Using yeast that was hidden deep under the earth for at least 5,000 years, a team of Israeli biologists, working jointly with archaeologists and beer makers, has succeeded in brewing the beer that Goliath of Gath could have quaffed as he met a young shepherd named David, The Times of Israel reported.
Interestingly, provided the seed funding is secured, the brew will soon hit the shelves as well, with customers being able to treat themselves to the drink.
In the one of a kind interdisciplinary experiment, the scientists singled out six yeast strains from 21 sherds of beer or wine vessels that were dug out from four ancient Holy Land sites, including the biblical Tell es-Safi/Gath, Bronze Age En-Besor in the Negev and an Egyptian brewery spotted in Tel Aviv’s Ha-Masger Street, with the latter dating back to as early as 3100 BCE.
The isolated viable yeast samples were then revitalised and used for brewing “ancient beers”, which boasted a variety of different aromas, since different yeasts emit different gases with their flavours based upon their genetic build-up and original source. The next step of the experiment saw the scientists isolate these ingredients from the gas produced during the fermentation to understand what was potentially in the original brew that the microorganisms were used in thousands of years ago.
“We are talking about a real breakthrough here. This is the first time we have managed to produce ancient alcohol from ancient yeast. In other words, from the original substances from which alcohol was produced. This has never been done before”, archaeologist Dr Yitzhak Paz from the Israel Antiquities Authority stated in a project press release.