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Chicha Beer in Peru's Wari Empire

The Wari Empire ruled in Peru from around 600 to 1100. During that time they ruled over much of coastal and highland Peru.

Recent excavations have revealed that one of the tools they used to forge alliances was with the local beer, chicha.

This was brewed in large state-owned breweries and used both as a way of creating links with neighbouring tribes and also as a way of ensuring stability within the empire itself.

Regular festivals and beer-laden social gatherings were an ingrained part of Wari society.

Donna Nash of Arizona State University is one of the people whose work has revealed the large role of chicha in Wari society. She joins me for a chat about the Wari and the role chicha played in maintaining their society.