Fads Come and Go

By Christopher Zoukis

I don’t know if you know it or not, but way back when, before they even had home brewing kits or modern beer brewing supplies – as far back as 3400 B.C. – people were brewing their own beer.  The world’s oldest known barley beer comes from the Zagros Mountains in Iran, as does the oldest grape wine (5400 B.C.).  But the all-time winner is a Neolithic grog unearthed in China’s Yellow River Valley about 9000 years ago. 

There’s a brewery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, called Dogfish Head, where they take these old brewing recipes seriously – they try to copy them.  Then they take the results and bottle it, distribute it, and sell it.  And surprisingly, some of the ancient-style beers they produce sell very well.    Dogfish Head’s brewery came up with a beer called Midas Touch, the recipe for which was based on old and decaying libations recovered from King Midas’ tomb (700 B.C.).

At the present juncture, the brewery is experimenting with an Egyptian beer.  The process is being filmed by Discovery Channel’s ‘Brew Master’s’ reality show.  Based on libations discovered by archaeologists in the tomb of Pharaoh Scorpion I, they are trying for a combination of savory, thyme and coriander.  To this medley of spices they added oregano and a number of others, such as doum-palm fruit and chamomile.

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