Beer has refreshed the thirst of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world for thousands of years. 6000-year-old Ancient Sumerian clay tablets provide brewing’s earliest official record, though it is likely beer was first enjoyed in Neolithic times, when cereal harvesting began. Early man came to call beer liquid bread, as it was nutritious, thirst quenching and because it contained alcohol it didn’t easily deteriorate. At least 3,000 years before the Christian era, an intoxicating liquor manufactured from grains was known in Egypt. Beer, or zythum was used to honour the dead, and Osiris was the patron deity of brewers. At the same time in China people fermented the cereal millet to make tsiou, which was often used as an ancestral offering. Pliny the Roman historian records that a fermented drink made from corn and water was consumed regularly across Europe. In the first millennium AD, beer was sacred to the Celts, Germans and Scandinavians. The Celts made great strides in understanding the process of allowing cereal to germinate, which we call malting, and braces the Celt word for malting is the stem of the French word brasserie. And for nearly two thousand years monks in Europe have brewed beer, believing it was a more wholesome drink than water.