Tonight: Drinking Ancient Beers (And Learning Stuff!) In New Jersey

Patrick McGovern may just be the coolest Philadelphian you’ve never heard of. His title, Scientific Director of the Penn Museum’s Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory, sounds all wonky and boring, sure, but what that means is the dude plays with ancient booze molecules all day. Not only does he travel the world studying remnants of alcoholic beverages found in archeological digs, but brother man played Dr. Watson to Dogfish Head owner Sam Calagione’s Sherlock Holmes on the Discovery Channel series “Brew Masters” that had the two traipsing around the globe to recreate beers from antiquity.

All of this is to say that no true beer geek or boozehound with a drop of intellectual curiosity can pass to the next level of elitism without either reading McGovern’s books about the history of wine, beer and spirits or attending an event he’s hosting. Because there are no Cliffs Notes or movie versions of his tomes (at least not to our knowledge), you’d perhaps be best getting the shorthand straight from McGovern’s mouth, and you have the opportunity to do just that tonight from 6:30-9:30pm at Camden County College (CCC) in Blackwood, NJ.

As part of a cool CCC series that incorporates eating, drinking and learning, McGovern is lecturing and leading a tutored tasting (with food pairings) of three esoteric Dogfish beers whose recipes the duo developed together. If you can’t spring the $45 bucks for the whole event, called “Uncorking the Past: Ancient Ales, Wines and Extreme Beverages,” – a title derived from his latest book – the first hour comprises a free lecture without the samples. He’ll be signing books there, but here’s a hint: buy a copy ahead of time and impress him by at least reading the first few pages.

Trust us, it’s better than reading the Cliffs Notes.

Uncorking The Past event details [Camden Community College]