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5,000 Year-Old Beer Recipe Unearthed in China

China Beer 5000 Year Old
Credit: Ryan McFarland (www.zieak.com)

Archaeologists from Stanford University have discovered a recipe for beer more than 5,000 years old, which marks the earliest recorded use of barley in China. 

The discovery was made along a tributary of the Wei River, where scientists unearthed equipment presumably used for brewing, filtration and storage of beer including amphorae, funnels, stoves and wide-mouthed pots. Inside the containers lay the residue from a liquid which included barley, "Job's Tears" (Chinese pearl barley), broomcorn millet and tubers like potatoes and yams. 

Though the ingredients would have likely made a somewhat flavorless brew, this discovery pushes back the time when barley was first thought to be used by more than a thousand years, which would mean that the Chinese were using barley for brewing beer-like beverages before they were eating it, contrary to what was previously thought.