Archaeologists discover ‘evidence of first beer ever brewed in the UK’ in Cambridgeshire

A staff engaged on widening the A14 have discovered proof of what archaeologists imagine to be the primary beer brewed within the UK.

The consultants engaged on street enhancements to the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon mentioned tiny fragments of charred residue from the brewing course of had been present in excavated earth.

They imagine the brew may date again so far as 400BC.

“It is a well-known incontrovertible fact that historic populations used the beer-making course of to purify water and create a protected supply of hydration,” says Dr Steve Sherlock, Highways England archaeology lead for the A14 enlargement.

“However that is probably the earliest bodily proof of that course of happening within the UK.”

Lara Gonzalez, one among roughly 250 archaeologists working on the web site, uncovered the proof.

“I knew after I checked out these tiny fragments beneath the microscope that I had one thing particular,” she says.

She explains that the microstructure of the stays had modified by the fermentation course of and there have been distinctive air bubbles generally shaped within the boiling and mashing strategy of beer brewing.

“It is like on the lookout for a needle in a haystack however, as an archaeobotanist, it is extremely thrilling to establish stays of this significance and to play an element in uncovering the fascinating historical past of the Cambridgeshire panorama,” she says. 

Gonzalez provides that the porous buildings of the fragments had the same look to these in bread, however confirmed “proof of fermentation” and contained “bigger items of cracked grains and bran, however no fantastic flour”.

Because of this, the staff imagine the residue was shaped through the beer-making course of.

Roger Protz, the previous editor of the Campaign for Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide, says East Anglia has a well-established status within the brewing business given the kind of barley grown within the space.

“It is often called maritime barley and is prized all through the world,” says Protz.

“When the Romans invaded Britain they discovered the native tribes brewing a sort of beer known as curmi.”


He believes the brew in query was more than likely created from grain.

A Highways England spokesman mentioned different finds counsel locals within the area additionally “had a style for porridge and bread”.

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In October 2018, street staff engaged on the bypass had unearthed the Ice Age stays of a woolly mammoth which had been estimated to be round 150,000 years previous.

They’ve additionally found prehistoric henges (prehistoric British constructions), Iron Age settlements, Roman kilns, three Anglo-Saxon villages and a medieval hamlet.


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