Chinese students have recreated a 5,000 year old beer recipe and now Americans are enjoying the ancient brew.
Professor Liu Li and researcher Jiajing Wang at Stanford University in California recently determined the remnants of ancient pottery vessels that were discovered in Shanxi Province in China were part of a beer-making toolkit. There were also microscopic starch grains from the site, which is an ancient beer recipe that includes millet, yam, barley, snake gourd root and a type of branched grass called Job's Tears.
Li told CGTN’s reporter Mark Niu that, “Barley is rather surprising ingredient because before our study normally archaeologists believed barley was introduced to China about 4000 years ago, but our pottery dates back to 5000 years ago. And the function of beer is more than just regular food, it involved more social complexity like social hierarchy, elite use of alcohol to gain power and maintain power.”
In Professor Liu's Archaeology of Food class, power fell into the hands of students, who used the ingredients from the 5,000-year-old recipe to make their own beer.
Wang Jiajing, a PHD archaeology student on the project, said if any modern brewery could incorporate those ingredients into theirs, they could introduce a "healthy" beer into the market.
In fact, Lucky Envelope Brewing in Seattle has already taken the recipe and brewed its own Mijiaya Historic Chinese Beer.The brewmaster there says initial curiosity gave way to customers regularly asking when it'll be back on tap. It's an ancient recipe that's proving to be rife for appreciation and experimentation.