Scientists Just Unearthed a 13,000-Year-Old Microbrewery, the World’s Oldest
Which also means beer is 8,000 years older than we thought
Old taverns have every reason to be disdainful of the last decade’s microbew explosion. While those picnic-tabled playgrounds print cash and rake in high scores on Yelp, once-indomitable corner haunts are struggling to pay the cable bill. Their one trump card, though? Legacy. Oldest in the neighborhood, country, Earth, etc.
Which is why it’s a little ironic that the actual oldest bar in the world was a — you guessed it — microbrewery.
According to findings published by scientists in the Journal of Arachaelogical Science, a cave outside Haifa, Israel played the role of a Natufian tribe’s “bar” about 13,000 years ago. The Natufian people were apparently some serious imbibers: they would germinate wheat, oat, barley, legumes and other plants before mashing them into a malt, adding water, heating up the mixture and allowing it to ferment. All of this transpired in mortars within the cave, which is where the archaeologists made the discovery; they were originally there to learn more about Natufian eating habits. It’s a bit of a revelation, as most aficionados date beer at about 5,000-5,400 years old.
So, natural follow-up, how crazy did Friday night get for the Natufians? Their beer would’ve been pretty thick in consistency, and low on ABV, so … tame, we’d imagine. But who knows what tolerance standards were like at the time?
N.b.: If this whole history by way of alcohol thing really works for you, check out A Short History of Drunkenness by Mark Forsyth. Plato ruminating on wine, Vikings downing mead, New York speakasy culture … it’s all there. Get it here.
h/t Neat Pour
Image from “Year One” IMDB