Archeologists have discovered the world’s oldest brewery in Egypt

Hold my beer. Archaeologists have just unearthed the world’s oldest brewery in Egypt and it dates back to 5,000 years ago.

The brewery is believed to date back to the era of King Narmer, who founded the First Dynasty and unified Upper and Lower Egypt.

Mostafa Waziry, the secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said it was “the oldest high-production brewery in the world.”

beer vat egypt
Photo: Getty

According to Waziry, the brewery consisted of eight large areas that were used as “units for beer production,” a process that involves a mixture of grains and water being heated in the vats, with each basin “held in place by levers made of clay placed vertically in the form of rings.”

Archaeologist Matthew Adams of New York University, who headed the joint Egyptian-American archaeology mission with Princeton University’s Deborah Vischak, said that beer was produced on a large scale, with about 22,400 litres made at a time. “Evidence for the use of beer in sacrificial rites was found during excavations in these facilities,” Adams said.

The brewery may have been built in this place specifically to supply the royal rituals that were taking place inside the funeral facilities of the kings of Egypt.”

Egypt has announced several major new discoveries in the hopes to promote tourism, a sector that has suffered greatly in the past decade from the effects of the Arab Spring in 2011 to the global pandemic in 2020.

Just like the discovery of the brewery, the country has also uncovered several mummies from around 2,000 years ago near Alexandria, each bearing golden-tongued amulets—thought to have been placed in the mouths of the dead to ensure they could speak in the afterlife.