Ah, beer. A rich tapestry of tasty treats from brooding, rich dark ales through to crisp, spritzy and refreshing lagers. From traditional Belgian beer through to exciting, heavily hopped craft IPA and APA! Beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world, and dates back to some of the earliest known civilisations in ancient Mesopotamia (where there was even a goddess of brewing, Ninkasi) and Egypt. The earliest documented use of hops in brewing, meanwhile, dates back to Benedictine monks in 822. It would be centuries before they were widely adopted ahead of gruit (a selection of herbs) for their preservative qualities, however. Today hops are used for their flavour, which they lend to a wide variety of styles from British bitter to Czech and German Pilsner to Pale Ales from all around the world.