It's not such a widely known fact that, in the early days of beer production, women were primarily known as the brewers. Earliest indications of beer making came from the Nile River Delta and ancient Egypt.

Those beers were brewed, and stored in ancient terracotta pots, and many historians have found traces, and remnants of the alcoholic beverage (albeit dried up) in their excavations. Now, a couple of guys in Michigan think they can recreate the ancient ways of Egyptian women, and brew the ancient beer, using ancient methods.

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Owner Levi Knoll and Brewer Jake Steele opened Archival Brewing in 2020 as a way to bring historical beer styles to west Michigan. Before meeting, they were both professional cooks who visited Alaska, Chicago, and Scotland for work. It was through these trips, and experiences, that they both gained a love for food, and of course, brews.

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Levi began studying ancient styles of brewing, and collecting the equipment needed to brew large batches of historical beers. This included four-inch thick terra cotta pots, which they recreated based on archeological digs. Levi believes that the pots will give the beers an "Earthy, mineral profile."

Archival is the only brewery in the state of Michigan, and one of only very few in the country, according to Levi, who has these "Amphoras" needed to create these ancient beers.


According to the brewery's Instagram, the Pots were recreated in Italy, and shipped directly to Michigan. The terra cotta is very porous, compared to modern aging tanks for beer, and allows yeas to get trapped in the walls of the pots, keeping it viable for years, and in some cases, centuries.

Their first attempt to recreate an extinct beer recipe will be out soon, called the "Take it to the Grave" Scottish Heather Ale. The recipe came from an archaeological dig that analyzed the scrapings off of a centuries-old amphora.

So realistically, you could be one of the first people to taste this beer recipe in hundreds of years. I wonder what they'll come up with next.  

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