The Oldest Beer Recipe in History

, one of the oldest and most beloved beverages in the world, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Recently, archeologists made some fascinating discoveries that shed light on the ancient beer recipes and techniques used by our ancestors. These findings have not only piqued the interest of historians and beer enthusiasts but have also sparked new hope for the revival of Egypt's mummified tourism sector.

In Mesopotamia, during an archeological excavation, a tablet was unearthed, revealing a scene of villagers enjoying a from a bowl with straws. This intriguing find provides evidence that people in ancient times had developed innovative ways to consume their drinks. Furthermore, an ode to Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, was discovered, containing the oldest known recipe for making beer using barley from bread.

The process described in the ancient poem involves malting wheat berries, soaking them with , , date-syrup, and a partially cooked, fermented loaf of barley dough. This unique combination creates a mild, pale brew that is low in , with an alcohol content of only 2%. The taste of this ancient beer may not resemble the brews we are accustomed to, but it offers a fascinating glimpse into the flavors of the past.

But the discoveries do not stop there. In the area of modern-day Iran, the oldest chemically confirmed barley-beer was found, dating back to the 5th millennium BCE. This find provides concrete evidence of the long-standing tradition of beer brewing in ancient civilizations.

The beer-making process in ancient times was a labor-intensive one, requiring time, skill, and patience. The barley grains were malted, a process that involves soaking the grains in water, allowing them to sprout, and then drying them. This malting process activates enzymes in the barley, which convert starches into sugars, essential for fermentation.

Once the barley was malted, it was then mixed with water, yeast, and other ingredients such as fruit concentrates for added flavor. The mixture was then heated and left to ferment for a period of time, allowing the yeast to convert the sugars into alcohol. the beer was filtered and served as a thick, sweet drink, enjoyed by the ancient communities.

While the taste of these ancient beers may not match our modern-day preferences, the importance of these discoveries cannot be understated. They provide us with a window into the past, allowing us to better understand the customs, traditions, and daily life of our ancestors. Moreover, these findings have the potential to breathe new life into Egypt's tourism industry, as visitors flock to witness the wonders of ancient beer-making firsthand.

As we delve into the mysteries of ancient beer recipes, it becomes evident that brewing has transcended time and culture, remaining a cherished beverage throughout history. The techniques and ingredients may have evolved, but the essence of beer has remained constant. So, the next time you raise a glass to toast, remember the ancient civilizations who paved the way for our favorite libation. Cheers to the past and the present, and the timeless joy of a well-crafted brew.

Ancient Beer Recipe 1695264042

What Was The First Recipe For Beer?

The first recipe for beer can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia, where a tablet was discovered during an archeological excavation. This tablet depicted villagers drinking a beverage from a bowl using straws, indicating their consumption of beer. Along with this visual representation, an ode to Ninkasi, the goddess of brewing, was also found on the tablet.

The ode to Ninkasi contained the oldest known recipe for making beer using barley from bread. The recipe outlined the following steps:

1. Gathering and preparing the ingredients:
– Barley: The recipe called for barley, which was the main ingredient used to make the beer.
– Bread: Barley was taken from bread and used as a source of fermentable sugars.
– Water: Water served as the liquid medium for the brewing process.

2. Malting the barley:
– The barley was soaked in water and allowed to germinate, a process known as malting.
– Once the barley had sprouted, it was dried and crushed to create .

3. Preparing the mash:
– The malted barley was mixed with bread and water to create a thick porridge-like mixture known as the mash.
– This mixture was then left to ferment for a specific period of time, allowing the natural yeasts present in the environment to convert the sugars into alcohol.

4. Fermentation:
– The mash was transferred to a fermentation vessel, typically a large clay jar or container.
– The vessel was sealed and left to ferment for several days or weeks, depending on the desired strength and flavor of the beer.

5. Straining and serving:
– After the fermentation process was complete, the beer was strained to remove any solids.
– The beer was then served by pouring it into bowls or cups and consumed using straws.

The discovery of this ancient recipe provides valuable insights into the early brewing practices of the Mesopotamian civilization. It highlights the significance of beer in their culture and the meticulous process involved in its production.

What Is The Oldest Beer In History?

The oldest beer in history can be traced back to the 5th millennium BCE in the area of modern-day Iran. This beer was made from barley and has been chemically confirmed as a barley-beer. Here are some key points about the oldest beer in history:

– The first chemically confirmed barley-beer dates back to the 5th millennium BCE.
– It was found in the area of modern-day Iran.
– The beer was made from barley, which is a common ingredient in beer production.
– The discovery of this ancient beer provides evidence of early beer production and consumption.
– The brewing process for this beer would have involved malting the barley, fermenting the sugars, and then aging the beer.
– This ancient beer would have likely had a different taste and composition compared to modern-day beers.
– The discovery of this ancient beer highlights the long history of beer and its importance in human culture.

The oldest beer in history is a barley-beer from the area of modern-day Iran, dating back to the 5th millennium BCE. It provides insight into the early production and consumption of beer, showcasing the long-standing significance of this beverage in human history.


The discovery of ancient beer recipes and the evidence of early brewing techniques provide fascinating insights into the rich history and cultural significance of this beloved beverage. These findings not only shed light on the early civilizations' brewing practices but also highlight the ingenuity and resourcefulness of our ancestors.

The recipes reveal that beer-making in ancient times was a complex and time-consuming process, requiring a combination of ingredients such as barley, water, yeast, and fruit juice concentrates. The use of barley from bread and the inclusion of date-syrup demonstrate the creativity and utilization of available resources by ancient brewers.

It is remarkable to note that the oldest chemically confirmed barley-beer dates back to the 5th millennium BCE in modern-day Iran. This finding suggests that beer has been an integral part of human culture for thousands of years, transcending time and geography.

Moreover, the discovery of a tablet showing villagers drinking beer from bowls with straws and the ode to Ninkasi, the goddess of brewing, provide further evidence of the social and ritualistic significance of beer in ancient societies. Beer was not merely a beverage but a symbol of celebration, community, and religious devotion.

These ancient beer recipes also offer a glimpse into the taste profiles of beers from the past. The thick, sweet drink seasoned with fruit juice concentrates and the mild, pale brew with a low alcohol content give us a sense of the diverse flavors and characteristics that ancient beers possessed.

The exploration and understanding of ancient beer recipes not only contribute to our knowledge of history but also open up possibilities for new experiences and innovations in the modern brewing industry. By reconnecting with our brewing heritage, we can appreciate the timeless appeal of beer and its enduring significance in human culture.

Photo of author

Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.