How Was Beer Made in Ancient Times?

Beer has been a popular drink throughout human history, and its origins can be traced back to ancient times. The process of making beer in ancient times was quite different from the methods used today. Let’s take a look at how beer was made in ancient times.

Ancient Beer-Making Process

The earliest evidence of beer-making dates back to ancient Sumeria, modern-day Iraq, around 6000 BC. The Sumerians used barley as their primary grain and baked bread to make their beer. They would crumble the bread into water and then let it ferment naturally.


The ingredients for brewing beer in ancient times were quite simple. The primary ingredients were grains such as barley or wheat, water, and yeast. Herbs and flavorings such as coriander or juniper berries were often added to enhance the taste.

Brewing Process

The brewing process in ancient times was time-consuming and required patience. The grains were soaked in water until they sprouted before being dried in the sun. This process is called malting.

Once the grains were malted, they were crushed into a coarse powder called grist. The grist was mixed with warm water to create a mash, which was then left to rest for several hours.

After resting, the mash was strained through a sieve to remove any solid material before being boiled in a large pot over an open flame. This boiling process sterilized the liquid and helped extract the flavors from the grains.


Once boiled, the liquid was allowed to cool before yeast was added. The mixture was then poured into clay pots or leather bags before being sealed with wax or clay.

The fermentation process could take anywhere from several days to several months depending on various factors such as temperature and humidity levels.


In conclusion, the process of making beer in ancient times was quite different from the methods used today. The ingredients and brewing process have evolved over time, but the basic principles remain the same. Regardless of how it was made, beer has been a popular drink throughout human history and remains so today.