| 6 December 2012
The world's oldest microbrewery
Beer drinkers have long held the belief that drinking it is safer and better than drinking water. Well Neolithic Man new for a fact that it was better than water, and now a team from the University of Manchester (UK) have found the remains of a 3,500 year old microbrewery near Paphos, Cyprus. It was found in the midst of a Bronze age settlement known as Kissonerga-Skalia. All the makings of a modern day brewery have been found, including wild yeast additives, a malting or drying kiln and grinding tools.
Dr Lindy Crewe, leader of the team of archaeologists, said: "Beer was commonly drunk because it was more nutritious than bread and less likely to contain harmful pathogens than drinking water which can make you ill. But alcoholic beverages were also used to oil wheels of business and pleasure in much the same way as today. Work brought communities together for tasks such as bringing in the harvest or erecting special buildings. Instead of payment, participants were rewarded with a special feast, often involving quantities of alcohol, which also transformed the work from a chore into a social event."
A reconstruction was made of the drying kiln and several brews were made, with mixed success!
Edited from Mancunian Matters, Manchester Evening News (29 November 2012)
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