Toga Party. Photo: WellofMike (Getty).
If you’ve ever been to a toga party, you know they consist of at least two things — bed sheets made to look like Greek robes, and copious amounts of beer. Both are essential parts of the college experience.
But what you might not have realized is your time throwing back brewskis in your only clean set of bed sheets is more historically accurate than previously thought.
Ancient Greeks Likely Brewed Beer
Waaaaaaaay back in the day, the ancient Greeks were notorious for their heavy consumption of wine. But according to some recent research, wine might not have been their only means of getting tanked.
Evidence shows the region might have produced beer from two beer-making facilities, both of which are likely the oldest in all of Greece.
“I’m 95 percent sure that they were making some form of beer,” said Tania Valamoti, a researcher and associate professor of archeology at the University of Thessaloniki. “Not the beer we know today, but some form of beer.”
Archeologists found two structures (one in northern Greece, another in the eastern region) that were likely breweries. What tipped them off to the beer-brewing were the sprouted cereal grains they found in the buildings. And as any brewer knows, sprouting cereal grains means malting. They also found special cups and a two-chambered structure that appears to have been constructed to maintain lower temperatures.
“It’s possible that ancient people used this structure during the beer-making process,” Valamoti wrote in the study.
The discoveries have archeologists believing these breweries were up and running around 2100 B.C. and 1700 B.C., making it the oldest evidence of Greek beer on record. Imagine if they kept it cooled since then and tried drinking it now — it would probably have a kick to it. Or it would kill you.
So the next time you hit up a toga party, make sure you tell your fellow Greeks that you’re celebrating history with your bed sheets and beers. Chug one for the Greeks that started the tradition thousands of years ago.