Stanford Students Brew Beer Using 5,000-Year-Old Recipe from China

By Steven Hu, February 17, 2017

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People will go to great lengths to get their buzz on, and a group of students at Stanford University have recreated a brew using an 5,000 year-old Chinese beer recipe.

The millenia-old ale, made from cereal grains, including millet and barley, yam, lily root, as well as Job’s tears, a type of grass found in Asia, was brewed in a course called Archaeology of Food: Production, Consumption, and Ritual taught by Li Liu, professor of Chinese archaeology at the university. 

Liu and his graduate student discovered the recipe by analyzing the inner walls of pottery vessels excavated in northeast China. The discovery of this recipe points to the earliest evidence of beer making in ancient China.

Watch the video below (VPN off):

Liu's finding shows that barely, which was first domesticated in western Asia, was introduced to China 1,000 years earlier than current research suggests. Liu points out intially barely was likely used for making alcohol rather than a food source.

The ancient brew looks more like porridge but has a pleasant, sweet, and fruity taste, much like the hard cider you would find in liquor stores.

But don't get your hopes up; there are no plans to produce this ale for mass consumption.

[Image via Flickr]

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