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Cheers to Science: Something Old, Something Brewed

Thursday, May 28, 2015
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Dogfish Head president and founder Sam Calagione and biomolecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern took attendees on a heady tour of New and Old World traditions of fermented beverage-making, including the possible beginnings of distillation in pre-Hispanic Mexico. At the event, the audience got to sample the pair’s first ancient ale from Turkey (Midas Touch), their recreated ancient China brew (Chateau Jiahu), and a Nordic extreme beverage (Kvasir). Calagione and McGovern also talked about hwo ancient Native Americans and their ancestors, including the Aztecs and modern peoples, likely made drinks from a host of native domesticated plants including agave, hog plum, chile, guava, maize prickly pear, as early as 10,000 years ago. “Dr. Pat” discussed his chemical analysis of double-chambered jars from the heart of Mexico’s agave country that date back to as early as 1500 B.C., which may be the earliest distillation vessels ever discovered. The attendees also tasted three modern interpretations of ancient New World beverages—all named after the Aztec god for pulque, Ometochtlin, which means “Two-Rabbit.”


Sam CalagioneBrewer

When Sam Calagione opened Dogfish Head in 1995, it was the smallest commercial brewery in America. Today Dogfish is among the country’s fastest-growing breweries. He is the author of Brewing Up a Business and Extreme Brewing, and co-authored He Said Beer, She Said Wine.

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Patrick McGovernBiomolecular Archaeologist

Patrick McGovern is the scientific director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, where he is also an adjunct professor of anthropology.

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