A research team led by scientist Jiajing Wang, found a Chinese recipe that described how to make beer out of broomcorn millet, job’s tears, and tubers. Ancient civilizations have been reported to make beer, but the recipe found by Dr. Wang’s team is 5,000 years old which makes it older than the Xia Dynasty.
The research team found the recipe in one of many underground tombs in the central plain of China. Along with the recipe, they found fully equipped brewing facilities. Specialists of beer making processes say the evidence found by Dr. Wang and his team shows incredible expertise in chemical processes. Similar to what big and small companies do today, the Chinese could have steeped barley, broomcorn, job’s tears, tubers and sweet parts of plants, and then fermented them together. Around the same age, people in Iran were also making beer, but the Chinese process was very advance, and included modern processes such as malting, mashing and even boiling.
Similar to what big and small companies do today, the Chinese could have steeped barley, broomcorn, job’s tears, tubers and sweet parts of plants, and then fermented them together. Around the same age, people in Iran were also making beer, but the Chinese process was very advanced, and included modern processes such as malting, mashing and even boiling.
The study also says that the finding is the oldest evidence of beer production facilities in China, but there is more to it. Based on the equipment, scientists say that the beer brewing method established 5,000 years ago was very advanced. This means that Chinese people were making beer for much longer than thought. Around the same time, other cultures, such as the Egyptians, were using similar ingredients to make beer.
Another interesting fact about the findings is the present of Barley. Nowadays, the grain is commonly associated with the region. However, scientists don’t really know how it got there and what it was used for. In Egypt, 5,000 years ago, beer brewers were already using barley in the brewing process, so scientists believe that the Chinese heard about this process, and started to bring the grain to the area to make beer. This would allow them to mass produce it at affordable costs.
Alcohol has been present in almost every civilization discovered to date, and they all used it for the same reason, to celebrate. Social meetings nowadays are important, but in ancient times, a social meeting could decide the destiny of a city. By treating officials or important guests with unlimited amounts of beer, a host could make negotiations easier. In fact, the research team considers that beer in ancient China could have helped in the establishment of the high-class hierarchy.
In modern days, companies from all around the world apply their creativity to beer making. For many experts, the best beer in the world is the Wisconsin Belgium Red from New Glarus Brewing Co. The company uses over a pound of door county cherries which gives it a particular color and taste with only 4% alcohol by volume. In the case of the Chinese formula, Dr. Wang said that based on the ingredients and process used, the ancient beer would be “a bit sour and a bit sweet.”