Even the ancients had a taste for a good brewski. Archaeologists recently discovered what they believe to be a 5,000 year old brewing site in Abydos, Egypt, making it the world’s oldest known brewery.
One of Egypt’s oldest cities, Abydos is home to many temples and tombs, some of which contain the remains of early pharaohs. Though archaeologists had been aware of the brewery’s existence since the early 20th century, it has only been excavated recently.
According to the Egyptian tourism ministry’s Facebook page, the site, located in the desert of North Abydos, housed eight units, deeming it a high-production brewery. The units consist of 40 earthenware pots arranged in two rows.
To produce the beer, grains and water were heated and mixed within the pots, which were held stationary by clay levers. A brewery of this scale was capable of producing 22,4000 liters at once, a technological feat that Dr. Matthew Adams, head archaeologist of the U.S.-Egyptian mission, is confident ancient Egyptians made use of.
The ancient beer wasn’t just for casual consumption, though. Dr. Adams claims that ancient Egyptians used the beer in sacrificial rituals performed at the funerals of kings, which is why the brewery is situated on a funerary site.
We didn’t need any more convincing of the magical properties of beer, but it seems we’ve found it nevertheless.