Agribusiness Handbook - Food retail

Agribusiness Handbook

Barley Malt Beer

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Rome, 2009

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Beer is an ancient beverage. Clay tablets describing the beer brewing process and dating back more than 5,000 years have been found in Mesopotamia. According to these tablets, Sumerians used to prepare “beer bread” out of germinated barley seeds. By crumbling this bread into water, they obtained a liquid called "sikaru", which was then boiled and mixed with a few herbs, resulting in a drink free of a harmful bacteria.

Over time, different types of starchy plants have been used for brewing, including maize (in South America), soy (in India and Persia), millet and sorghum (in Africa), and rice (in the Far East). Nowadays, beer production from barley malt is the most common brewing process worldwide.

© FAO 2009