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beer in Armenia

Where is Armenia on the Geography of Beer

There are many interesting facts related to the history of beer, one of which is the hypothesis put forward by the American scientist Alan Eames. According to him, 10,000 years ago in the southeast of the Mediterranean, people made barley a part of their culture and an object of worship. They used barley to make beer, which they considered a special drink for communicating with the gods.

Homeland of Beer

Beer is an ancient drink and a rich culture. It is believed to have been made as early as the Paleolithic and, as wine is also attributed, the original forms arose quite by accident. People stored barley for their own personal use, which was milled and, by chance, very often also a little sprouted. Malting of malted barley with water is one of the first stages of brewing, and not all houses and warehouses were completely protected from rain and water during this period. Thus, the barley could easily be mixed with water and fermented by wild yeasts present in the area into an alcoholic beverage. People have tried the resulting product and, as in the case of wine, having understood the entire production cycle, have tried to improve it. There are many claims that humans started farming in general and cultivated barley so that they could make beer rather than bread. According to anthropologists, the rich, fruitfulness of nature and hunting were completely sufficient for food for the primitive man. And here they claim in all seriousness that people moved to a more complex agricultural life motivated by an insatiable desire to drink. It seems that beer does not have a specific homeland, because research shows that it has always been everywhere, on all continents and among many nations. Different references point to different nations as the actual originators of the beer. Historians and archaeologists claim that beer appeared 8-10 thousand years ago. However, there are countries where brewing has been quite developed since the earliest times.


According to archaeologists' studies, beer was widespread in ancient Babylon and Mesopotamia, that is, 6-8 thousand years ago. The Babylonians salted the barley malt with stones, added water, herbs, fermented the resulting liquid and after a few days got the cooling drink. It was in Mesopotamia that thousands of years ago there was a great breakthrough in brewing - the extraction of malt from barley. At first, they got it accidentally, it sprouted barley in water, then they dried it in the sun. As a result, the starch, which turned into sugar as a result of fermentation, became the basis for making strong beer.
Already in those times, beer becomes a profitable product for trade. Beer trading centers were created in Mesopotamia, because beer was brewed there in a more professional way, just for trade.

Ancient Egypt

Archaeologists have also discovered traces of the developed culture of brewing in Ancient Egypt. The oldest Egyptian beer recipe dates back to 3500 BC. There are even different hieroglyphs that show the connection between beer and food.
At first, they bought beer from the Babylonians, but because it traveled a long way and lost its unique taste, the Egyptians decided to brew their own beer. The ancient Egyptian beer, called khek, was sweet and strong. Already in the time of the pharaohs, they perfectly mastered the preparation of barley malt. The Egyptians were able to make beer even with different mash and spices. The Ebers Papyrus testifies that the Egyptians knew how to brew different types of beer. And even though they had access to a variety of grains, the Egyptians still preferred to use barley for brewing. They attributed the invention of grain beer to the god Osiris, and brewers were respected people. They attributed many healing properties to beer and believed that enjoyment, including beer, prolonged life. During the explorations of Beni Hassan, artifacts dating back nearly 5,000 years were found, which show that beer has been used for trade since then, being sold not only in places intended for public drinking, but also as an export product. Years later, the Greek writer Zosimus, traveling to Egypt, described the brewing process he saw there. He described the process of germination and disinfection, which is believed to have been used for thousands of years. They were very similar to the methods that are still used in some villages in Africa. The old barons even prepared bread and beer for their workers and servants, and the beer that was given to them was unfiltered and raw. It was nutritious because it contained residual grain protein as well as vitamins from enzyme organisms.


Many consider Europe to be the only homeland of beer. Beer was an integral part of the diet of European sailors and became popular on every continent where the ships went. English sailors got 3-4 liters of beer a day, which helped them to carry out sea voyages more easily. It was preserved better than water, did not spoil in containers, and in addition contained vitamins and useful nutrients, which gave sailors strength.
The technique of brewing beer gradually spread from Germany to England and Scandinavian countries, and then, as a result of the expansion of European culture, to the whole world. That is why Germany is considered the homeland of beer. Beer also owes its name to Germany, because in old German the name "bior" was used for this drink, which is the basis of the current words "bier" and "beer". In Belgium, whose beer is currently very famous, brewing began in 993. At that time, only monks were allowed to brew beer. Like many people, they stored beer in attics to prevent it from spoiling. Unlike ordinary brewers, monks brewed beer more consistently, performing various tests and records, thus preserving it for future generations. The beer of the monks was increasingly perfected and, it is believed, they are the ones who came up with the idea of using hops.


Armenia is one of the oldest countries that is the homeland of beer. Xenophon's work "Anabasis" is one of the vivid proofs of this, where he describes his time spent in Armenia. In his book, Xenophon tells about the prosperity and hospitality of the Armenian country. He says that he saw beer for the first time in Armenia. "Wheat, barley, vegetables and wine made from barley were stored there. Barley grains were floating on the surface of the wine, and large and small reeds were placed in it. Whoever wanted to drink had to put the reed in his mouth and draw the wine. Unmixed wine was very strong, but for people who were used to it, it was a very pleasant drink. Inspired by Xenophon's work, years later, in 1939, Boris Piotrovsky, who believes that brewing beer was widespread in Armenia since the Urartian Kingdom (9th-14th centuries BC), decides to conduct excavations in the area of Karmir Blur (Red Hill). He discovers clay pots with blackened barley seeds and pots in which barley was grown. The latter joined the jugs in which beer was collected. Piotrowski also discovers recipes that described the preparation of beer and sweet malt. All this, in addition to Xenophon's references, further confirms the not so well-known, but scientifically proven opinion that since time immemorial, our country has been considered one of the centers of brewing in the whole world.