Early Celtic rulers in Germany brewed their own beer and left behind the 2,555-year old recipe the beer would have been dark, smoky and a little sour said the expert who excavated the site.

According to Wired Magazine “Six specially constructed ditches previously excavated at Eberdingen-Hochdorf a 2,550-year-old Celtic settlement, were used to make high-quality barley malt, a key beer ingredient, says archaeobotanist Hans-Peter Stika of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart”

The oldest known beer makers go back to 5,500 years ago in the Middle East but archaeological discoveries of the beer-making process, which the Celts left behind, are rare.

At the Celtic site, barley was soaked in specially made ditches until it sprouted. The grain was dried by lighting fires hence the smoky taste of Lactic acid bacteria would have provided the sour taste. Additives such as spice were added.

“These additives gave Celtic beer a completely different taste than what we’re used to today,” Stika told Wired, in 2011.

Fermentation was achieved by yeast-coated brewing equipment or by adding honey or fruit, both of which contain wild yeasts.

Experts say Stika’s experiments go a long way toward showing how barley was malted in ancient times.

Roman emperor Julian, in a 1,600-year-old poem, weighed in on Celtic beer describing it as smelling “like a billy goat.”

Nonetheless, it got you intoxicated if that was your plan.

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