University of Chicago aiming to recreate Sumerian beer

July 5, 2013 at 2:42 PM

CHICAGO, July 5 (UPI) -- Scholars at the University of Chicago say they are trying to recreate Sumerian beer from a 4,000-year-old recipe and locals will be able to sample it in August.

The school's Oriental Institute, which studies long-lost cultures and languages, said it is attempting to recreate Sumerian beer using an ingredients list from a stone tablet and clay vessels like those believed to have been used by the ancient Mesopotamian culture, the Chicago Tribune reported in Friday's print edition.

Tate Paulette, a graduate student and point man on the current project, said Cleveland brewer Pat Conway, the institute's partner on the project, suggested using clay vessels after earlier attempts to recreate Sumerian beer used modern brewing equipment.

Conway, a former graduate student at the University of Chicago and owner of the Great Lakes Brewing Company, said he was captivated by the history of beer during a trip to the institute's museum during a sales trip to Chicago.

"I was fascinated that people were brewing beer for thousands of years before they were writing," Conway said. "The Sumerians were amazing. They gave us law, mathematics, cities, empires."

The team said they will hold a public tasting of the replica Sumerian brew at the institute next month.

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