While talking about Georgia, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably wine, as it is famous for the wine-making traditions. However, we also have a long history of brewing culture. In this article, I will tell you about the history of Georgian beer.
I guess you know that the brewing is connected with the granular culture. This fact takes us to the past, as even old Greeks paid attention to the Georgians’ talent in agriculture. The archaeological excavations during which they found different kinds of working tools prove it. From 17 types of wheat, 12 types were found in Georgia. Georgians were growing the wheat from the 7th-6th centuries BC. It is true that in the lower part of Georgia, wine-making dominates because there is a favorable climate for the vineyards. However, in the mountainous area, brewing is more popular than wine. The history of Georgian beer starts in the mountains, as they lack the necessary conditions for wine-making.
The arrival of brewing culture in Georgia is connected with the ancient eastern countries, and all the important holidays or rituals in the mountains included beer. In the past, people believed that only by drinking beer the boys could be recognized as the real men. For example, in Khevsureti, the teenagers above 14 years old had permission to drink beer. Even children could drink a cup of beer on holidays. They were marking the foreheads of children with the coal in order to prevent them from drinking more. All those rituals were controlled by a leader that was elected by the mountainous people. That is how beer became a national drink for the upper part of Georgia, since the ancient time. Brewing culture was improving in the highland areas, as they had a rich production process. They also have a big variety of original dishes to taste alongside the beer. You will understand this if you visit Tusheti, Khevsureti or other mountainous areas of Georgia.
Nowadays, there are many Georgian companies that produce beer. Despite the fact that we kept old traditions of brewing, we also produce beer by using the new technologies. Recently, I explored a very nice place in Tbilisi, where you can taste a real Georgian beer. It is called “2 Tons”. It is a mix of a brewery and a restaurant. They are producing beer in the place, and you can see it live. Apart from the excursion and beer tasting, the restaurant also offers different famous national dishes. This is one of the favorite places for beer lovers, as they can enjoy the degustation of different kinds of beers.
While being in Georgia, do not forget to explore more about its brewing culture. Highlander people are always happy to tell you interesting stories connected to beer. Also, visit the restaurant “2 Tons”, that will give you a nice experience of beer tasting.
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