Cheers to Beer

Two people holding beer
Two people holding beer

If you know me (which you may or may not), you will know that there is one beverage I love more than any other. No, not chocolate milk. Although I love that very much as well.

My favourite beverage above all others is beer.

Okay, maybe water first (because survival). Then beer second. And chocolate milk third.

So when I found out that ancient workers used to be paid in beer… well, you can probably imagine my excitement. And extreme jealousy.

How did historians discover this cool fact? Not too long ago, a 5,000-year-old clay tablet was uncovered in the Mesopotamian city of Uruk, now modern-day Iraq. This tablet has markings recording the amount of beer owed to a worker. Basically, a pay stub. You can take a look at it here.

And paying people in alcohol didn’t just happen in Mesopotamia. Similar documents have been found in places like Egypt. Workers behind some of the greatest pyramids in history were being paid with beer—and a lot of it. Some records show that people were receiving four to five litres of the hoppy stuff per day for their hard work.