The Sumerians' resourcefulness and prosperity soon became a magnet for other people around them. These strangers probably wanted all of the fantastic beer the Sumerians were brewing. Newcomers, mostly Semitic tribes from the north and west, began to move into
Initially, the future of beer in Babylonia seemed promising, because the new rulers of Mesopotamia, like all good conquerors, took what was working for the Sumerians and made it their own. While beer in Sumeria was mostly a matter of religion, beer in
Unlike the loosely regulated (liberal-minded) Sumerian culture the Babylonians loved their discipline. All things in Babylonian society were heavily regulated and beer was no exception, especially once Hamurabi, the 6th king, took over. Hammurabi’s famous Code classifies beer into 20 different categories, each of which we would now call a beer style. By defining beer categories in the legal code, Hamurabi was the first to regulate the production of beer. The consumption of beer did not escape his regulation either. Hamurabi slapped price controls on the brewers and innkeepers, a historical first!
In Babylonian times beer was cloudy and unfiltered (hefewiezen say what?). Drinking straws were used to avoid getting the bitter brewing residue in the mouth. Beer from