hist-brewing: Stone Age Beer tastes like Shit

PBLoomis at aol.com PBLoomis at aol.com
Thu Sep 6 13:48:17 PDT 2001

In a message dated 9/5/01 5:53:56 PM Central Daylight Time, 
ptuger at bellsouth.net writes:

> Using our Content
>  © 2001 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd
>  05 September 2001 23:48 GMT+1 
>  Independent 
>  5,000-year-old pub found on Orkney served real dung ale
>  By Kath Gourlay
>  02 September 2001
>  It tastes like what? Real ale fans in Orkney will take authenticity to its 
> furthest extreme today by supping "stone-age" beer flavoured with dung.
>  The neolithic ale has been scientifically recreated, complete with 
> farmyard flavours, after historians discovered what they claim is a 
> old pub and brewery on the islands.
>  Now hard-drinking Orcadians have been invited to put their brewing 
> to the test – in the full knowledge it has been manufactured in clay pots 
> bearing the traces of baked animal droppings.
>  Merryn Dineley, a historian from Manchester University and chief brewer of 
> the ancient liquor, insists that the dung is an essential component of the 
> original flavour.
>  "It's quite delicious, actually," she claims, hoping that visitors to this 
> weekend's Orkney Science Fair will agree. There's no escaping the dung, but 
> she has at least removed the deadly nightshade, henbane and hemlock found 
> the original recipe.
>  Islander Andrew Appleby is one of the few to have sampled the stone-age 
>  "It's definitely potent – no mistake about that – not to be served in 
> mugs," he commented. "Not unless you want a free colonic irrigation 
> afterwards. So long as you don't expect it to resemble modern ales it is 
> drinkable."
>  Mr Appleby is a commercial potter who regularly makes "grooved ware" pots 
> the authentic stone-age way, fired in an outdoor kiln made from cow dung 
> reeds. The dung is routinely burned onto the resulting pots – the more the 
> better.
>  Ms Dineley concluded there had been a brewery at Skara Brae in Orkney, 
> Britain's best preserved neolithic village, after examining stone-lined 
> drains running under some of the houses, along with evidence of a kiln for 
> malting grain. Traces of cereal-based fermented alcohol have been found on 
> nearby site.
>  "There's no doubt these neolithic people were fermenting alcohol from 
>  she said. "In fact I think they were making barley malt for brewing before 
> they thought about grinding up grain for bread." 

    Having a wonderful wine.  Wish you were beer.

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