Blog: Chris Brook-CarterA pint of VERY vintage, please.

Chris Brook-Carter | 28 July 2004

As those of you fortunate enough to have met any of the just-drinks staff know only too well, we like the odd drink. As did our parents. And our grandparents. In fact, it’s possible the lines of drinkers in our families might go back further than we think.

Archaeologists working in southern Peru have found a brewery more than 1,000 years old on Cerro Baul, a mountaintop city over 8,000 feet above sea level that was home to elite members of the Wari Empire from AD 600-1000.

Predating the Inca Empire by at least four centuries, this Wari brewery was used to make chicha, a fermented beverage similar to beer that played an important role in ritual feasting and drinking during Peru's first empire.

Patrick Ryan Williams, PhD, assistant curator of Anthropology at The Field Museum, said: “The scale of chicha production in this building with multiple fires and vats, indicates that this was not a home-brewing operation. It was an elaborate brewery that produced massive amounts of chicha.”

Mmm… Chicha – sounds good to us.


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