Welcome to the blog. I have written about beer and spirits for over 25 years. In addition to countless articles on beer and malted spirits, I’m the author of two books on beer and brewing history, one of which was named one the outstanding beer and wine books of the year by Food and Wine Magazine.Needless to say, this is my passion.

So first, why the title of the blog, From the Good Earth? Well, one of my favorite things about the subject if that it really is something put here by God, or nature, or a higher being. Something completely natural that happened without any real input from us. Over the centuries we’ve refined, tweaked, changed and perfected the process. But at it’s heart — it is a natural, spontaneous occurrence that we discovered.

So how did beer start? Nobody knows really. There’s no Louis Pasture or Wright brothers who one day announced, “hey everybody look! I invented beer!”

Dating back as far as 3,500 BC we know there was beer. An archaeological dig in the Sumerian settlement at Godin Tepe found chemical traces of beer on the fragment of a jar.

So how did this start? Well, the one theory that I believe seems the most logical is by accident. A barrel or container of grain was left outside when the rains came. The grain soaked in the the water for a number of days as wild yeast from the air proceeded to fall into the container, and thus began a rudimentary fermentation process. For some reason, someone drank from the liquid in the barrel and enjoyed the effects. And thus the first beer was born.

Over the centuries we’ve figured out the process — refined, controlled and perfected to give us the magnificent gift we have today.

As Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Beer is sure and absolute proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

So what about distilled, malted spirits? Something I’ve always considered a perfection of an already perfect product.

Just a quick aside, for those of you who don’t know, malted spirits are basically distilled beer. But more on that in the upcoming months.

So distillation. Some people credit the people of southern Italy in the 12th century while others, backed by archeological evidence trace it’s origins back to early 12th century China. But does anybody really care? All that matters is they did it. And it eventually spread to Scotland and then across the Atlantic to Kentucky and to points everywhere. And each and every one of us is richer because of it.

So what will you find here? I have no idea. Some days will be beer and spirit folklore and history. Some days will be reviews of new products I’ve discovered and want to share. Certain days will be a review of a new brewery or distillery. So basically, whatever catches my attention.

And I’d love to hear from you. What have you discovered that I should share with the readers?

I hope you enjoy what you find here and your input will only make it better and more diverse. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any input or questions.

Here we go!


Patrick Higgins has written on beer and spirits for over 25 years for numerous publications. He is the author of two best selling books on beer and brewing, one of which was named one of the outstanding books of the year by Food and Wine Magazine.

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