This week in barley: Two brewing discoveries in Germany

Thousands of charred barley grains have been found in ditches in the early Celtic settlement of Eberdingen-Hochdorf, Germany. The site may have been used to make beer for a nearby religious center.

Researchers believe the grains were soaked in the ditches, then slowly dried and charred, giving the malt a smoky taste.

Hops would not have been used in beer at this time. A few seeds of henbane were found at the site, which may have been used for flavoring.

A 14th century building near Berlin has also yielded stores of barley. This time, the building contains eneough barley to create 60 cases of beer. [photo]