Given the right combination of sugars, almost any cereal will undergo simple fermentation, due to the presence of wild yeasts in the air. It seems likely our cave-dwelling ancestors experienced their first beer, as the result of this process.
From Wikipedia: “Alulu beer receipt – This records a purchase of “best” beer from a brewer, c. 2050 BC from the Sumerian city of Umma in ancient Iraq”.
Starch dusted stones were found with the remains of doum-palm and chamomile in the 18,000-year old Wadi Kubbaniya in upper Egypt. While it’s difficult to confirm, University of Pennsylvania archaeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern says, “it’s very likely they were making beer there”.
Chemical analysis of pottery shards date the earliest barley beer to 3400BC, in the Zagros Mountains of Iran.
Wine seemed better suited to the sensibilities of the Roman palate, when Tacitus maligned the bitter brew of Germanic barbarians. Nevertheless, the letters…
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