Alcohol Archaeology

I’ve got a couple articles on one Patrick McGovern who is trying to re-create beverages from ancient times. Not just beer, but wine and mead too, industries that were, apparently, intertwined once upon a time.

That makes sense as the basic ideas behind fermenting beverages are the same: sugars in a liquid eaten by yeast. After that it’s just a matter of keeping things free of contamination and adding whatever spices you’d like. It seems that many of the possible samples we might have for drinks made long ago are generally reflective of the wealthy, and that also makes sense. Poor people almost certainly had alcohol but they weren’t going to be preserved as well.

On a happier note, some of McGovern’s work is even represented today by more adventurous brewers like Dogfishhead, which is pretty cool.

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