Israeli Scientists Recreate 5000-year-old beer

Have you ever wondered if you could drink a beer whose yeast dates back more than 5,000 years?

A team of Israeli biologists, archaeologists and brewers announced this week that they have successfully produced a batch of beer using a yeast that has remained buried for more than 500 centuries. The beverage is already being dubbed "Goliath's beer," referring to the beverage drunk by Goliath after his battle against David.

In an unprecedented experiment, the team was able to recover six varieties of yeast that were encrusted in 21 fragments of beer containers discovered in archaeological sites located in the biblical regions of Ein Besor, Tell es-Safi and also Tel Aviv, the second most populous city of the "Holy Land".

The samples, which date back to around 3,100 B.C., were initially isolated, revitalized and submitted to a procedure to separate and identify the different gases emitted by them, in order to better understand the original fermentation process of that time and reproduce it today.


“We are talking about a real breakthrough here. This is the first time we have managed to produce ancient alcohol from ancient yeast. In other words, from the original substances from which alcohol was produced. This has never been done before,” said archaeologist Dr. Yitzhak Paz from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

It is worth mentioning that, despite the use of ancient yeast, some modern ingredients, such as hops, were used in this first experiment.

Shmuel Naky, one of the brewmasters responsible for the experiment, said: “We tried to recreate some of the old flavours that people in this area were consuming hundreds and thousands of years ago”.

The next step, scientists say, will be to make a beer following the original recipe, using 100% of the ingredients available at that time.