American brewing company Dogfish turned to history for their new brand of beer. The ale comes from a recipe last brewed in China over 9,000 years ago.

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The recipe for “Chateau Jiahu” was extracted from traces on ancient cups by molecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern.

The pottery, found in village Jihau in central China during a 1980s dig, had only traces of residue after many millenniums underground. But McGovern was able to isolate key ingredients for the interpretation of the Dogfish brewers: rice, honey, grapes, and a Chinese tree fruit found locally.

The beer pre-dates grape wine in Mesopotamia, the next oldest alcoholic beverage by a few centuries.

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This isn’t the first time Dogfish has turned to archaeology for their beer.

Five years ago, McGovern and Dogfish collaborated on Midas Touch, inspired by 2,700 year old ruins from a funeary feast in Turkey and believed to be drank by King Mita, the royal behind the tale.

Chateau Jiahu hits stores later this month.

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RMJ
Rachel is a writer and tutor living in Virginia. She loves learning about other cultures and thinks we’re all a little wacky.