Last November, an international team of researchers found an 8,000-year-old wine in Eastern Europe. The find was celebrated because it shed lit on the origins of winemaking.
A team of researchers from Stanford University has now found evidence of what could be the oldest beer brewing operation in the history of the world.
The discovery was made in a cave in Israel where researchers found ancient beer-brewing equipment.
Thousands of years ago, a group of hunter-gatherers called Natufians, had quite the micro brewery going.
Researchers collected samples from 13,000-year-old stone mortars that were recovered from the groups’ graveyard.
This is the oldest record of man-made alcohol in the world, and it could mean that humans found a way to make beer before ever baking bread.
The earliest bread found at the same site is estimated to be 11,600 to 14,600 years old. The new beer could be from 11,700 to 13,700 years old, so we may never know which came first.
According to one researcher, beer today isn't the same as it used to be. Is was more of a "porridge or thin gruel."
The researchers believe that the Natufians used a three-stage brewing process. First, starch would be turned into malt, which would be mashed and heated, before it was left to ferment with airborne wild yeast.
The researchers said “beer making was an integral part of rituals and feasting” and called it a “social regulatory mechanism.” Not much has changed, as it is still a big part of present-day rituals and feasts, only now we refer to it as a 'social lubricant.'