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The First Beer in Human Civilization: A look Back in Time

by Brandon Moscrip January 23, 2023

The First Beer in Human Civilization: A look Back in Time

"The First Beer in Human Civilization: A Look Back in Time"

The First Drinks in Civilization

When we think of beer, we often think of a cold, refreshing beverage enjoyed with friends or after a long day at work. But the history of beer is much more complex and interesting than that. In fact, beer has been consumed by humans for thousands of years, and it has played a significant role in many cultures throughout history. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the first beer in human civilization.

The first beer in human civilization is believed to have been made by the ancient Sumerians around 4000 B.C. The Sumerians were one of the world's first civilizations and they lived in what is now southern Iraq. They had a complex system of writing and record keeping and they recorded the brewing of beer in their clay tablets. The Sumerians believed that beer was a gift from the gods and they even had a goddess of beer, named Ninkasi.

The Sumerians made beer from barley, which they would first dry and then grind into a fine powder. They would then mix the powder with water and let it ferment for several days. The resulting beer would be low in alcohol content and would have been cloudy and thick.

Beer Was Party Of Religious Ceremonies in Sumeria

Beer was not only a beverage, but it was also an important part of the Sumerian culture and society. It was used in religious ceremonies and was considered a sacred beverage. Additionally, beer was also used as a way to preserve grains and make them more palatable and nutritious.

Throughout history, beer has continued to be an important part of many cultures and societies. From the ancient Egyptians and the Vikings to the modern-day craft beer movement, beer has always been a beloved and integral part of human civilization.

Other Cultures Who Also Had Beer

Beer has been a part of cultures for thousands of years and is believed to trace its roots to the ancient Sumerians, who began brewing beer around 4000 B.C. However, other civilizations also had their own unique takes on beer! From the Egyptians to the Vikings, here are three other ancient societies who brewed their own variations of beer:

1. Egypt (3000-1000 B.C.)

The Ancient Egyptians were among the first to brew beer around 3000 B.C. The recipe involved barley, dates, and honey. The ingredients were boiled together in a pot before being left sitting for fermentation. Today’s Egypt still uses this ancient recipe to make "hiba", or "temple beer".

Egyptians Drinking Beer

2. Nordic Countries (800 - 1100 A.D.)

The Vikings were renowned for their mead-making prowess but they also enjoyed beer as well! Norse beers typically featured juniper branches in them, giving it an aromatic flavor. In addition to regular brews, they also made "Gruit" which was flavored with a variety of herbs and spices including wild rosemary and heather.

3. China (3000-2000 B.C.)

China may not be known today as a go-to spot for craft beer but there is evidence that suggests it had its own brewing culture thousands of years ago! Chinese beers typically contained millet and wheat and were so highly regarded that it was reserved only for rituals or special occasions.

Ancient Chinese Drinking Beer

All said, the history of beer is rich and diverse, and it is fascinating to see how it has evolved over thousands of years. The first beer in human civilization, made by the ancient Sumerians, was a sacred and important part of their culture and society and it started a legacy that still continues today.  Beer will continue to evolve over time and how knows if future civilizations will look back at us and who started to drink their staple alcohol.  Maybe they will be searching who had the first lagers?

Brandon Moscrip
Brandon Moscrip


If you can not get a hold of Brandon he is either Snowboarding, diving, in a hammock or on the hunt for his favourite new Craft Beverage somewhere globally. If you are looking for Brandon, you'll have a better chance finding Waldo.

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