Ancient Beer

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live during the heyday of the Neolithic Revolution, some 9000 year ago?  More specifically, have you ever wondered what humans concocted as their earliest fermented beverages and how it tasted (and felt)?  Thanks to revolutionary advances in chemical science over the past 40 years, it is now possible to tease out the ancient organic compounds that can provide us with the ancient recipe, and then re-create this beverage in the present.

This evening, Dr. Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania Museum’s Biomolecular Archaeology laboratory will discuss how his lab and colleagues have resurrected ancient fermented beverages, including the earliest barley beer (from Iran, of all places) and the recently released Chateau Jiahu from Dogfish Head Brewery, based on a 9000-year-old Chinese “recipe” of hawthorn fruit, grapes, honey, and rice malt.