An Israeli Brewery Made Ancient Beer With a 2000-Year-Old Wheat Strain

Shaunacy Ferro
iStock / iStock

Beer has been around for thousands of years, and has played an important role in world history. Rations of beer fueled the laborers who built the Egyptian pyramids, and the brewed beverage was an underlying reason for the Pilgrims' decision to land in New England. 

In Israel, one brewery decided to recreate the beer that Jesus would have sipped, using a 2000-year-old wheat strain identified by geneticists at Tel Aviv University. Herzl Beer, a Jerusalem-based brewery, brewed five gallons of what they called the “biblical” beer for six months as an experiment. 

Apparently, the flat, sweet brew was not quite what contemporary craft beer connoisseurs would find delicious: “A sip of the concoction may help explain why wine was the preferred sacred drink of the Bible,” Reuters reported. The brewery isn’t planning on continuing the experiment, and most of the five-gallon batch has already been quaffed by Herzl’s owner and his braver friends. Had Jesus turned water into this beer, people probably wouldn't have been too impressed. 

[h/t Smithsonian]