HOME > Chowhound > Beer >

Historical beers

karenfarris Apr 25, 2012 05:15 PM

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


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Jim Dorsch RE: karenfarris Apr 25, 2012 05:27 PM

    Where do you live?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jim Dorsch
      karenfarris RE: Jim Dorsch Apr 25, 2012 06:23 PM

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

    2. Josh RE: karenfarris Apr 25, 2012 07:03 PM

      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
        karenfarris RE: Josh Apr 25, 2012 07:13 PM

        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
          Jim Dorsch RE: Josh Apr 25, 2012 07:26 PM

          A Le Coq is a great one. http://www.bunitedint.com/information...

          1. re: Josh
            The Professor RE: Josh Apr 26, 2012 09:49 AM

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

            1. re: The Professor
              Jim Dorsch RE: The Professor Apr 26, 2012 11:12 AM

              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
                The Professor RE: Jim Dorsch Apr 26, 2012 12:25 PM

                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. l
            LisaPA RE: karenfarris Apr 26, 2012 08:55 PM

            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. http://www.yardsbrewing.com/ales_gene...

            1 Reply
            1. re: LisaPA
              The Professor RE: LisaPA Apr 26, 2012 09:22 PM

              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. TongoRad RE: karenfarris Apr 27, 2012 04:08 AM

              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
                Jim Dorsch RE: TongoRad Apr 27, 2012 04:27 AM

                Right, they all use indigenous Scottish ingredients.

                1. re: TongoRad
                  Josh RE: TongoRad Apr 27, 2012 09:32 AM

                  Kelpie is very weird. Fraoch was strange, too.

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

                2. c
                  chuckl RE: karenfarris Apr 27, 2012 10:22 AM

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

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: chuckl
                    Josh RE: chuckl Apr 27, 2012 02:39 PM

                    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
                      JessKidden RE: Josh Apr 27, 2012 02:53 PM

                      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
                        chuckl RE: JessKidden Apr 27, 2012 04:40 PM

                        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
                          Jim Dorsch RE: chuckl Apr 27, 2012 04:59 PM

                          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
                            Josh RE: chuckl Apr 27, 2012 05:15 PM

                            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
                              JessKidden RE: chuckl Apr 28, 2012 06:37 AM

                              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 http://www.lewbryson.com/talkmaytag.htm ).

                              re: the "authenticity" of Anchor Steam Beer, see this excerpt from an interview with Maytag from the late 1980's. https://sites.google.com/site/jesskid...

                              (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
                                Josh RE: JessKidden Apr 28, 2012 11:39 AM

                                A corporation telling lies?

                                How shocking.

                                1. re: Josh
                                  JessKidden RE: Josh Apr 28, 2012 11:49 AM

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

                                  1. re: JessKidden
                                    Josh RE: JessKidden Apr 28, 2012 06:30 PM

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

                                    1. re: Josh
                                      TroyTempest RE: Josh Jun 5, 2012 10:51 AM

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

                            2. re: JessKidden
                              Josh RE: JessKidden Apr 27, 2012 05:16 PM

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

                        2. jgg13 RE: karenfarris Apr 28, 2012 11:51 AM

                          Pretty Things has their "once upon a time" series

                          1. b
                            billray68 RE: karenfarris Jun 16, 2012 07:56 AM

                            You really have some interesting replies; but don't forget the traditional Falstaff, PBR, Schoenling's Sir Edward Stout, Carling's Black Label, and maybe Schlitz. On second thought, maybe you should have a second 'tasting' for these.

                            This site may be helpful: http://www.beerjobber.com/?gclid=CLXD...

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: billray68
                              billray68 RE: billray68 Jun 16, 2012 08:10 AM

                              BTW, anyone out there remember when $2 a case was the going price for longnecks? Now my favorite pub charges $2/beer, and probably loses money.

                              Maybe you could charge 20 cents per beer at the tasting, to be donated for old time's sake. Where? To me if you can't think of any other place!

                              1. re: billray68
                                Jim Dorsch RE: billray68 Jun 16, 2012 10:10 AM

                                I remember the mid-'70s, when a six-pack of Stroh's cans was $1.50 down at the corner bar, and a longneck at the bar cost fifty cents. I do recall my brother buying cases of 16-oz returnables for just a few bucks.

                                1. re: Jim Dorsch
                                  billray68 RE: Jim Dorsch Jun 16, 2012 11:30 AM

                                  Jim, I still buy 30 packs of 12 oz Miller High Life or MHL Lite from Meijer's for less than $17. Maybe you could too? Makes a good add-in for slow cooked pork roasts!

                                  1. re: billray68
                                    Jim Dorsch RE: billray68 Jun 16, 2012 11:46 AM

                                    I'm only drink craft beer. (I respect everyone's choices, but that's mine.) Not to mention that until I finish my weight program, I'm off both pork and beer. 15 pounds to go.

                            Show Hidden Posts