News Digest: Microbial Testing of Beer and Drinks

The rediscovery of yeast strains

Beer is one of the oldest known fermented beverages and plays a rich role in our history. It is believed that fermentation was discovered about 10,000 years ago in the Middle East and Asia by soaking grains and rice in water – and so beer was born. Ancient vessels containing traces of a fermented beverage made from rice, honey and fruit were discovered in Asia and around 9,000 BC, barley and wheat were cultivated routinely in the Middle East to allow the malting of grain. The pyramids in Egypt were built by workers paid in beer and bread, and the world’s oldest brewery is the Weihenstephan Benedictine monastery in Munich founded in 725 AD, which still plays a pivotal role in Germany’s world famous Oktoberfest.