500 years ago
Even before the Reformation, German princes had been moving toward hops — in 1516, for instance, a Bavarian law mandated that beer could be made only with hops, water and barley. But Luther’s revolt gave the weed a significant boost. The fact that hops were tax-free constituted only part of the draw. Hops had other qualities that appealed to the new movement; chiefly, their excellent preservative qualities. “All herbs and spices have preservative qualities, but with hops, beer could travel really well, so it became a unit of international trade that symbolized the growing business class, which was tangentially connected with the Protestant work ethic and capitalism,” says Bostwick.
So some of the move towards happened before. And some might have been driven by prices in the form of taxes. And some was about preservatives which was about trade that “symbolized the growing business class, which was tangentially [!!!] connected with the Protestant work ethic and capitalism”
What a steaming pile.