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.


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.


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