1 July 2014 - Best Beer HQ
Who invented beer?
The quick answer: no-one knows who invented beer!
If you wanted to dedicate your next beer to the legendary brewer who started it all, you’re out of luck.
That’s right. No-one knows for sure who invented beer. In fact, according to the all-knowing History Channel, it’s even too difficult to attribute the invention of beer to any one culture or time period.
What they can tell us is that the world’s first fermented beverages likely emerged 12,000 years ago, in conjunction with the development of cereal agriculture. That doesn’t mean farming boxes of cereal, though; it means cultivating grain crops like maize, wheat, rice and barley – ingredients for brewing beer.
It’s also likely that the first barley beer was brewed in the Middle East. Solid evidence of beer brewing indicates that it might have started roughly 5,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. We know that because archaeologists have literally unearthed ceramic containers from 3400BC that are still sticky with beer residue.
Meanwhile, an ancient ode to the Sumerian goddess of beer has been discovered, dating back to 1800BC. Titled the “Hymn to Ninkasi”, it goes on to describe a recipe for an ancient beer, likely made by priestesses.
We know also that the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians liked to drink beer flavoured with additives such as the mandrake plant, dates and olive oil. That certainly sounds unusual. A more modern style of beer, brewed with hops, wasn’t invented until much later.
While you’re here, crack open another beer and check out these 10 interesting facts about beer.