The team tasting the biblical-style beer produced from ancient yeast strains dormant for thousands of years.

The team tasting the biblical-style beer produced from ancient yeast strains dormant for thousands of years.

Beer Made with 5,000 Year Old Yeast is Surprisingly “Tasty”

This article originally appeared here.

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Beer brewed with 5,000-year-old yeast has proven itself as delicious today as it probably was a few millennia ago — and you may soon be able to try it for yourself.

Archaeological dig at HaMasger street in Tel Aviv, from which the Egyptian Narmer beer was produced.

Archaeological dig at HaMasger street in Tel Aviv, from which the Egyptian Narmer beer was produced.

When researchers from the University of Jerusalem unearthed two clay jugs at Israeli national park Tell es-Safi, they decided to test the limits of the prehistoric fungi.

“Maybe yeast could survive within the nanopores of clay,” wondered microbiologist Ronen Hazan. “I thought, wow, that’s kind of a miracle that the yeast survived thousands of years in these pots. Amazing,” he told CNN Monday.

The pots look nothing like a frosty pint glass, according to the Times of Israel. Instead, they’re shaped like rounded pitchers, with a handle and short spout. The liquid inside would have poured out of a cluster of holes and through the spout, which would have functioned as a rudimentary filter for the yeast and protein sediment left over from the brewing process.

Some of the pottery shards which were used to isolate strains of thousands of year old yeast to produce new batches of “ancient beer,” on May 22, 2019 in Jerusalem.

Some of the pottery shards which were used to isolate strains of thousands of year old yeast to produce new batches of “ancient beer,” on May 22, 2019 in Jerusalem.

Archaeologists also say the beer found in these clay vessels would have likely been produced from several grains, such as millet, corn, sorghum and wheat.

Typically, beer spends a minimum of three days to three weeks fermenting, but their ancient brew was finished in about eight weeks — somewhat less time than expected considering the yeast had been dormant for thousands of years.

The ale held up, according to a couple of taste-testers in Israel, with one calling the flavor “really interesting” and “fruity like nut and bananas.” Another said it was “tasty” and “unique,” and went “down like oil.”

Some of the pottery shards which were used to isolate strains of thousands of year old yeast to produce new batches of “ancient beer,” on May 22, 2019 in Jerusalem.

Some of the pottery shards which were used to isolate strains of thousands of year old yeast to produce new batches of “ancient beer,” on May 22, 2019 in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, another concluded the brew “tastes like burned bread.”

But according to Hazan, the flavor of today’s beer can’t compare to what the same yeast strain would have produced back in its heyday.

“This is very tricky,” he told the Times of Israel. “Beside the fact that we used modern ingredients, keep in mind that we managed to isolate only few yeast out of probably many more which were in the original beer sourdough. Thus, we do not know what was exactly the taste.”

Researchers say that Egyptians invented beermaking as early as 5500 B.C. Meanwhile, the historical region called Mesopotamia, which now encompasses parts of Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Turkey and Iran, was also imbibing the fermented yeast beverage.

A beer cruse from Tel Tzafit/Gath archaeological digs, from which Philistine beer was produced.

A beer cruse from Tel Tzafit/Gath archaeological digs, from which Philistine beer was produced.

The region where the pots were first excavated, the former site of a Palestinian settlement, is believed to incorporate the biblical city of Gath, home to the Philistines and the mythical giant Goliath, who was defeated by a boy, David, according to the Book of Samuel.

Now, the University of Jerusalem team on the study is seeking an investor to help take the ancient brew to market.

“We are working with Yissum, the R&D company of the Hebrew University, to find investors who are interested in commercializing it,” says Hazan.

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