Israeli researchers drink to old times with ancient-style beer




  • In Science
  • 2019-05-22 19:39:16Z
  • By AFP Relax News
 

Israeli researchers said Wednesday they had managed to extract yeast from ancient jars and produced a head-spinning concoction with it: beer similar to what the pharaohs would have imbibed.

Beer with a six-percent alcoholic strength and similar in taste to a wheat ale was presented to journalists, as was mead at 14-percent strength.

Researchers from Israel's Antiquities Authority as well as three Israeli universities gathered at a Jerusalem pub to announce their findings and called the project a first.

"I remember that when we first brought out the beer that we sat around the table and drank, we raised a cup to say l'chaim (a Hebrew toast meaning 'to life')," said Aren Maeir, an archaeologist with Bar-Ilan University.

"And I said either we'll be good or we'll all be dead in five minutes. We lived to tell the story."

Six yeasts were taken from the remains of jars found at archaeological sites, including a Philistine site in central Israel linked to the biblical story of Goliath.

Other sites were in the Negev desert -- the oldest one linked to ancient Egypt -- as well as Tel Aviv and in the Jerusalem area.

The yeasts' genomes were sequenced, and they were put in a liquid medium to grow before being used to brew beer and mead.

One yeast was found to be similar to that used in traditional beer in Zimbabwe, while another had similarities to that used in Ethiopian mead known as tej, said Ronen Hazan, a microbiologist at Hebrew University.

- 'Tasted great' -

Several different beers were made, while the one offered for tastings on Wednesday was brewed with a yeast that descended from one some 3,000 years old, the researchers said.

Yeast was also extracted that descended from some 5,000 years ago, according to the Antiquities Authority.

Modern beer-making methods were used to produce the tipple.

The researchers hope to create one using ancient recipes in the future -- and possibly produce it commercially for sale at some point.

In addition to Bar-Ilan and Hebrew University, researchers from Tel Aviv University were also involved in the project.

The aim was not only to raise a glass.

Hazan said the scientific importance to the work lay in its insight into how to reconstruct the past and the domestication of microorganisms like yeast.

But Yitzhak Paz of the Antiquities Authority admitted he took some extra pleasure from the work.

"It tasted great. Well I drink a lot of beer so I can judge," he said.

"When we started the whole project we understood that when we start to brew this material and we get the beer, it will be probably similar, maybe not identical, but similar to the flavour (from ancient times)."

Regardless, the researchers were buzzed from breaking new ground.

"Until now, researchers used ancient recipes, but modern materials," said Paz.

"This is the first time when we actually used ancient materials to create ancient beer."

COMMENTS

More Related News

In Bahrain resort, yarmulkes and Mideast ambitions welcome
In Bahrain resort, yarmulkes and Mideast ambitions welcome
  • World
  • 2019-06-26 17:51:09Z

The fruity mocktails lay elegantly on the welcoming trays, the gala dinner served heaps of lamb and sea bass, and the mix of guests in the Bahrain luxury hotel was unlike any seen before. Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, launched his Middle East peace initiative

Palestinian Windfall Needs Political Progress, Says U.S. Envoy
Palestinian Windfall Needs Political Progress, Says U.S. Envoy

(Bloomberg) -- The financial bonanza the Trump administration envisions for the Palestinians is unlikely to materialize unless there is progress toward resolving the 70-year-old conflict with Israel, according to a top U.S. envoy."If we're not going to get traction on the political aspect of the deal, I'm not sure we would take the time to try to get pledges," U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt said at an economic conference to drum up support for the U.S. plan in Bahrain on Wednesday. "A lot of pledges get made to help the Palestinian people. Many of them are never actually paid anyway. But if we do see traction, then absolutely."Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, launched...

Israel protests Chilean president
Israel protests Chilean president's holy site visit

Israel protested to Chile on Wednesday after President Sebastian Pinera visited a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site alongside a Palestinian minister. Pinera, on a visit to Israel and the West Bank, toured the Al-Aqsa mosque complex on Tuesday, with images on social media showing him accompanied by Palestinian officials, including Jerusalem affairs minister Fadi al-Hadami. The status of Al-Aqsa, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and located above the Western Wall, is one of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Explainer: Money talks in Trump
Explainer: Money talks in Trump's Mideast plan - but can it pave way for peace?
  • US
  • 2019-06-25 17:41:21Z

More than two years after U.S. President Donald Trump first proposed a plan to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, its first phase was launched on Tuesday at an economic workshop in Bahrain. The 'Peace to Prosperity' economic summit to encourage investment in the Palestinian Territories was billed as the first part of the White House's broader political plan to end the conflict. Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, the plan's main architect, gave Reuters an exclusive preview of the economic proposals on Saturday.

Palestinians reject US-Bahrain peace plan as Israel advises
Palestinians reject US-Bahrain peace plan as Israel advises 'surrender'
  • World
  • 2019-06-24 14:45:12Z

The Palestinians on Monday vowed to reject a US-led peace initiative to be presented in Bahrain that dangles the prospect of $50 billion as an Israeli envoy bluntly told them they should "surrender". Led by President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, the Peace to Prosperity

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Science

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.