Beer, thought to be the first alcoholic beverage known to civilization, can be traced back for millennia. Four thousand years ago, after a wedding in Babylon, and for one month thereafter, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the beer or mead that he could drink. Because the month following the wedding was called the "honey month", this evolved into "honeymoon". As mead was derived from honey, how else to celebrate the wedding?
Ancient Romans thought of beer as a beverage of barbarians. They preferred wine, using hops instead of asparagus-like vegetables. In ancient Egypt, food staples included bread, vegetables, and beer, although the ingredients are not certain, whether made from wheat or barley. Possibly loaves of bread were soaked and fermented with dates as the likely flavoring.
The oldest records come from the Sumerians at the time of the domestication of early cereal crops. Beer was so important in the lives of everyone whether man or woman, high-born or low-class, that there was a punishment for the owners of beer parlors who overcharged their customers. They were put to death by drowning. Records from this time, as recorded on clay tablets, referred to a kind of bread that was used in brewing, so exclusively that it could only be eaten during food shortages. The fermentation of grains into beer, like all great discoveries, was initially accidental. It originated is a result of man's settling down from his nomadic wanderings into the pursuits of farming and cattle-raising and is therefore a byproduct of civilization. Its value to the health and well-being of man is a matter of debate. Most certainly, it is a physiological depressant, and a focus of social gatherings, but like any mind-altering substance, it requires moderation to be of maximum effectiveness over the long term.
The first can of beer appeared in 1935, brewed by Krueger Brewing Company of Richmond, Virginia, known as "Krueger Cream Ale."
It is more difficult to establish the first beer "fan", for certainly the variations in brands, and even the differences between wine and beer established the personality and loyalty of its followers, so much so, that competition in advertising has produced significant collectibles. Unlike child's advertising, most breweriana consists of functional items. Adult males do not require associations with imaginary characters (other than perhaps bubbly, smiling, bar maids) Other beer collectibles include serving trays, counter lights, novelty bottles, oversized cans, in fact anything that functions to transport and serve the product, and which displays the emblem of the company. These are all subject to a loyal fan's interest.