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Beer Begets Food

barleyA recent study found that people were brewing beer with barley in China 5000 years ago. What’s interesting, though, is that barley didn’t become a staple crop for food in China until about 2000 years ago.

We often think of certain alcoholic drinks as being accidental byproducts of food: “Uh, honey, I think this cider has gone bad, but I better drink some to be sure… hey, this is strangely delicious and my legs feel tingly… did I ever tell you how beautiful you look?”

Well, in a bit of a switcheroo, barley as food may have been a byproduct of a few thousand years of brewing alcohol. Maybe sometime during the Zhou Dynasty there was a slow brewing day and a hungry brewer decided to eat some barley, and voila, a staple crop was born. Proving once again that accident is the mother of invention.

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