Archaeologists Excavate Oldest Known Beer Brewery in China


Published Date : May 24, 2016

A new research on potter fragments dating back to 5,000 years ago has revealed the earliest beer brewing practices in China. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the ancient beer recipe included millet, barley, tubers, and Job’s tears. By scraping residue out of the remains of the pottery, researchers were able to analyze this ancient beer. These potter fragments were found in an underground excavation site in Shaanxi province in China. Researchers have pointed out that the brew was made up of various cultivated and wild grains, and tubers such as lily and yam. The inclusion of tubers might have given the ancient beer a sweeter taste. 
 
Barley Beer came to China Earlier than Expected

Apart from analyzing the ancient residue, researchers have found grain husks at the site. The presence of these vessels points out that the starch grains were malted and mashed. Ancient stoves have been also found that suggest their usage to heat the mashed grains. The underground location of the ancient brewery might have been helpful in keeping the beer cool. Though archaeologists have earlier found evidence of rice fermentation dating back to 9,000 years, barley beer has been so far thought to be a later addition in the Chinese culture. According to historians, barley beer had come up in the Middle East 5,400 years ago. This new excavation shows that barley was probably brought to China for beer brewing and later was used as a food crop some 3,000 years ago.