Tippling through the ages

Among the few cultural traditions shared by human populations across time and geography is the abiding urge to make and consume alcoholic beverages. Alcohol was also one of the first medicines as well as a component of many early religious practices. But modern humans' choices are limited to a few alcoholic staples -- beer, wine, and "hard" liquor. Many of the beverages enjoyed by cultures past have been lost to the historical record. Patrick McGovern, a University of Pennsylvania researcher wh

Margaret Guthrie
Oct 29, 2009
Among the few cultural traditions shared by human populations across time and geography is the abiding urge to make and consume alcoholic beverages. Alcohol was also one of the first medicines as well as a component of many early religious practices. But modern humans' choices are limited to a few alcoholic staples -- beer, wine, and "hard" liquor. Many of the beverages enjoyed by cultures past have been lost to the historical record. Patrick McGovern, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who describes himself as a biomolecular archeologist, and linkurl:Sam Calagione,;http://www.dogfish.com/company/dogfish-way/our-people.htm founder and president of Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewery, aim to rescue some of these forgotten brews using a mixture of science and craftsmanship. The story of their collaboration began, McGovern said at a recent lecture at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, with the discovery of a burial mound -- called a tumulus -- marking the eternal...