In the beginning the Egyptians bought beer in Babylon, although the drink was not resistant to long shipment. That is why, the Egyptians had to start beer making themselves. However, their beer was different from that of the Babylonians’. Making beer from maize was connected with the name of the old Egyptian god Osiris. It was called “Hek” and had a strong, sweetish taste.
The papyrus, discovered by a German Egyptologist, Georg Ebers, was the first medicinal document in the country of Pharaohs that contained beer recipes as well. The Egyptians knew a lot about curative qualities of beer, they considered that drinking beer prolonged the life.
Beer was the major product in the food allowance of pyramid builders. Often they were given beer as a reimbursement for their work. The brewer’s profession was so respectable that, this status was even kept in burials. It was true for Ninevia too. The stone masons got a certain amount of beer as their salaries, and the brewers were so highly regarded, that they were even exempt from military service.
Beer was incredibly popular in Egypt. That is why the renowned representative of the Dynasty of Ptolemy, Cleopatra, decided to raise the necessary sum for building pyramids by imposing taxes on beer. This was the very first tax in history, which was introduced for the preparation of a drink.