Leave it to Scientific American to report that Sam Calagione at Dogfish Head is working on a beer with a profound archeological connection:
“Called Chateau Jiahu, this blend of rice, honey and fruit was intoxicating Chinese villagers 9,000 years ago—long before grape wine had its start in Mesopotamia.”
The brewery’s recipe is based on the work of molecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern, who first described the brew in the 2005 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If that wasn’t enough to satisfy beer geeks, Dogfish Head is also working on a painstakingly researched modern update on a ninth-century Finnish beer called Sah’tea.
“In short, brewmasters carmelize wort on white hot river rocks, ferment it with German Weizen yeast, then toss on Finnish berries and a blend of spices to jazz up this rye-based beverage,” says Scientific American.
So far, BeerAdvocate tasters who have sampled it have given Sah’tea an “A,” so it looks like the brewery might be on to something with this quest back into the dark reaches of beer history.
Here’s a look at what goes into brewing the Sah’tea: white hot rocks!