Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Beer brewing during ancient Egypt

The earliest information available from the Near East and Middle East indicates that human knew how to make bread and beer by 6000 BC.

The ancient Egyptians, from soil and climate of their country not being favorable to the culture of the vine, were induced to seek a substitute in barley.

Early Dynastic (3100-2686) written records shows that beer was important during that period.

During the first quarter of the 20th century, English Egyptologist, Flinders Petrie, found beer sediments from jars at Abadiyeh a Predynastic cemetery on the east bank of Nile in Upper Egypt and Naqaba which is one of the largest Predynastic sites in Egypt.

Reliefs on stone tombs show partially geminated barley being crushed, mixed with water, and then fermented: clearly the process being illustrated is the brewing of beer.

Prepared by pouring on barley cakes and leaving the mixture to ferment in a warm place, beer was brewed in houses as well as in state breweries.

Beer and bread were the most important dietary items of the ancient Egyptians. Beer was used as currency at this time and everyone, from the Pharaoh downwards, drank it.

Brewing in Egypt was state monopoly, which state rules on the methods of production, because beer offerings were part of the pharaoh’s religious practice.

Brewing was important enough for Egyptian brewers to have their own special hieroglyph. Hieroglyph was a formal writing system used by the ancient Egyptians that combined logographic and alphabetic elements. 

Brewing flourished in Egypt until the end of the 8th century AD when Arabs Muslim conquered the region.
Beer brewing during ancient Egypt
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