The Great Egyptian Brewery of Abydos

The Great Egyptian Brewery of Abydos

Alexzander (AJ) Braaten, Reporter

Liquor, Beer, Booze, some say it is the greatest thing ever, other think of it as a helpful way to relieve stress and get on with your day, and some even say it is the root of all evils. Wherever your opinion lands on the spectrum, there is no denying that alcohol, in its many forms, has had a major impact on our society ever since the first person got drunk off fermented grape juice. That history just got a bit more interesting as a joint archeological expedition with Egypt and America has unearthed something big.

Near the city of Abydos, the archaelogical team found an industrial scale Brewery that seems to be over 5,000 years old. This would make this site the oldest known brewery in history, dethroning the Weihenstephan brewery in Bavaria. Not only is this new brewery older but it is also quite large, with an estimated capacity of 20,000 liters per batch, and about 40 emplacements for pottery that would act as vats. If the estimation of how old the brewery is correct, then it would place the building in the rule of King Narmer. Most historians credit Narmer as the founder of the first dynasty and the first leader of a unified Egypt. Could the brewery have been a contributing factor to the unification and success of Egypt? Most likely not, but it sure didn’t hurt.

Compared to modern breweries this ancient artifact doesn’t quite stack up to the mass distributors of today, but its size is still quite impressive. According to the expedition lead, Matthew Adams the brewery’s production of 5,900 gallons per batch is quote, “Enough to give every person in a 40,000-seat sports stadium a pint.” Back in Ancient Egypt, beer was consumed at a very wide rate, especially among the lower class, it went by many names, such as Heqet, Tenemu, and Kha-ahmet. Beer was even provided as a ration for workers on the Great Pyramids of Gisa, with a daily amount of ten pints (around 20 cups) for each worker. This was no lightweight beer either, as this Egyptian beer was quite different from what we’d see stocked at a supermarket today. Their beer usually had an alcohol content of around 10% which is 5 percent more than the average for beers today.

In conclusion, Ancient Egypt wouldn’t have been the same without beer and this discovery just goes to further prove it. So whatever you’re drinking, alcoholic or not, you can raise a pint to king Namier and the Egypt-American archeological team for the great Egyptian brewery.