Israeli scientists have brewed beer from a 5,000-year-old strain of yeast – and apparently it tastes pretty fruity.
The University of Jerusalem’s Ronen Hazan and Yuval Gadot had the idea to reactivate the yeast, which was recovered from clay pots found at the nearby Tell es Safi/Gath archaeological site.
The site is believed to be the ancient city of Gath, home to the Philistine people.
It’s said to be the hometown of the giant Goliath, who – according to the Bible – was defeated in battle by the boy David.
Says Hazan, “I thought, wow, that’s kind of a miracle that the yeast survived thousands of years in these pots. Amazing.”
The beer took eight weeks to ferment, which is fairly speedy considering the yeast has been prepped for millennia.
One taste-tester described the beer as “really interesting” and “fruity like nut and bananas.” Another claimed that it was “tasty” and “unique” and “going down like oil.”
Not everyone was a fan, though. One person who tried the ancient beer concluded, “It tastes like burned bread.”
Yeast can impart 500 different flavors and aromas to beers and is very good at surviving the ages.
Some researchers say ancient Egyptians began brewing beer as early as 5,500 BCE.
But it was also being brewed in Mesopotamia, now Western Asia, where people may have used straws to drink it.
The team from the University of Jerusalem are currently in talks to find investors who might be interested in commercializing this beer from the time of Philistines and Pharaohs.