ancient beer

Remember studying Mesopotamia back in Middle School? Well here’s a fact we bet they never shared with you: Sumerian’s were the first ones to make beer. Social Studies just got a lot more interesting.


For the past year, Great Lakes Brewing Company has teamed up with archeologists from the University of Chicago to uncover how the Sumerians made their now 5,000 year old beer and what it tasted like. Using ceramic clay vessels, wooden spoons and sunlight, the brewers are trying to be as authentic as possible as they try and decode the stone tablets that vaguely describe the ancient brewing process.


Great Lakes isn’t the only brewery that is interested in historical beers. While they’re not 5,000 years old, Dogfish Head has a line of 9 ancient ales that take you on a tour through the history of beer. The line includes beer such as “Midas Touch” which was based on evidence from King Midas’ tomb in Turkey, and “Ta Henket,” which uses ingredients described with Egyptian hieroglyphics.


Unlike Dogfish’s line of ancient ales, Great Lake’s Sumerian beer won’t be bottled for the general public. If you really want to try it, and you’re a hardcore dedicated fan, there will be a tasting on August 14th at the Great Lakes Brewery in Ohio, and later at an undetermined date in Chicago. Even if we can’t get our hands on this one, it’s a history lesson we won’t forget.