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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Toss Back World's Oldest Beer

One of the great beer marketing gimmicks (I mean tools) used lately involves "born on dating" or anything to do with checking for "freshness." Well, how would you like to throw back a 9,000 year old beer (at least a brew made from what may be the world’s oldest recipe for beer)?

Well, thanks to our friends at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Del. (Okay, I've never met them, but after visiting their web site, I feel as if we're best friends), -- and University of Pennsylvania molecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern -- you can now enjoy a beer brewed from a 9,000 year old Chinese recipe.

It seems that old Patrick first described the beverage in 2005 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences based on chemical traces from pottery in the Neolithic village of Jiahu in Northern China (and who says that scientist don't know how to have fun?). Soon after, McGovern called on Sam Calagione at the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Del., to do the ancient recipe justice. Called Chateau Jiahu, this blend of rice, honey and fruit was intoxicating Chinese villagers 9,000 years ago—long before grape wine had its start in Mesopotamia.

If you've not met Dogfish, you should check 'em out at

Off-centered ales, for off-centered people ... that's what we do here at Dogfish Head! Whether it's weird ingredients, super-strong extreme beers, or crazy, made-up styles, you can be sure that a beer from Dogfish will challenge your perceptions of what beer is supposed to be!

A few other off the wall (or shelf) Dogfish brews coming to you this summer:

The first large batch of Sah’tea for the general public—a modern update on a ninth-century Finnish beverage. In short, brewmasters carmelize wort on white hot river rocks, ferment it with German Weizen yeast, then toss on Finnish berries and a blend of spices to jazz up this rye-based beverage.

And Dogfish is also bringing back something called Theobroma. This is a cocoa-based brew theat was hatched from a chemical analysis of 3,200-year-old pottery fragments from the Cradle of Chocolate, the Ulua Valley in Honduras —made from a blend of cocoa, honey, chilies, and annatto.

Sir Bowie "off to find an off-centered ale" of Greenbriar


  1. Thats excellent B. there seems to be a trend lately for going back in time and finding the most ancient recipe for beer....tho to be honest there isn't much to it... apart from Hops, beer is beer;.. water grain and yeast,... hops came later, so they used all sorts of stuff to make it taste in the early days.

    It was only last night that they showed the medieval episode of
    bbc2's "supersizers eat...." series.

    In this ..the two presenters go back to a certain period and eat just the food of the period for a week. it is a brilliant series.

    my fave period being the Middle Ages..i was rivited to the screen and taking notes...
    they did it from Penshurst Place...a medievel hall that is next on my list to visit.

    And in the show they brewed beer from the period recipe..and very good and cloudy it was by all accounts...

    As for the food...i liked the fact they didn't have plates or cutlery...and they used slabs of bread to eat off, then they would give the bread ..soaked in gravy etc to the poor people...

    Sir Dayvd ( off to eat like a Knight ) off Oxfordshire

  2. Yeah, I have been a fan of Dogfish brews for a couple of year now. I really like their "Doggy Style Ale"!

    Don't drink the 9,000 year old beer with creationist...they think the world is only 5,000 year old!

    Sir Hook the Chinese Number One Son of Beer of Warrick