Patrick McGovern, 66, is a beer archeaologist. An adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, he's considered the world's leading expert on ancient fermented beverages. Smithsonian profiles McGovern, whose work not only gives insight into pre-biblical agriculture, medicine, and economics, but has also led to new brews at his favorite pub. From Smithsonian:
He has identified the world’s oldest known barley beer (from Iran’s Zagros Mountains, dating to 3400 B.C.), the oldest grape wine (also from the Zagros, circa 5400 B.C.) and the earliest known booze of any kind, a Neolithic grog from China’s Yellow River Valley brewed some 9,000 years ago...
McGovern has innumerable collaborators, partly because his work is so engaging, and partly because he is able to repay kindnesses with bottles of Midas Touch, whose Iron Age-era recipe of muscat grapes, saffron, barley and honey is said to be reminiscent of Sauternes, the glorious French dessert wine.
"The Beer Archaeologist"
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