Beer, First Beer - Egypt

by - 9:47 AM

Beer is one of the oldest beverages humans have produced, dating back to at least the 5th millennium BC in ancient Iran, and was recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. However, the exact origin of beer is difficult to pinpoint because it is likely that beer-like beverages spontaneously fermented from wild cereals, meaning the discovery would pre-date recorded history.

In the context of ancient Egypt, beer was a vital part of their daily life. It was a dietary staple, used in religious rituals and even medicine. There is archaeological evidence of beer brewing dating back to the early years of ancient Egypt, and it's clear that by the time of the Pharaohs, brewing beer was a well-developed craft. The beer brewed in ancient Egypt was a thick, porridge-like drink, made from a recipe of barley, water, and yeast.

Everyone in ancient Egypt drank beer, including children, largely because it was safer than drinking water from the Nile, which could contain harmful bacteria. Beer was also used as a form of compensation. Workers who built the pyramids, for example, were often paid in beer (and bread).

Despite its prevalence, beer in ancient Egypt was not the same as the beer we know today. It was thicker and sweeter, often flavoured with spices or fruits. Some versions were so thick they had to be consumed with the aid of a straw to avoid drinking the barley hulls left in the brew. 

However, the basic principles of brewing that were established in those ancient times – the fermentation of sugars from starches – continue to guide beer production today. So, while we can't say that the Pharaohs had the first beer in history, their civilization certainly played a significant role in the development and history of this popular beverage.

Singapore has a growing craft beer scene, with local breweries producing a range of unique and exciting beers. Here are some of the local Singaporean breweries and some of their notable beers:

  1. Brewlander & Co.: Started by award-winning homebrewer, John Wei, Brewlander & Co. is a gypsy brewery producing a range of artisanal beers. Notable brews include 'Hope', a summer ale, 'Love', a wild IPA, and 'Respect', a porter.

  2. Rye & Pint Brewery: A family-run microbrewery based in Singapore, some of their beers include 'Sunday's Brew', a pilsner, 'Punch', a mango-infused IPA, and 'Night Rider', a robust porter.

  3. LeVel33: Claiming to be the world's highest urban craft brewery, LeVel33 offers a core range that includes their Lager, IPA, Stout, Wheat and House Porter.

  4. The 1925 Brewing Co.: A brewery and restaurant, their brews often incorporate elements of their Teochew heritage. Beers include the 'Yellow Van', a pale ale, and the 'Blk 622', a dark ale.

  5. RedDot BrewHouse: Known for being Singapore's first locally owned, independent commercial microbrewery. They offer a range of beers including the 'Monster Green Lager', a spirulina-infused beer, and the 'RedDot Lime Wheat', a refreshing wheat beer with a hint of local lime (kalamansi).

  6. Lion Brewery Co.: This brewery focuses on making classic beer styles with a modern touch. Their flagship beer, 'Straits Pale Ale', is a British and Australian style pale ale.

  7. Little Island Brewing Co.: A self-serve brewery and smokehouse located on the coast. They offer a range of beers, from 'That Old Black Magic', a dry stout, to 'Sister Golden Ale', an English style golden ale.

These are just a few examples of Singapore's diverse craft beer offerings. Each brewery has its own unique brewing style and philosophy, leading to a wide array of beer flavors and styles available for beer enthusiasts. By 2023, it's likely that the craft beer scene in Singapore has continued to grow and evolve.

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