Taste Ancient Ales with Dogfish Head at the Penn Museum


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In my book, one of the best collaborations possible is Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione and Dr. Patrick McGovern of the Penn Museum. Together, they’ve created a series of ancient ales that blow my mind every time I drink them—as they should, considering the history behind each of them.

One of them, Midas Touch, is inspired by the gold-colored residue found inside an old drinking set discovered in the 2,700-year-old tomb uncovered during a Penn excavation in Turkey. The tomb is believed to have belonged to King Midas, and that gold residue was the remains of an ancient beverage. By looking at the residue, Penn scientists were able to determine that the residue was a mixture of grape wine, barley beer and honey mead.

McGovern decided that he needed to come up with a beverage inspired by the residue, and Calagione came up with the best recipe.

Midas Touch was the first ale the duo made together (in 1999) and will be featured in an upcoming event at the museum on Thursday, May 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.. McGovern, the Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages and Health, and Calagione will be hosting a tutored tasting event where they’ll share stories about their collaborations. Midas Touch is only one of the ales in their ancient series.

The event fits right in with Penn’s special exhibition, The Golden Age of King Midas.

Tickets are $20 for the general public and $15 for Penn members and include complimentary tastings of Midas Touch and other ancient ales from their collection, as well as entry to The Golden Age of King Midas exhibit. Guests must be 21 or older, and you can get tickets here.