When archaeologists discovered an ancient Egyptian brewer from 5,000 years ago, you would think the old beer hot spot would have been located closer to Egypt. Instead, the discovery was made in Tel Aviv, Israel.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, bottles of 170-year-old beer and champagne were preserved underwater in a sunken ship discovered off the coast of Finland. When curious scientists decided to taste the old beer, their first reaction was to describe the ancient beer as smelling like burnt rubber and goat. While it definitely sounds like this old beer would require the hair of the dog the next morning, this sour beer was definitely interesting in that it was also fruity.
Apparently, rose, sweet apples, and green tea-flavored beer was in vogue almost 200 years ago, but old beer flavors were about the same 5,000 years ago based upon the description of the ancient Egyptian brewery. According to Ynet News, the Israel Antiquities Authority believes “the beer was made from a mixture of barley and water, partially brewed and then left to ferment in the sun. Different fruit concentrates were added to the beer, to improve its taste and aroma. The mixture was filtered using special tools.”
“This is the first evidence of Egyptian settlement in central Tel Aviv during this period and the evidence of the northernmost Egyptian community in the Early Bronze Age,” said Diego Barkan, director of the excavation for the Israel Antiquities Authority. “Now we know that the ancient Egyptians also appreciated what the Tel Aviv region had to offer, and were able to enjoy a glass of beer, just like today’s Tel Avivians.”
It’s uncertain whether or not the old beer produced by the ancient Egyptian brewery was intended for special occasions, but they do know the entire population were active beer drinkers. Speaking of which, how did they know the ancient Egyptian brewery was actually Egyptian since the discovery was made on Hamasger Street in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel? It turns out the pottery was different from the local breweries.
“Among the hundreds of pieces of pottery typical of the local culture, we found several large fragments of ceramic basins made in the Egyptian tradition, and used for making beer,” explains Barkan. “These dishes had straw or other organic matter added to strengthen them, a method that was not integrated into local industry.”
According to Arutz Sheva, the ancient Egyptian brewery was also “the northernmost evidence we have of an Egyptian presence in the early Bronze Age.”
Unfortunately, the archaeologists were not lucky enough to find any preserved remains of the old beer locked within the ancient Egyptian brewery. While no one would probably want to do a taste-testing after so many years, a chemical analysis could have provided hints to how ancient beer used to taste.
[Image via Flickr]