Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another Historical Experiment, of Sorts

Tonight, an adventurous friend of mine who loves beer gave me the opportunity to taste two recreations of historic brews that were discussed in Patrick McGovern's book "Uncorking the Past": Chateau Jiahu, a no-hops brew based on archaeological reconstruction of a Chinese brew from 9,000 years ago, and Midas' Touch, a similar reconstruction based on a 2,700 year old find in Turkey presumed to be the tomb of King Midas, of the "golden touch" legend.

Sadly, I could discern no meaningful difference between them. Despite the absence of hops from both beverages (the use of hops in beer was a surprisingly late development), both early brews simply tasted like beer to me--and beer (as opposed to wine, for example) has never been a beverage of which I've been very fond. Since beer has been so significant in the development of civilization, I regret that I am so incapable of seeing what people find desirable about it (other than the raw pleasure of getting drunk, that is).

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