Beer’s long history in Georgia is also evidenced by archaeological and ethnographic materials. Traditionally, Georgian mountain-dwellers mainly made beer from barley, primarily making barely malt. Before that they would grind dried barley coarsely at a mill, put it in a sack, and keep it in a dark place.
Preparations for brewing beer would normally start 7-8 days before a holiday known as “kvabebis dakra” (placing the pots) in Khevsureti, and “kvavebis shekideba” (hanging the pots) in Tusheti. In this process, the best ratio has long been considered to be one measure of barley malt per one measure of water. The boiled and pressed sweet parts (called “sistsveni” or “zistsveni”) are poured into a freshly-cleaned beer pot, and hops are then added.
In summer, when holidays take place in the mountains, aludi is served in the centers of villages everywhere. It is specially brewed for festivities, where an elder will say a prayer, asking for mercy, thus concluding the sacred beer ritual. Beer has historically been considered a ritual beverage in the mountains, so every festive or mournful supra was accompanied by beer, conveying a certain purity and respect.