Ancient Egyptian beer recipe is revived in U.K.

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LONDON--What exclusive London store Harrods of Knightsbridge claims is the most expensive bottle of beer in the world went on sale in London this week.

The first bottle of Tutankhamun Ale, made from a 3,250-year-old recipe by U.K. brewer Scottish & Newcastle, had a price tag of $7,500. The remaining 999 bottles are priced at $75 each.

Six years ago, archaeologists from Cambridge University discovered the Royal Brewery in the Sun Temple of Queen Nefertiti at Armana, where her stepson, Tutankhamun, became pharaoh.

With Scottish & Newcastle's help, they used electron microscopes to analyse the solidified dregs of beer from excavated beer jars and thus determined how the beer had been made.

After growing seeds from the ancient plant strains in the U.K., enough raw materials were gathered for Scottish & Newcastle to make 1,000 bottles of the beer, says Harrods.

"Even the pure water of the desert wells was analyzed," says Jim Merrington, Scottish & Newcastle's project director. "We studied tomb paintings, deciphered hieroglyphs and excavated 10 or more brewing rooms."

Mohamed Al Fayed, Harrods' Egyptian owner, says that "immediately [after] I heard about the discovery, I knew that Harrods had to have Tutankhamun's Ale exclusively. In this, as in so many other fields, the Egyptians led the way."

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