Beer dates back thousands of years.
Ohio’s Great Lakes Brewing Company has teamed up with University of Chicago archaeologists to research the early days of beer.
Together, they’re deciphering a 5 thousand year-old Sumerian text and using ancient techniques and equipment to make sample batches.
The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago has supplied the brew masters with with ceramic replicas of ancient vessels, and the makers have taken it upon themselves to uphold as many of the Sumerian methods as possible.
So far, they’ve malted barley on their roof and had a local baker make brick-like bread for them to use as a yeast source.
Even though there’s plenty of documentation on ingredients, a specific recipe is yet to be revealed, requiring experimentation within the boundaries of accuracy.
The Oriental Institute is handling the history and the translations.
This isn’t the museum’s first foray into the world of alcoholic beverages. Its experts also consulted on a project with Anchor Brewing in the early 90s.
The Institute itself has been known to offer a class that delves into the history of ancient alcohol production, consumption, and culture, as well as some actual Babylonian brewing techniques.