Dating back thousands of years, beer is one of the oldest beverages on Earth, and a recent discovery made in Egypt is evidence of the drink's long history. As CNN reports, archaeologists have unearthed the remains of an industrial brewery in Abydos built around 3100 BCE, which makes it the oldest brewery found in the ancient city, and possibly the world.
The ancient Sumerians were the first people to brew and ferment cereal grains into beer, but the beverage has roots in Egypt as well. Beer was such a big part of the culture that it was used in celebrations, religious ceremonies, and as rations for the laborers who built the pyramids of Giza.
The site uncovered at Abydos provides insight into how beer was made in Ancient Egypt. The 5000-year-old brewery consists of eight large compartments containing 40 clay pots each. Brewers would have heated grains in the vessels with water to break them down into their simple sugar components. This process encourages fermentation, and it's responsible for making beer bubbly, flavorful, and alcoholic.
Archaeologists believe the Abydos brewery dates back to the reign of King Narmer. They say the beer made there may have been used in sacred burial rituals for Ancient Egypt's first kings. The facility was large enough for brewers to produce as many as 5900 gallons of beer at a time.
Abydos, known for its monuments and temples, has produced several exciting archaeological finds in recent years. In 2016, archaeologists discovered a massive, pharaonic boat burial in the ancient city.