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Hosts Tim Dennis and Brian Hewitt bring you interviews and insights from the amazing people across the world of craft beer.  Fun and lighthearted discussions meant to educate on a variety of topics including new beer releases, brewery happenings, beer laws, homebrewing tips, and a whole lot more.  Sit back, crack open a cold one, and tune in every Saturday for the Beer Guys Radio Show!

Aug 24, 2019

Beer Archaeologist Travis Rupp is bringing history back to life one beer at a time

As far as cool job titles go, Beer Archaeologist is pretty high on the list.  Travis Rupp holds that title, as well as R&D Manager at Colorado's Avery Brewing Co.  In addition to his boozy life, Rupp is also a professor of classics, art history, and anthropology at University of Colorado Boulder and he's currently working on a book - Brewing in the Ancient World.  I'm not sure if he ever sleeps.

Rupp joined us this week to talk about the history of brewing around the world.  We discuss the beers of ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt, Viking brews, monastic ales, and George Washington's penchant for beer and wine.  Attitudes towards beer varied in each culture with some celebrating it as the drink of the goods, while others imbibed in secret as they decried beer as the beverage of Plebians.

We also dig into the ingredients and methods used and the difficulty some of these ancient additions impose when trying to bring them back to life.  Ancient yeasts are the hardest to acquire, and some of the spices used in the past are now known to be toxic.  Rupp tells us the other brewers cringe as he brews some of his ancient ales, gumming up the brewhouse with sticky corn or dragging and entire spruce tree into the brewery.

Avery has released many of his recipes in their Ales of Antiquity series.  We enjoyed the latest release, George Washington Porter and coming soon is an 18th century IPA.  Rupp has no intentions of slowing down and has plans for beers years into the future.  He'll continue to travel the world scouring archaeology sites for signs of brewing and do his best to bring something to life that will allow us all to get a taste of the past.

Avery Ales of Antiquity Series

A sampling of the other beers from the Ales of Antiquity Series

  • Nestor’s Cup - Ancient Mycenaean Beer c. 1350 BCE (Release Sep 2016)
  • Khonsu Im-Heb - Ancient Egyptian Beer c. 1800 BCE (Release Dec 2017)
  • Pachamama - Ancient Peruvian Beer c. 1100-1400 CE (Release Dec 2017)
  • Ragnarsdrápa - Ancient Viking [Finnish] Beer c. 900-1000 CE (Release April 2017)
  • Nursia - Ancient Monastic Beer c. 825 CE (Release Jan 2018 – Rerelease Oct 2018)
  • Benedictus - Ancient Monastic Beer c. 825 CE (Release Jan 2018 – Rerelease Aug 2018)
  • Beersheba - Ancient Israeli/Jordanian Beer c. 3rd cent. BCE (Release May 2018)
  • George Washington’s Porter (Released Feb. 2019)
  • 1752 India Pale Ale (Release in Oct. 2019)

Avery George Washington Porter Ales of Antiquity George Washington Porter is the latest release in Avery's Ales of Antiquity series.  A historic barrel-fermented American Porter. (Photo: Avery Brewing Co.)

Craft Beer News

The Beer List

  • Avery Bon-Bon Cerise | Barrel-aged Stout with chocolate, vanilla, and cherry
  • Avery George Washington Porter | Barrel-fermented American Porter (Ales of Antiquity Series)
  • Avery Raspberry Truffale | Bourbon barrel-aged Stout with raspberry and chocolate
  • Avery Samael's | Oak-aged Strong Ale
  • Avery Twenty-Three | 100% Brett-fermented Dark Farmhouse Ale
  • Avery White Rascal | Belgian-style White Ale

Next Week on Beer Guys Radio

Author and journalist Stan Hieronymus joins us in the studio.  He's recently returned from a tour of South American beer sampling and we'll discuss what he found on his journeys.  Of course, we'll talk hops and get the latest from the scientific world as well as what the new, hot hops are.

Hieronymus joined us previously on Ep. 120, you can listen to that here.

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