Monday, May 4, 2009

Midas Touch Golden Elixir

The Dogfish Brewery in Deleware brews a 9,000 year old beer recipe and calls it Midas Touch Golden Elixir.  National Geographic featured the brew and its discovery and adds these details:

Sam Calagione of the Dogfish Head brewery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, used a recipe that included rice, honey, and grape and hawthorn fruits. He got the formula from archaeologists who derived it from the residues of pottery jars found in the late Stone Age village of Jiahu in northern China.

Patrick McGovern, an archaeochemist at the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia, an expert in the origins and history of alcoholic beverages, performed the chemical analysis on the pottery. He said fruit juices and liquid honey in a temperate climate would easily ferment, allowing for the production of alcohol.

In earlier research McGovern found evidence of a similar alcoholic beverage in a 2,700-year-old royal tomb in Turkey—perhaps that of King Midas. He then collaborated with Calagione, Dogfish Head's president, to re-create the drink.

Mike Gerhart, distillery manager at Dogfish Head's brewery, struggled to categorize the beverage. "It wasn't a beer, it wasn't a mead, and it wasn't a wine or a cider. It was somewhere between all of them, in this gray area," he said.

Visually, Gerhart described Chateau Jiahu as gold in color with a dense, white head similar to champagne bubbles. Calagione said the beverage most closely resembles a Belgian-style ale.

The Dogfish website touts this information about its brew:

This recipe is the actual oldest-known fermented beverage in the world! It is an ancient Turkish recipe using the original ingredients from the 2700 year old drinking vessels discovered in the tomb of King Midas. Somewhere between wine & mead; this smooth, sweet, yet dry ale will please the Chardonnay of beer drinker alike.

Food Pairing Recommendations:

Pan-Asian dishes, risotto, curries, baked fish and chicken

Glassware Recommendation:

White Wine

Tasting Notes:
Honey, saffron, papaya, melon, biscuity, succulent

Wine Comparable:

Sauterne Champagne

Perhaps we ought to begin a Thursday evening Greek Mythology Reading Club while downing a bottle or two of this interesting elixir.  That might be a grand affair and could, after the 3rd bottle is opened, lead to discussions on democracy itself- as played out here in America.  Time?  Place?

note to microdot- could you fly over maybe every other Thursday and bring along some wonderful French cheese to go along witht he elixir?

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