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Old 02-14-2021, 07:34 AM
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Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed what may be the world's oldest beer factory
By: AP Samy Magdy - Associated Press - 02-14-21

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Pottery basins which archaeologists say had been used to heat up a mixture of grains and water to produce beer, in Abydos, Egypt, image provided February 13, 2021. Egyptian Antiquities Ministry via AP

* Archaeologists have discovered what may be the world's oldest beer factory at an ancient burial ground in Egypt.

* The roughly 5,000-year-old brewery includes hundreds of pottery basins, which were used to heat a mixture of grains and water to make beer.

* The beer may have been used for royal or sacrifical rituals in ancient Egypt.

CAIRO (AP) — American and Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed what could be the oldest known beer factory at one of the most prominent archaeological sites of ancient Egypt, a top antiquities official said on Wednesday.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the factory was found in Abydos, an ancient burial ground located in the desert west of the Nile River, over 450 kilometers (280 miles) south of Cairo.

He said the factory apparently dates back to the region of King Narmer, who is widely known for his unification of ancient Egypt at the beginning of the First Dynastic Period (3150 B.C.- 2613 B.C.).

Archaeologists found eight huge units — each is 20 meters (about 65 feet) long and 2.5 meters (about 8 feet) wide. Each unit includes some 40 pottery basins in two rows, which had been used to heat up a mixture of grains and water to produce beer, Waziri said.

The joint mission is co-chaired by Dr. Matthew Adams of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and Deborah Vischak, assistant professor of ancient Egyptian art history and archaeology at Princeton University.

Adams said the factory was apparently built in this area to provide royal rituals with beer, given that archaeologists found evidences showing the use of beer in sacrificial rites of ancient Egyptians.

British archaeologists were the first to mention the existence of that factory early 1900s, but they couldn't determine its location, the antiquities ministry said.

With its vast cemeteries and temples from the earliest times of ancient Egypt, Abydos was known for monuments honoring Osiris, ancient Egypt's god of underworld and the deity responsible for judging souls in the afterlife.

The necropolis had been used in every period of early Egyptian history, from the prehistoric age to Roman times.

Egypt has announced dozens of ancient discoveries in the past couple of years, in the hope of attracting more tourists.

The tourism industry has been reeling from the political turmoil following the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The sector was also dealt a further blow last year by the coronavirus pandemic.

Note: Read the original article on Associated Press. Copyright 2021. Follow Associated Press on Twitter.

The History of Beer

A. Beer is one of the oldest drinks humans have produced. The first chemically confirmed barley beer dates back to the 5th millennium BC in Iran, and was recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and spread throughout the world. Though, the ancient Chinese artifacts suggested that beer brewed with grapes, honey, hawthorns, and rice were produced as far back as 7,000 BC.[2]

As almost any cereal containing certain sugars can undergo spontaneous fermentation due to wild yeasts in the air, it is possible that beer-like drinks were independently developed throughout the world soon after a tribe or culture had domesticated cereal. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced as far back as about 7,000 years ago in what is today Iran.[3] This discovery reveals one of the earliest known uses of fermentation and is the earliest evidence of brewing to date.[4]

In Mesopotamia, the oldest evidence of beer is believed to be a 6,000-year-old Sumerian tablet depicting people consuming a drink through reed straws from a communal bowl. A 3,900-year-old Sumerian poem honouring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from bread made from barley.

In China, residue on pottery dating from around 5,000 years ago shows beer was brewed using barley and other grains.[5]

The invention of bread and beer has been argued to be responsible for humanity's ability to develop technology and build civilization.[6][7][8] The earliest chemically confirmed barley beer to date was discovered at Godin Tepe in the central Zagros Mountains of Iran, where fragments of a jug, from between 5,400 and 5,000 years ago was found to be coated with beerstone, a by-product of the brewing process.[9]

Beer may have been known in Neolithic Europe as far back as 5,000 years ago,[10] and was mainly brewed on a domestic scale.[11]

Beer produced before the Industrial Revolution continued to be made and sold on a domestic scale, although by the 7th century AD beer was also being produced and sold by European monasteries. During the Industrial Revolution, the production of beer moved from artisanal manufacture to industrial manufacture, and domestic manufacture ceased to be significant by the end of the 19th century.[12] The development of hydrometers and thermometers changed brewing by allowing the brewer more control of the process, and greater knowledge of the results.

Today, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries.[13] More than 133 billion liters (35 billion gallons) are sold per year—producing total global revenues of $294.5 billion (£147.7 billion) in 2006.[14]

B. Early Beer(s):

Ancient Egyptian cuisine:

As almost any cereal containing certain sugars can undergo spontaneous fermentation due to wild yeasts in the air, it is possible that beer-like drinks were independently developed throughout the world soon after a tribe or culture had domesticated cereal. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced about 3,500 BC in what is today Iran, and was one of the first-known biological engineering tasks where the biological process of fermentation is used. Also, archaeological findings show that Chinese villagers were brewing fermented alcoholic drinks as far back as 7000 BC on small and individual scale, with the production process and methods similar to that of ancient Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia.[15]

The earliest archaeological evidence of fermentation consists of 13,000-year-old residues of a beer with the consistency of gruel, used by the semi-nomadic Natufians for ritual feasting, at the Raqefet Cave in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa in Israel.[16][17]

In Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq), early evidence of beer is a 3,900-year-old Sumerian poem honoring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, which contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread.[18] Approximately 5,000 years ago, workers in the city of Uruk were paid by their employers in beer.[19]

"Ninkasi, you are the one who pours out the filtered beer of the collector vat"

"It is [like] the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates."[20]

Beer is also mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, in which the 'wild man' Enkidu is given beer to drink. "... he ate until he was full, drank seven pitchers of beer, his heart grew light, his face glowed and he sang out with joy."

In February 2019, archaeologists from Mola Headland Infrastructure and experts from Highways England found evidence of first Iron Age beer dated back over 2,000 years during road works in Cambridgeshire.[21][22][23][24] In February 2021, archaeologists found a 5,000-old beer factory in Abydos, Egypt, dating back to the reign of King Narmer, Early Dynastic Period.[25]

“It’s a well-known fact that ancient populations used the beer-making process to purify water and create a safe source of hydration, but this is potentially the earliest physical evidence of that process taking place in the UK”, said archaeologist Steve Sherlock.

Confirmed written evidence of ancient beer production in Armenia can be obtained from Xenophon in his work Anabasis (5th century BC) when he was in one of the ancient Armenian villages in which he wrote:

There were stores within of wheat and barley and vegetables, and wine made from barley in great big bowls; the grains of barley malt lay floating in the beverage up to the lip of the vessel, and reeds lay in them, some longer, some shorter, without joints; when you were thirsty you must take one of these into your mouth, and suck. The beverage without admixture of water was very strong, and of a delicious flavour to certain palates, but the taste must be acquired.[26][27]

Beer became vital to all the grain-growing civilizations of Eurasian and North African antiquity, including Egypt—so much so that in 1868 James Death put forward a theory in The Beer of the Bible that the manna from heaven that God gave the Israelites was a bread-based, porridge-like beer called wusa.[citation needed]

These beers were often thick, more of a gruel than a drink, and drinking straws were used by the Sumerians to avoid the bitter solids left over from fermentation. Though beer was drunk in Ancient Rome, it was replaced in popularity by wine.[28] Tacitus wrote disparagingly of the beer brewed by the Germanic peoples of his day. Thracians were also known to consume beer made from rye, even since the 5th century BC, as the ancient Greek logographer Hellanicus of Lesbos says. Their name for beer was brutos, or brytos. The Romans called their brew cerevisia, from the Celtic word for it. Beer was apparently enjoyed by some Roman legionaries. For instance, among the Vindolanda tablets (from Vindolanda in Roman Britain, dated c. 97–103 AD), the cavalry decurion Masculus wrote a letter to prefect Flavius Cerialis inquiring about the exact instructions for his men for the following day. This included a polite request for beer to be sent to the garrison (which had entirely consumed its previous stock of beer).[29]

Ancient Nubians had used beer as an antibiotic medicine.[30]

In ancient Mesopotamia, clay tablets indicate that the majority of brewers were probably women, and that brewing was a fairly well respected occupation during the time, being the only profession in Mesopotamia which derived social sanction and divine protection from female deities/goddesses, specifically: Ninkasi, who covered the production of beer, Siris, who was used in a metonymic way to refer to beer, and Siduri, who covered the enjoyment of beer.[31][32] Mesopotamian brewing appears to have incorporated the usage of a twice-baked barley bread called bappir, which was exclusively used for brewing beer.[33] It was discovered early that reusing the same container for fermenting the mash would produce more reliable results; brewers on the move carried their tubs with them.[34]

The Ebla tablets, discovered in 1974 in Ebla, Syria, show that beer was produced in the city in 2500 BC.[35] Early traces of beer and the brewing process have been found in ancient Babylonia as well. At the time, brewers were women as well, but also priestesses. Some types of beers were used especially in religious ceremonies. In 2100 BC, the Babylonian king Hammurabi included regulations governing tavern keepers in his law code for the kingdom.[36]

In Ancient India, the Vedas and Ramayana mention a beer-like drink called sura consumed during the Vedic Period (c. 1500 – c. 500 BCE).[37] It was the favourite of the god Indra.[38][39] Kautilya has also mentioned two intoxicating beverages made from rice called Medaka and Prasanna.[39]

Beer was part of the daily diet of Egyptian pharaohs over 5,000 years ago. Then, it was made from baked barley bread, and was also used in religious practices.[40] During the building of the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt, each worker got a daily ration of four to five liters of beer, which served as both nutrition and refreshment that was crucial to the pyramids' construction.[41]

The Greek writer Sophocles (450 BCE) discussed the concept of moderation when it came to consuming beer in Greek culture, and believed that the best diet for Greeks consisted of bread, meats, various types of vegetables, and beer[citation needed] or "ζῦθος" (zythos) as they called it.[42] The ancient Greeks also made barleywine (Greek: "κρίθινος οἶνος" – krithinos oinos, "barley wine"[43][44]) mentioned by Greek historian Polybius in his work The Histories, where he states that Phaeacians kept barleywine in silver and golden kraters.[45]

During the £1.5bn upgrade of the A14 in Cambridgeshire evidence beer brewed in the UK, dating back more than 2,000 years was found. Steve Sherlock, the Highways England archaeology lead for the A14 project said, “It’s a well-known fact that ancient populations used the beer-making process to purify water and create a safe source of hydration, but this is potentially the earliest physical evidence of that process taking place in the UK.” Roger Protz, the former editor of the Campaign for Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide, said, "When the Romans invaded Britain they found the local tribes brewing a type of beer called curmi."[46]

In Europe during the Middle Ages, a brewers' guild might adopt a patron saint of brewing. Arnulf of Metz (c. 582–640) and Arnulf of Oudenburg (c. 1040–1087) were recognized by some French and Flemish brewers.[47] Belgian brewers, too, venerated Arnulf of Oudenburg (aka Arnold of Soissons),[48] who is also recognized as the patron saint of hop-pickers. Christian monks built breweries, to provide food, drink, and shelter to travelers and pilgrims.[40]

Charlemagne, Frankish king and ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the 8th century, considered beer to be an important part of living, and is often thought to have trained some brewers himself.[36]


Medieval Europe:

Beer was one of the most common drinks during the Middle Ages. It was consumed daily by all social classes in the northern and eastern parts of Europe where grape cultivation was difficult or impossible.[citation needed] Though wine of varying qualities was the most common drink in the south, beer was still popular among the lower classes. The idea that beer was consumed more commonly than water during medieval times is a myth.[49] Water was cheaper than beer, and towns/villages were built close to sources of fresh water such as rivers, springs, and wells to facilitate easy access to the resource.[50] Though probably one of the most popular drinks in Europe, beer was frequently disdained as being unhealthy, possibly because ancient Greek and more contemporary Arab physicians had little or no experience with the drink. In 1256, the Aldobrandino of Siena described the nature of beer in the following way:

But from whichever it is made, whether from oats, barley or wheat, it harms the head and the stomach, it causes bad breath and ruins the teeth, it fills the stomach with bad fumes, and as a result anyone who drinks it along with wine becomes drunk quickly; but it does have the property of facilitating urination and makes one's flesh white and smooth.[51]

The use of hops in beer was written of in 822 by the Carolingian Abbot Adalard of Corbie.[52] Flavoring beer with hops was known at least since the 9th century, but was only gradually adopted because of difficulties in establishing the right proportions of ingredients. Before that, gruit, a mix of various herbs, had been used, but did not have the same preserving properties as hops. Beer flavored without it was often spoiled soon after preparation and could not be exported. The only other alternative was to increase the alcohol content, which was rather expensive. Hopped beer was perfected in the medieval towns of Bohemia by the 13th century. German towns pioneered a new scale of operation with standardized barrel sizes that allowed for large-scale export. Previously beer had been brewed at home, but the production was now successfully replaced by medium-sized operations of about eight to ten people. This type of production spread to Holland in the 14th century and later to Flanders and Brabant, and reached England by the late 15th century.[53]

English ale and beer brewing were carried out separately, no brewer being allowed to produce both. The Brewers Company of London stated "no hops, herbs, or other like thing be put into any ale or liquore wherof ale shall be made – but only liquor (water), malt, and yeast." This comment is sometimes misquoted as a prohibition on hopped beer.[citation needed] However, hopped beer was opposed by some:

Ale is made of malte and water; and they the which do put any other thynge to ale than is rehersed, except yest, barme, or goddesgood [three words for yeast], doth sophysticat there ale. Ale for an Englysshe man is a naturall drinke. Ale muste haue these properties, it muste be fresshe and cleare, it muste not be ropy, nor smoky, nor it must haue no wefte nor tayle. Ale shulde not be dronke vnder .v. dayes olde …. Barly malte maketh better ale than Oten malte or any other corne doth … Beere is made of malte, of hoppes, and water; it is a naturall drynke for a doche [Dutch] man, and nowe of late dayes it is moche vsed in Englande to the detryment of many Englysshe men … for the drynke is a colde drynke. Yet it doth make a man fatte, and doth inflate the bely, as it doth appere by the doche mennes faces and belyes.[54]


There is much more about beer but too much to post so go to the link(s) to really get more data on BEER! (but that's only if you're a Beer drinker! (Like me) So far - the best beer I had was in Germany and the worst hangover after that! But it was good!!!! (Also had a drink called Absence shot (after three of those we went to a Hot-ci bath to sweat it out and sober up) - But Japan also has a good beer (can't recall the name and you get get the Pony Size. When on liberty we would get the guys together have several beer's and race our rickshaws down the street in Japan and Hong Kong - I miss those days and the guys. I don't think their is any other beer manufacture who can make beer thought to be as good as German's! And I've been around the world almost twice and always had a beer(s) where I could find it. There's Great Beer - OK Beer - and lastly - there's Beer you just hate - believe me! In PI we had Sam Miguel - it would give you the Hershey trots - end up dragging your as on the grass. But it did clean you out - chow the next day didn't look good from the hangover's - but none of you did any of that - right!?
But - now I still have a beer now and then - stay away from Ale's that's not really beer (though some say it is). The stuff we get today in the U.S. is almost near beer - based on the laws of our country - but now I drink PBR's just because its cheap - but it's really not really that bad - I'm not a Budweiser fan my Brother-in-law thought it was the best - my Dad liked always the dark Atlas Prager beers - along with a shot - back when in them days.
But - its like they say - each of us has our own taste buds - and whatever taste good and that's all that counts.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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