Dogfish Head, which has previously made Phrygian Beer (King Midas's Tomb)
, 9000 year-old Chinese Beer
, 3200 year-old Honduran Beer
, and Ancient Egyptian Beer
have unveiled their newest ancient beer: Etruscan Beer.
It's called Birra Etrusca
To develop the recipe for Birra Etrusca Bronze, Dogfish Head's Sam Calagione traveled to Rome with molecular archaeologist Dr. Pat McGovern. With the help of Birreria Brother Brewers Leo DeVencenzo of Birra del Borgo and Teo Musso of Baladin, they analyzed drinking vessels found in 2,800-year-old Etruscan tombs.
Although Italian historians were a little reluctant to admit it, the team clearly found that the Etruscans had a taste for ale.
"In every part of the process, we go for as much authenticity as we can," Calagione says. "Ingredients are often tough to track down, and there can be financial and logistical challenges, but we really love embracing these risks to bring these beers to market."
The backbone of Birra Etrusca comes from two-row malted barley and an heirloom Italian wheat. Specialty ingredients include hazelnut flour, pomegranates, Italian chestnut honey, Delaware wildflower honey and clover honey. A handful of whole-flower hops are added, but the bulk of the bitterness comes from gentian root and the sarsaparilla-like Ethiopian myrrh resin.
What's more, Dogfish Head is teaming up with two Italian brewers, so there will be three versions: Bronze (Dogfish Head), Wood (Baladin), and Terra Cotta (Birra del Borgo) based on the vessel it's brewed in. Here's a video: Link
. It's oddly half in English, half in Italian, so sorry about that.
Anyway, I'm excited about this. I'm a big fan of these ancient beers. Midas Touch, especially, is a great beer. While there's some creative license in choosing the exact ingredients, they do take pains to find out what many of the ingredients actually were. And it helps connect everyone with the past. After all, beer drinking is something we both have in common (and we have beer to thank for the creation of civilization).