A 5,000-year-old brewery has been unearthed in China, and researchers have already discovered the recipe behind the Chinese brew. It's the first brewery to open its doors in years that isn't specializing in IPAs.
A team of archaeologists uncovered ancient beer-making tools in a series of underground rooms that they believe date between 3400 and 2900 B.C. The pots, funnels and other beer-making ephemera discovered were tested with ion chromatography to dig up their ancient recipe, which was published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The recipe included broomcorn millet, tubers, barley and Job's tears, which is also known as Chinese pearl barley. The lead researcher, Jiajing Wang from Stanford, suggested "it would taste a bit sour and a bit sweet." Mmmm. Beer.
The "secret ingredient" for this brewery was something fairly commonplace now: Barley. It's not entirely understood when or why it first found its way into China, but this is the earliest evidence of barley in the Central Plains.
Wang told NPR's The Salt: "Barley was one of the main ingredient[s] for beer brewing in other parts of the world, such as ancient Egypt. It is possible that when barley was introduced from Western Eurasia into the Central Plain of China, it came with the knowledge that the crop was a good ingredient for beer brewing. So it was not only the introduction of a new crop, but also the movement of knowledge associated with the crop."
No word on whether the brewery will be re-naming their fine ales "America" for the summer. Though it's possible, because apparently anyone can do that.