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Drinking the Past: Re-creating Ancient Brews

Evening Program with Book Signing and Tasting

Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1B0209

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Hundreds of thousands of years ago, our ancestors might well have made a Paleo-brew of wild fruits, honey, cereals, and botanicals. They must have marveled at the magical process of fermentation and the resulting mind-altering libations, which were to become the medicines, religious symbols, and social lubricants of later cultures.

This evening, follow Patrick E. McGovern on a fascinating sensory journey back in time. A pioneer in the new field of biomolecular archaeology, he interweaves archaeology and science as he recalls adventures in China, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Peru and Mexico, and other locales, in search of “liquid time capsules.” McGovern is joined by Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head Brewery, who has used McGovern’s findings to create some unique brews like Chateau Jiahu and Midas Touch. 

McGovern is the scientific director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia. His book Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-Created (WW Norton) is available for sale and signing. And of course there will be samples! Caglione will pour tastes of Dogfish Head brews inspired by McGovern’s intoxicating research.


S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)