1) Occupational term, linked to Dutch immigrants to East Yorkshire in the fifteenth century.
Although ‘beer’ is a word on record in Old English its etymology is uncertain. It was used much later of the alcoholic liquor flavoured with hops which began to compete with ‘ale’, the traditional English drink. The OED has references of 1529 and 1542 which link beer with Dutchmen and the first date quoted for ‘beer-brewer’ is 1465. However, the Yorkshire evidence takes it back to the early years of that century and almost all the names of beer-brewers recorded, in a variety of east-coast locations, are obviously those of Dutchmen, e.g. 1416 Florencius Janson, berebrewer, York
1423 Jacobus Garardson, berebrewer, York
1493 Cornelius Arteson, Scarborough
1503 Brand Adrianson, Hull . It served as a surname in the latter part of that period, no doubt given to men from the Low Countries where surnames were less well established: 1490-1 the shippe of Henry Berebrewer, York
1520 Arthur Berebruer, Hull. The hops which gave beer its distinctive flavour are mentioned in English sources from c.1440 but earlier references seem likely to turn up, especially where there is east-coast evidence for imports. Records which survive for Hull are later than 1440 but they include hops in the first cargoes listed: 1453 2 hodes hoppe in the Anne de Hull, boat of John Harrison.