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Two breweries in China to reproduce 5,000-year-old beer

By Li Bin (People's Daily Online)    13:49, May 12, 2017

(File photo)

People in the 21th century may have the chance to taste what beer was like 5,000 years ago, after a pair of breweries in Beijing and Hong Kong attempt to bring ancient Chinese beer back to life, according to a report by the Science and Technology Daily.

The two breweries, Jing A from Beijing and Mengshen from Hong Kong, were inspired by recent archaeological findings, in which a 5,000-year-old formula for beer was published, originally created in an ancient brew house in China’s Xi’an, Shaanxi province.

The brew house is part of the Mijiaya historic site, where an archaeological group from Stanford University conducted research, uncovering ancient brewing equipment and vessels.

“The tools and vessels are the same as those that people use in modern times; the difference lies in the formula,” said Liu Li, a professor of archaeology at Stanford University. By analyzing the remains of ancient beer, archaeologists found that it was made from millet, barley, pearl barley and bit of rhizome plants, which is different from modern beer, which mainly feeds on barley and wheat.

So what is the flavor of beer from over 5,000 years ago? Liu said it is totally different from today’s beer.

“It would taste like a sweet wine that is low in alcohol, a little sour and without any visible bubbles.”


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