An article in the UK paper The Daily Telegraph covers an interesting archaeological study going on in Ireland:
After four years of research, which has seen them travel from Belgium to Bavaria to investigate ancient beer-making methods, the team has concluded that Ireland's love affair with alcohol predates the 1759 foundation of the Guinness brewery by many thousands of years. An archaeological consultancy based in Co Galway has demonstrated that enigmatic man-made Bronze Age features, which are common throughout Ireland, could well have been ancient microbreweries.The archaeologists from the Moore Group have their own website on the project including a gallery with a whack of photos illustrating out the techniques used to figure out what those brewers were up to way back when. Basically, they realized a large number similar long shallow pits found in the country were pre-historic mashing pits and then they showed how they were used by making a brew. The Telegraph's verdict on the product was that "the cloudy, yellowish brew with no discernible head was dangerously drinkable with a yeasty taste reminiscent of weiss beer." There are worse ways to get oneself through the dark ages.