Homebrew Challenge: The Oldest Beer in the World


If  you’re a homebrewer, or thinking of becoming one, there’s plenty of kits and recipes to get you started.  But if you’re looking for more of a challenge, the world’s oldest beer just might be the thing for you to try.

Beer has been around a long time.  So long, in fact, that the Ancient Sumerians (think 5th Century BC) wrote down a beer recipe on ancient tablets in one of the earliest written languages, Cuneiform. 

The Ancient Sumerians loved their beer so much they even created a goddess of brewing beer, Ninkasi.  Surviving today is a poem to Ninkasi that details the instructions for brewing Ancient Sumerian beer.

Anchor Brewing Company out of San Francisco tried the recipe for themselves in what they called the Sumerian Beer Project, and people who have tried it describe the taste as, “drinkable,” and “a dry taste lacking in bitterness.” As far as reviews go, “drinkable,” is about as diplomatic as it gets.  But the Ancients weren’t using things like hops back then, and it would be a long time before refrigerators were invented, so we guess we should cut them a break.

So if you’re looking for a homebrew challenge that will result in “drinkable” beer, but also total bragging rights about having tried the world’s oldest beer recipe, google the Sumerian Beer Project to find the recipe and brewing instructions.  We’ll probably stick to modern brews, but let us know how it goes.