Ancient Brews

Rediscovered and Re-created

Patrick E. McGovern (Author)

With a Foreword by Sam Calagione

Overview | Formats

One of Smithsonian Magazine’s Ten Best Books of the Year about Food
A Forbes Best Booze Book of the Year

Interweaving archaeology and science, Patrick E. McGovern tells the enthralling story of the world’s oldest alcoholic beverages and the cultures that created them. Humans invented heady concoctions, experimenting with fruits, honey, cereals, tree resins, botanicals, and more. These “liquid time capsules” carried social, medicinal, and religious significance with far-reaching consequences for our species. McGovern describes nine extreme fermented beverages of our ancestors, including the Midas Touch from Turkey and the 9000-year-old Chateau Jiahu from Neolithic China, the earliest chemically identified alcoholic drink yet discovered. For the adventuresome, homebrew interpretations of the ancient drinks are provided, with matching meal recipes.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • October 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35644-1
  • 5.5 × 8.2 in / 336 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverAncient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created


Endorsements & Reviews

“An extraordinary, globe-trotting journey through the remarkable history of our ancient connection with alcohol.” — Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist

“Thanks to Dr. Pat’s research, beer is a gateway to discovery for armchair historians and bold homebrewers alike.” — Courtney Cox, BeerAdvocate

“If you ever wondered what might happen when America’s most adventurous brewer and a molecular archaeologist whose love of extreme beverages extends across ten millennia begin fiddling together, this is the book for you! Great storytelling, as ancient brews live again!” — Roald Hoffmann, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

“McGovern’s mix of gee-whiz science and thoughtful historical context makes Ancient Brews a refreshing read.” — Kevin Begos, Associated Press

“A very enjoyable book that would intrigue anyone interested either in archaeology or beer.” — Martin Morse Wooster, Mid-Atlantic Brewing News

“Of interest to home brewer and historian alike.” — Benjamin Shull, Wall Street Journal

“This book is worth reading now and well into the future.” — Jon Page, All About Beer

“Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy has rarely been put to headier use.” — Barbara Kiser, Nature

“One might assume not much Venn exists between diagrams of beer and archaeology. One would be wrong. Learning what we drank and why makes for a superb adventure. Dr. Pat—America’s foremost barstool archaeologist—is back from the trenches to entertain, educate, and quench your thirst. Pull up a barstool!” — Wayne Curtis, author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails

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