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Apr 25, 2012 05:15 PM

Historical beers

Hello! We're hosting a beer tasting, and wanted to specialize in historical reproduced beers. any suggestions?


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    1. re: Jim Dorsch

      Well, east Tennessee, but we're not far from Atlanta, nashville, Cincinnati.

    2. Dogfish Head makes some: Het Anket (tasty), Midas Touch (ditto), Chateau Jihau (ditto).

      Baladin, from Italy, makes an old Egyptian beer called Nora that's worth a try.

      There's a pretty crazy imperial stout called A Le Coq (I believe) from Britain which is meant to be a reproduction of the first imperial stouts. It's interesting, but a little goes a long way.

      Belgian styles like Abbey ales are quite old, and authentic Belgian gueuzes and lambics are also very old styles, aged in very old wooden vessels and still produced using traditional methods (apart from Lindemans, which are pretty sweet and have fairly modern production methods).

      5 Replies
      1. re: Josh

        Cool! I've not heard of the Le Coq or the Nora. Will definitely include some Abbeys and Lambics. Thanks a bunch!

          1. re: Josh

            Don't forget Courage Imperial Stout, which has been revived and has been showing up on the USA shelves lately.

            1. re: The Professor

              I had thought about the historical beers from Starr Hill in Charlottesvile, VA and Yards in Philly, but doubt these are sold in OP's area.

              1. re: Jim Dorsch

                Right!!!! The Yards series of colonial inspired brew comes to mind (they're pretty good too, if not strictly authentic). Maybe they are distributed in the Cincinatti area?

          2. Not sure what you mean by that, but Yards does beers from recipes that the founding fathers used. Like George Washington Porter and Thomas Jefferson Ale.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LisaPA

              The Yards brews are _based on_ the founding father's recipes, they do not follow the original recipes. Modifications have been made in both procedures and ingredients for commercial purposes.
              These brews are quite good, and probably _evoke_ the flavors of the beers of 200+ years ago, but they are not 100% historical recreations (and as far as I can see, they are not represented as such).
              But again...they are very tasty, and very well done.

            2. There's a Scottish group called Williams Brothers that is known for a recreation of a heather ale called Fraoch. They also have other interesting varieties including Kelpie (brewed with kelp, naturally). I see them all the time by me:

              2 Replies
              1. re: TongoRad

                Right, they all use indigenous Scottish ingredients.

                1. re: TongoRad

                  Kelpie is very weird. Fraoch was strange, too.

                  I believe there's a German brewery that produces a bottled gruit.

                2. Anchor Steam is a reproduction of one of the few real American beers, California Common

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: chuckl

                    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought California Common was a name devised to avoid stepping on Anchor's trademark for the product named "Steam Beer". I believe Anchor was the brewery that invented the style during the gold rush era.

                    1. re: Josh

                      Anchor didn't invent the style (the brewery can only trace it's own history back to the 1890's - half a century after the Calif. God Rush) - they were simply the only steam brewery to survive Prohibition and into the 1960's, when Fritz Maytag bought the brewery and reworked the beer itself (increasing the hops, making it all-malt, etc) while keeping the "steam brewing" technique.

                      1. re: JessKidden

                        Speaking of Anchor, I went to a party there last week to celebrate the anniversary of Liberty Ale, which I think is one of the best American Pale Ales around. Anyway, from what I can tell, Anchor's new owners (who bought the brewery from Fritz) seem to be ready to ratchet up distribution and marketing. Head Brewer Mark Carpenter seemed genuinely excited about what's going on there these days and hinted that Anchor might be expanding production into another nearby brewing facility. So it looks like we Anchor lovers might see some interesting developments on the horizon.

                        1. re: chuckl

                          Liberty Ale is a fantastic beer that is probably overlooked by some against a field of super-hoppy beers.

                          It's nice to see Anchor's heritage being maintained (such as by retaining Mark Carpenter) while also seeing an effort to grow their sales.

                          1. re: chuckl

                            Liberty Ale is a favorite of mine. I also like Old Foghorn and the Bock.

                            They need to bottle condition though. Old Foghorn should be able to age for several years, instead it's undrinkable after 2.

                            1. re: chuckl

                              The new owners have also taken to embellishing the history of the brewery and it's beers I've noticed lately. It seems particularly strange to do given the absolute iconic status of Anchor in US brewing history and, especially, the craft brewing segment.

                              I think there is a video still up on their website where they claim that Anchor Porter was the first US post-Repeal porter, but that's nonsense- there were dozens if not hundreds of porters brewed in the US, mostly in the northeast (PA, NJ, NY and New England) but also some on the west coast. A handful (Yuengling, Stegmaier, Narragansett, Falstaff's draught-only versions of Ballantine and Krueger) still being brewed when Anchor Porter hit the shelves.

                              Likewise, they're now claiming that Liberty Ale is the "first modern American IPA brewed after prohibition and the first modern American single-hop ale and dry-hopped ale".

                              While claiming it to be both "modern" and "after Prohibition" seems confusing, it's certainly wasn't the first post-Repeal US IPA (there were dozens- more if one includes the ales labeled "Stock Ale" and "October Ale" or just "Ale", etc- US brewers were not quite as fussy re: beer style designation as the modern beer geekery).

                              And there were also numerous dry-hopped ales and beers after Repeal as well. Recipes aren't always available for US beers and even when they are hop strains are often not noted, but I wouldn't be surprised that a number of ales were brewed using only one hop.

                              As for it being an IPA, "first" or not, Maytag himself has noted re: Liberty Ale - "I did not think of an India Pale Ale when I made it.." (See ).

                              re: the "authenticity" of Anchor Steam Beer, see this excerpt from an interview with Maytag from the late 1980's.

                              (I've also seen some ads from the post-Repeal Era for a competing Bay Area brand called "Old Joe's Steam Beer". Have yet to follow up on that, but it does seem possible that another brewer of steam beer survived Prohibition to brew the style after Repeal.)

                              1. re: JessKidden

                                A corporation telling lies?

                                How shocking.

                                1. re: Josh

                                  What, so now you're gonna tell me that A-B's Budweiser ISN'T the "King of Beers", either?

                                  1. re: JessKidden

                                    Sorry to burst your bubble. Cold isn't a flavor, either.

                                    1. re: Josh

                                      ...and i suppose the new Miller Lite punch top can doesn't help the flavor either.

                            2. re: JessKidden

                              Interesting to know. You are a wealth of knowledge, sir.