Industrial Revolution Paper

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In my research thus far I have found that alcohol, the beverage business, and the attitudes surrounding alcohol experienced significant changes during the Industrial Revolution. Alcohol would have never been mass produced without the technology developed during the revolution. Existing varieties of beverages such as beer would not have experienced improvements or variations without this period. Temperance movements gained popularity during this period and were successful in vilifying alcohol consumption.

Key Points
1. The Industrial Revolution allowed for the mass production of beer.
2. Technology developed during the Industrial Revolution shaped modern alcoholic offerings.
3. Temperance movements gained traction during this period.


This topic relates to A-S 121 Liquid Libations in that alcohol had a significant presence in the working class during Industrial Revolution. Our class focuses on the history of different beverages. The Industrial Revolution produced workers who used alcohol as a medicine, a mental escape, and a social tool. As temperance movements progressed during this period, employers also sought to keep it out of workplaces to cut down on accidents, errors, absenteeism, etc.

Temperance movements also made consuming alcohol and public drunkeness less socially acceptable by deeming them sinful and a risk to their ability to be in good standing with their god. The Industrial Revolution also gave way to the mass production of alcohol, thus making beverages such as beer even more popular outside the workplace. This mass production also gave way to new variations of alcoholic beverages.

The Industrial Revolution was a period of transition from an agrarian lifestyle to more dense city populations, increased factory jobs, and technological innovations. This revolution is credited for the creation of the middle class and shaping the global economy. (CITATION) The revolution spanned from the mid 1700s to the mid 1800s in the United States and parts of Europe.

The advancement of technology during this period lead to the mass production of alcoholic beverages, such as beer. The introduction of steam power energy to the brewing industry allowed for increased production and efficiency. The steam engine could be used to pump water, wort, and beer, grind up malts, stir, and raise casks out of cellars. One device developed during this time which changed beer was the thermometer. Temping batches properly allowed brewers to avoid spoilage.

The saccharometer which was invented by English chemist and inventor Benjamin Martin in 1770. The device measured density in the beer, which they used as a measure of sweetness. The hydrometer was invented by English chemist William Nicholson in 1790. It allowed brewmasters to measure composition relevant to a malts yield. This allowed brewers to calculate the yield from different malts in a single batch, which lead to more variety, as well as less errors and waste.

It also lead to most brewers switching to pale malt with more colorful malt supplemented in because they found that pale malts had the highest yield per batch. The invention of the drum malt roaster by British engineer David Wheeler in 1818 allowed brewers to evenly roast malts in a revolving drum inspired by coffee roasting. This changed the taste of the beer, as fire roasted malts had always had a smokey flavor.

The smokey flavor was due to the use of wood fires, charcoal fires, or straw fires. The color of the beer also changed as a result of the drum malt roaster. The materials previously used in the fires caused beer to have a darker color from the smoke. This was important because beer sold at this time was not legally allowed to have added colorants in Great Britain. CITATION Temperance movements aimed to keep the newly created middle class away from alcohol during this time. As factory work was common and often tiring, workers united over post-work drinks. Some workers were even paid in beer. Parliament legalized liquor as a form of payment in 1790. (CITATION) Alcohol was originally thought of as an acceptable beverage in the workplace, having been used as a stimulant, social tool for celebrations and team building, and providing a mental escape.  

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Industrial Revolution Paper. (2019, May 07). Retrieved February 29, 2024 , from

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