This Beer Brewed From 5,000-Year-Old Yeast Tastes Fruity
Ronen Hazan and Yuval Gadot of the University of Jerusalem reactivated yeast recovered from clay pots found at the nearby Tell es Safi/Gath archaeological site.
The site is thought to be the remains of the ancient city of Gath, home to Philistines.
This city is also said to be the hometown of the mythical giant Goliath, who — according to the Bible — was bested in a fight by a little guy with a sling-shot, named David.
"I thought, wow, that's kind of a miracle that the yeast survived thousands of years in these pots. Amazing," said Hazan.
It took eight weeks for the team to ferment the beer, which is pretty fast for millennia-old yeast.
One of the lucky few who had a drink said the beer was "really interesting" and "fruity like nut and bananas." Another taste-tester said it was "tasty" and "unique," and even goes "down like oil."
Ancient yeast, exclusive taste
Of course, it's not for everyone. One member of the Israeli team said "[i]t tastes like burned bread." Which really only goes to show good beer needs to give an exclusive experience.
Yeast can carry 500 distinct flavors and aromas to beers, and has a natural ability to keep through the ages. Some researchers dated the yeast back to the ancient Egyptians, circa 5,500 BCE.
Beer was also brewed in Mesopotamia the time — now western Asia — where people might have drunk beer with straws.
The Israel-based team is presently engaged in talks to find investors who might help them commercialize the beer from the time of Pharaohs and Philistines. If this happens, surely every beer lover in the world will vie for a chance to taste the ancient beer.