Chinese drinkers may have been brewing beer as many as 5,000 years ago, new research suggests.
US and Chinese researchers say they found traces of barley, millet, grain, and tubers used in fermentation.
It was found on pottery discovered in Shaanxi province in northern China during an archaeological dig 10 years ago.
It would be the earliest known instance of beer-making in China and suggest a sophisticated approach.
Published in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study also suggested that barley may have been used for booze before being used for food.
The findings suggest that drinkers in China first began to develop a taste for beer around the same time as people in ancient Egypt and Iran – from where the barley may have come.