The brewing process
Brewing is an ancient art. The first written recorded reference to beer is from around 1800 BC and is a song of praise to Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess of beer. However evidence of brewing in Mesapotamia dates back as far as 3500 BC.
The basic process has not changed significantly in the intervening 5000 years, but the resulting products certainly have.
Firstly a grain was dampened to make it germinate – releasing sugars from within the grain. Then it was dried for storage. When it was time to brew, the grain would be added to water and then allowed to ferment. Whilst we now add very specific yeasts to create the flavour profiles of different beers, ancient brewers would rely on wild yeasts making contact with the liquid. After the liquid had fermented, it would be filtered before consumption.
The diagram below shows how the process takes place in a modern brewery.