Reformation: How Martin Luther Changed Our Beer, Too
L'autre réforme : comment Martin Luther changea notre bière, aussi.

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.

Il y a 500 ans aujourd'hui, un obscur moine saxon lançait un mouvement de contestation contre l'Église Catholique qui allait transformer l'Europe. La réforme protestante de Martin Luther ne changea pas seulement la manière dont les européens vivaient, se battaient, adoraient, travaillaient et créaient mais également comment ils mangeaient et buvaient. Car parmi les choses qu'il impacta fut une boisson aimée du monde entier et spécialement de l'Allemagne natale de Luther : la bière.

Le changement dans la production de bière fut amené par la fleur conique vert pâle d'une plante sauvage prolifique - le houblon.

Aujourd'hui chaque brasserie branchée vendant des bières houblonnées coûteuses doit être reconnaissante à Luther et à ses successeurs pour avoir promu le houblon comme un acte de rébellion contre l'Église Catholique. Mais pourquoi les protestants ont-ils adoptés cette jolie fleur et qu'ont-ils fait avec la rébellion religieuse.

À cet égard voici une pinte amère d'histoire.

Au XVIe siècle, l'Église Catholique avait la mainmise sur la production de bière, depuis qu'elle tenait le monopole du gruit — le mélange d'herbes et d'extraits de plantes (le piment royal, l'armoise commune, la mille-feuille, le lierre terrestre, la bruyère, le romarin, les baies de genévrier, le gingembre, la cannelle) utilisé pour parfumer et conserver la bière. Le houblon, cependant, n'était pas taxé. Considéré comme des mauvaises herbes indésirables, ils poussaient abondamment et vigoureusement — leur nature invasive ayant donné leur nom latin mélodieux, Humulus lupulus (que le mélomane Luther aurait adoré), qui signifie "loup grimpant".

"L'église n'aiamit pas le houblon," dit William Bostwick, le critique spécialiste de la bière du Wall Street Journal et auteur de Le Conte du Brasseur : une histoire du monde selon la bière. Une raison fut que l'abbesse Hildegard mystique allemande du XIIe siècle, avait déclaré que le houblon n'était pas très bon pour vous, car il "rend l'âme de l'homme triste et alourdit ses organes internes". Ainsi, si vous étiez un brasseur protestant et que vous vouliez faire un pied-de-nez au Catholicisme, vous utilisiez le houblon à la place des herbes.

Même avant la Réforme, les princes allemands s'étaient orientés vers le houblon — en 1516, par exemple, une loi bavaroise exigeait que la bière ne soit faite qu'avec du houblon, de l'eau et de l'orge. Mais la révolte de Luther donna à la mauvaise herbe un coup de pouce significatif. Le fait que le houblon soit exempt de taxes ne constituait qu'une partie du succès. Le houblon avait d'autres qualités qui attiraient le nouveau mouvement : en premier lieu son excellente qualité conservatrice. "Toutes les herbes et épices ont des qualités conservatrices, mais avec le houblon, la bière pouvait vraiment bien voyager, et devenait donc une unité de commerce international qui symbolisait la classe d'affaire en pleine croissance, qui était indirectement connectée avec le travail éthique protestant et le capitalisme" dit Bostwick.

Une autre vertu des bienfaits du houblon était ses propriétés sédatives. La mystique Hildegard avait raison en disant que le houblon alourdissait les entrailles de celui qui en consommait. "Je dors six à sept heures d'affilée et ensuite deux ou trois heures. Je suis sûr que c'est à cause de la bière," écrivait Luther à sa femme, Katharina, depuis la ville de Torgau, renommée pour sa bière. L'effet soporifique et calmant du houblon pourrait semblé être un désavantage, mais, en fait, il offre une alternative bienvenue aux nombreuses épices et herbes utilisées par l'église qui ont des propriétés hallucinogène et aphrodisiaque. "Alimentée par ces mélanges puissants, les bières de l'église peuvent être aussi excitantes que les périodes de beuverie allemande que les aînés de l'église avaient autrefois désapprouvé." écrit Bostwick. "Et donc, pour prendre leurs distances avec les excès papaux, lorsque les protestants buvaient de la bière, ils la préféraient houblonnée."

Si l'Église Catholique a perdu le contrôle des imprimés avec l'invention de la machine à imprimer — l'arme technologique qui assura le succès de Luther — elle perd le contrôle sur la bière avec la montée en puissance du houblon. La direction abandonna la bière monastique. Est-ce que le protestantisme a promu ouvertement le houblon ? Je ne le pense pas. Mais a-t-il encouragé l'usage du houblon ? Je dirais, oui, probablement. "

Luther aurait pris plaisir dans son rôle de promotion du houblon. Si quelqu'un adorait et appréciait la bonne bière, c'était bien ce moine corpulent, sensuel et sociable. 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.
unit 1
The Other Reformation: How Martin Luther Changed Our Beer, Too.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 3 weeks ago
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Therein foams a bitter pint of history.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 3 weeks ago
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Hops, however, were not taxed.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 3 weeks ago
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But Luther's revolt gave the weed a significant boost.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 3 weeks ago
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The fact that hops were tax-free constituted only part of the draw.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 3 weeks ago
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Another virtue in hops' favor was their sedative properties.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 3 weeks ago
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The mystic Hildegard was right in saying hops weighed down one's innards.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 3 weeks ago
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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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If anyone loved and appreciated good beer, it was this stout, sensual and gregarious monk.
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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 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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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.
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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.