The Bliss of Ninkasi

The art of brewing is as old as civilization. Between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago, some humans discontinued their nomadic hunting and gathering and settled down to farm. Grain was the first domesticated crop that started that farming process.

Through hieroglyphics, cuneiform characters and written accounts, historians have traced the roots of brewing back to ancient African, Egyptian and Sumerian tribes. The oldest proven records of brewing are about 6,000 years old and refer to the Sumerians.  Sumeria lay between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers including Southern Mesopotamia and the ancient cities of Babylon and Ur.  It is said that the Sumerians discovered the fermentation process by chance.  A seal around 4,000 years old is a Sumerian “Hymn to Ninkasi”, the goddess of brewing.  This “hymn” is also a recipe for making beer. No one knows today exactly how this occurred, but it could be that a piece of bread or grain became wet and a short time later, it began to ferment and a inebriating pulp resulted. These early accounts, with pictograms of what is recognizably barley, show bread being baked then crumbled into water to make a mash, which is then made into a drink that is recorded as having made people feel “exhilarated, wonderful and blissful!”   It could be that baked bread was a convenient method of storing and transporting a resource for making beer.  The Sumerians were able to repeat this process and are assumed to be he first civilized culture to brew beer. They had discovered a “divine drink” which certainly was a gift from the gods. –

Many people have their favorite beers and sometimes it’s hard to get out of a rut. You’re beer choices start to define you, maybe even date you…. my friend BB loves IPA, SM is a Lambic boy, L loved his ginger beer, JJ fantacizes he’s irish as he drinks his Guinness, my friend D had a personal glass and a reserved barstool at the Fish Tale brewery, my friend S needs some practice drinking his beer. So, I thought I might take him here sometime:

Gravity Beer Market

If you are finding yourself stuck in a beer rut, try out the Gravity beer market. Their tastings on Friday nights are a cheap beer adventure; a place to explore the new brew that might define the new you. Oh yes, and they are family friendly too!

The Gravity Beer Market  

1001 4th Ave E, Olympia, Wa 98501

Tel: (360)352-5107   Email us at


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