Whatever happened to Sumerian beer?

From beeradvocate.com: Whatever Happened to Sumerian Beer?

Anthropologists and archaeologists believe that the first humans ever to make the great leap from a nomadic and tribal into a civilized and sedentary existence were the Sumerians, some eight to ten thousand years ago. The place was Mesopotamia (now the southern portion of present-day Iraq). Apparently the Sumerians had migrated there all the way from India. Once settled in the Middle East, they build elaborate communities, grouped in prosperous city-states, and surrounded by fertile fields, which they kept lush by communal irrigation from the waters of the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. The most magnificent of their urban centers was Babylon on the banks of the lower Euphrates. The Sumerians are considered the world’s first builders, farmers, and writers — and, as we know from archaeological finds, probably the first brewers, too. Beer was at the center of their religious rituals. Their highest deity was the goddess of beer and fertility. It is a measure of the importance of beer in Sumerian society that eventually about half their grain ended up in their brews.

The Sumerians’ ingenuity and wealth soon became [continue]