F.W. Maitland, Domesday Book and Beyond (a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror.)
As the sum stands, we are at present proposing to give to each person a great deal more wheat-flour than would be obtained if the total amount consumed now-a-days in the United Kingdom were divided by the number of its inhabitants’. But it need hardly be said that the problem is far more complex than are our figures. In the first place, we have to withdraw from the men of 1086 a large quantity, perhaps more than a half, of the wheat-flour that we have given them in order to supply its place with other cereals, in particular with barley and oats, much of which, together with some of the wheat’, will be consumed in the form of beer. And who shall fathom that ocean ? Multum biberunt de cerevisia Anglicana, as the pope said. Their choice lay for the more part between beer and water. In the twelfth century the corn-rents paid to the bishop of Durham often comprised malt, wheat and oats in equal quantities’. In the next century the economy of the canons of S‘. Paul’s was so arranged that for every 30 quarters of wheat that went to make bread, 7 quarters of wheat, 7 of barley and 32 of oats went to make beer.
The weekly allowance of every canon included 30 gallons. In one year their brewery seems to have produced 67,814 gallons from 175 quarters of wheat, a like quantity of barley and 708 quarters of oats’. With such figures before us, it becomes a serious question whether we can devote less than a third of the sown land to the provision of drink. The monk, who would have growled if he got less than a gallon a day, would, we may suppose, consume in the course of a year 20 bushels of barley or an equivalent amount of other grain : in other words, the produce, when seed-corn is deducted, of from two to three acres of land; and perhaps to every mouth in England we must give half a gallon daily.
ספר התרומה הלכות עכו"ם סימן קנז
רב פפא הוי מפקין ליה שכרא אבבא דחנוותא ושתי. רב אחא מייתו ליה לביתיה ושתי. תרוייהו סברי משום חתנות ורב אחא עביד הרחקה יתירה. וסתם יינן דאסור משום בנותיהן אפי' בבית ישראל אסור דאיכא טפי קרובי דעתא מבשכר.
Rav Pappa had them bring out the beer belonging to gentiles from the store to the entrance of the store, and he would drink it there.
Rav Aḥai had them bring the beer to his house, and he would drink it there.
And both of them did so out of concern for marriage. Rav Aḥai established an extreme preventive measure.
But with wine which is prohibited lest one come to marry their daughters, even in the Jew's house it is prohibited for wine brings people closer than beer.
ראבי"ה תשובות וביאורי סוגיות סימן אלף ס
ובספר הישר כתב הכי, מפני מה אסרו שכר של גוים, לא מצינו שום איסור בשכר מדברי התנאים אלא שהאמוראים חזרו ביה חשש חתנות ולא כל כך כמו בפת שאפאו גוי שהרי זה השכר שלנו היקלו שהוא נעשה ממנו הוא נאכל כמות שהוא חי ובבית ישראל מותר אם בשלו גוי בבית ישראל והואיל ואין בו משום בישולי גוים לית ביה משום חתנות....
ולא עמדתי על דבריו שא"כ אפילו בשלו גוי בבית גוי מותר לשתותו, ...
מכל מקום גבי שכר שלנו הנעשים מתבואה המיושנת, דהיינו כשתיתא, נראה להיתר כדפרישית, ואפילו לשתות בבית הגוי ואפילו אם בישלו הגוי בבית הגוי. ושמעתי אומרים שפעמים משליך הגוי לתוכו שומן חזיר וגם מושחין בו שולי קדירה כדי שלא תשרף, ואומר אני דאף בזה לא נאסור דידוע לכל שהש[ו]מן נותן טעם לפגם בשכר ומותר.
It says in the Sefer Hayashar: Why did the prohibit the beer of the Gentiles? We have not found any prohibition of beer in the words of the Tannaim. Rather the Amoraim initiated this because of fear of marriage. But not such a strong prohibition like the case of bread cooked by a Gentile. For our beer, the grains it is made from can be eaten raw [and food that can be eaten raw can be eaten when cooked by a Gentile]. And in the house of a Jew it is permitted to drink the beer even if it was cooked by a non-Jew. And since it is not prohibited because of the prohibition of food cooked by a Gentile, it is also not prohibited because of the concern for marriage.
But I did not understand his words, for if this is so, even if the non-Jew brewed the beer in his own house, it should be permitted to drink it.
In any case, with regard to our beer, which is made from aged grain, it seems that this should be permitted, and even to drink in the house of the Gentile, and even if the Gentile permitted it. And I have heard them say that sometimes the Gentile puts lard in it and smears the sides of the cauldron with lard so that the beer does not burn. And I say that even so it is permitted, for we should not prohibit this for everyone knows that the fat gives a bad taste to beer and it is permitted.
From Haym Soloveitchik, Wine in Ashkenaz in the Middle Ages, p. 315 (my translation)
In the Hellenistic world around the Mediterranean basin, where vines grow plentifuly, beer was considered a second-rate beverage and was not the basis of companionship. Babylonia, on the other hand, is not wine country, and beer there was always "the wine of the region." Thus only in Babylonia and only in the Bavli do we hear of a decree against beer. Since Europe was first settled by Jewish immigrants from the Roman Empire, they did not even know of a prohibition of beer. When the Bavli became accepted there as the source of authority, it is doubtful whether the community knew of this prohibition, which is mentioned, after all, on only a few lines of the Bavli, in Tractate Avodah Zarah, a tractate not learned in Ashkenaz. There is no doubt that over the generations this prohibition became known, but since in the regions of the Rhine, Champagne and Paris they did not drink much beer, knowing the prohibition had little effect. Thus, unlike the prohibition of wine, the prohibition of beer was not deeply entrenched in the self-identity of Ashkenazi Jews. Yayin nesekh was also related to the long-lasting struggle against paganism, a struggle which left an unerasable mark on both halakhah and popular sentiment. The loathing of idolatry and anything connected to it penetrated deeply into the people's spirit, and even in "the land of Edom" where idolaters did not libate their wine, the abhorrence of drinking Gentile wine did not dissipate. Beer had no similar background, and therefore did not arouse any associations, or loathing that such associations could engender. The prohibition is abstract and marginal in the laws of Avodah Zarah, and was thought of in this way in the academies of the Tosafot.