I'm interested in finding old beer recipes that are genuine, not clones. And by old, I'm talking about anywhere from a few hundred years to thousands of years old.

Obviously the beer is going to be significantly different than the beer of today, but I'm quite interested in tasting what our ancestors had.

Can you point me in the direction of books or websites?

Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    By 'genuine', do you mean using authentic ingredients? Because that will be be nearly impossible. Furthermore, how would you verify that what you produced was the same as the product 100 years ago? We have a hard enough time re-constructing 18th century German brewing tradition. It's a fools errand to think you can do it for anything a few hundred years old. Drink some Dogfish Head and call it a day.
    – Graham
    Dec 14 '11 at 20:29
  • Nice graham, nice. Upvoted.
    – brewchez
    Dec 15 '11 at 1:50
  • Dogfishhead has their ancient brew series. They put quite a bit of work into trying to reproduce ancient beer styles. Dec 15 '11 at 22:28
  • By Genuine, I mean not a clone, as stated in my post. I'm not looking for perfection in reproduction, just an approximation, but I'd like the receipes to be authentic.
    – Matthew
    Dec 20 '11 at 18:13

You might want to look for the book Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers. There are a number of recipes in this book that are collected from ancient sources. You should also do some research in to Gruit (www.gruitale.com) Gruit is beer that was brewed before the widespread use of hops (pre 1500s) and uses a number of herbs for their bittering and preservative characteristics.

Also a museum in Milwaukee (where I live) has been doing a series of symposiums about brewing ancient beers, the recipes have either been sourced from old books and ledgers or recreated based on mass spectrometry analysis of empty pots found in ancient burial sites. The archeologist that hosts the brewing sessions has posted his recipes and info about the re-created recipes on his blog: http://www.distantmirror.discoveryworld.org/?cat=5 (scroll down a bit)

  • +1 for Sacred Herbal and Healing Beers, This book is great for old school recipes.
    – dana
    Dec 20 '11 at 21:22

This article might be of interest and probably as close as you'll get. http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue2.5/hitchcock.html

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