Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Bronze Age Beer Put to the Test

Two archeologists suggest that fulacht fiadh, bronze age mounds found in Ireland, were used for brewing ancient beer rather than for cooking, as previously hypothesized.

To prove their theory that an extensive brewing tradition existed in Ireland as far back as 2500BC, Billy Quinn and Declan Moore recreated the process.

After just three hours of hard work - and three days of patiently waiting for their brew to ferment - the men enjoyed a pint with a taste of history attached.

Three hundred litres of water were transformed into a "very palatable" 110 litres of frothy ale.

"It tasted really good," said Mr Quinn, of Moore Archaeological and Environmental Services (Moore Group).

I'm not sure how that "proves" their theory, but it sounds like a great way to spend a few days camping! They note that without hops, the brew was sweeter than they were expecting - I would add that after only three days of fermentation, there was probably a lot of residual sugar left that had not yet been converted. Perhaps their wives only gave them permission to camp out for three days?

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