From the Bar – Armchair archaeology, beer style

Once upon a time I was intent on becoming an archaeologist.  I grew up watching The Secrets of Isis (Oh Mighty Isis!) where the archaeologist found a magical necklace and became a superhero.  And of course, I watched the various Indiana Jones movies.  My parents supported many of my odd desires, so they took me around to local digs, mostly for eastern woodland Indians and finding wampum beads with an occasional old house foundation and outhouse to dig up (latrines are often trash pits).  When I was in high school I worked on a dig that was right across a creek from where they found a burial.  I, and my coworkers, moved a good acre of dirt and found not one artifact, not even a flint chip, although we found a bunch of postholes.   I also “enjoyed” one other fact of life of an archaeologist, the “archaeologist’s smile” that arch shaped sunburn across your lower back because the shirt rides up *every* time you bend over.

I ended up in geology because I liked the science behind it, rather than the often simple brute labor  and lack of reward that archeology requires (geology does also require brute labor, ask me how many freakin’ drill augers I’ve lifted and steamcleaned, but there are always rocks where you look).  I am glad that there are some people who are willing to do that, because I can enjoy the fruits of their labors.  From my aforementioned armchair.

This archaeology has been used in a unique way by Dogfish Head Brewery.  Earlier in this blog, I reviewed their Egyptian beer, Ta Henket.  This weekend, we tried two more, Chateau Jianhu and Theobroma.

Jianhu is a recreation of a Chinese brew, the remains found in a dig that revealed pottery jars in a Neolithic village.  Humans were indeed busy fermenting early in their history. Jianhu has a very similar flavor to the Ta Henket, but the scent is different, with the grape must coming through clearly.  It does have similar savory taste to the Egyptian beer.  Definitely something that I will want again, but this is not a session beer for me.  The taste is too unusual to drink more than one at a time.  It’s also quite strong, 10% alcohol.  Though I have yet to try it, I would suspect that this would taste similar to Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch.

The Theobroma is also excellent and unusual, very reminiscent in taste of the Ta Henket and the Jianhu.  However, the cocoa comes through strongly in the aroma and the chilis do leave a slight warmth in the back of the throat. It also leaves a warmth in your tummy, with 9% alcohol. 😀

Again, got these at the local Wegman’s and I appreciate their purchasers’ range of tastes.

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