On October 7th, the China Institute will host Dogfish Head's Sam Calagione for a lecture and tasting of his 'archeological' beers that have recipes that date back to ancient civilizations. Anyone intrested can purchase tickets here.
Archaeology of Beers: Tastings of Ancient Ales
This two-part series will be jointly hosted by Dogfish Head Brewery’s founder and president Sam Calagione, Dr. Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Agnes Hsu, China Institute’s Resident Scholar and Consulting Archaeologist to UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Since 1999, Calagione has worked closely with McGovern, a leading molecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, to bring ancient brewing history back to life.
The first beer they created together was Midas Touch, based on molecular evidence found in a tomb in Turkey believed to have belonged to the legendary King Midas of Greek mythology.
The second ancient ale was Chateau Jiahu, based on an ingredient list unearthed from a 9000-year-old Chinese burial. This recipe is the earliest evidence of fermented beverage in the history of civilization—proving that drinks made from fermented grains (beer) have a longer history than beverages made from fermented grapes (wine). Chateau Jiahu was awarded the Specialty Beer Gold Medal at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival.
Their third creation, Theobroma (“Food of the Gods” in the Aztec language), is based on the chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras that showed evidence of the earliest known alcoholic chocolate drink used by early civilizations to toast special occasions. Tastings of this ancient trio will be complemented by other exotic and seasonal ales that have become signatures of Dogfish Head’s craft brew masters.
Part I of the series will be hosted by Sam Calagione, Founder and President of Dogfish Head Brewery, who is also starring in Brewed, a Discovery Channel series about the fascinating history of beer making.
Part II will feature an in-depth talk by Dr. Patrick McGovern, Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology. He is the author of Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture (2003) and Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages (2009), as well as over 100 periodical articles.