A Midsummer’s Night Draught

After months of one sip wonders, I was finally starting to understand a love of beer. Understand, not join. However, I was making progress in the form of ales. While I admit I was still in the kiddie beer pool, it was a little bit of forward motion. Thankfully, that motion was greeted with an opportunity that became a catalyst in my journey into the world of craft beer…

It was getting late and we were getting a little hungry and a lot thirsty. We were on the tail end of a several hours long road trip and had been enjoying the sights and sounds of a new town. We made our way through the winding streets, passing all matter of cuisines. We came upon an old building on the corner, its Victorian style architecture making it appear to be towering over us ominously, despite only being two stories tall. A single street light flickered as we made our way inside. This seemed to be even more of a step into the past, as the interior was dark and saloon- style, with a single row of patrons sitting at the bar as though they had become a part of the decor themselves.

“What’ll it be?” The lady behind the bar asked.

He ordered, then looked at me.

“I want something with a past,” I whispered. I enjoy it when my drinks complement my environment.

Apparently, my whisper was not soft enough, as the bartender smiled at me, and slid a bottle towards me.

“I have just the thing…”

We grabbed our beers and made our way to their outdoor seating. I examined the bottle.

“Dogfish- what is this?” I asked incredulously. That was my first encounter with craft beer’s very own Dogfish Head. In particular, the Midas Touch. When it comes to tastes of history, this is still one of my favorites.

Midas Touch is technically an ale, although it has notes of several other styles. The flavor profile was determined by the discovery of liquid residue in the tomb of the legendary King Midas. Scientists were able to use these findings to create a modern beer that mimicked the type of drink that King Midas himself may have drank. There is a detailed essay written about its creation which is very interesting, that can be found here: http://www.penn.museum/sites/biomoleculararchaeology/?page_id=143

This shook my little kiddie pool world, as I realized the implications of this beer. This was the first time I thought about the science behind this drink or the possibilities this led to.

As I sipped my beer, I watched the sun set over the cobblestone street. Maybe this wasn’t so bad after all.

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