Humanity’s First Beer: Enjoy!

Scorned by the Romans, who thought it smelled like “damp goat”, beer was nonetheless humanity’s first alcoholic drink. Today, 13,000 years stand between us and the oldest remnants of the drink discovered in a cave near Haifa in Israel. Considered to be among the “foods of the gods” in ancient Mesopotamia, tablets bearing cuneiform writings are also brimming with advice on the making of the sacred beverage as well as texts about selling it. Several jars dating back at least 6,000 years were also found in Egypt, showing that the drink was consumed well before the time of the Pharaohs.

It should be remembered, however, that beer in that distant time was rather like a sort of thick, slightly alcoholic gruel; it is still possible to admire the often “erotic” Mesopotamian tablets, tempting us to a beer to be drunk through a filter-tipped straw…

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