What Historical Beer Would You Like To Try?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Hodgson, Nov 23, 2014.

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  1. Dachs

    Dachs Initiate (73) Oct 17, 2014 Ohio

    Schlitz back in the old days before it got bought out and they cheapened it up.
  2. randylangford

    randylangford Zealot (563) Jun 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    A Brasserie Limbourg lambic. They were down the street form Cantillon so they probably had some good bugs.
  3. TwoTrees

    TwoTrees Disciple (332) Oct 31, 2012 Washington

    Friends in Philadelphia tell me there's a tavern that offers beer based on recipes developed by/for George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, etc. Would love to swing by and sample...
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  4. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,080) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I had plenty of Schlitz cans and bottles into the 70s. It was a solid staple offering and I have many fond memories of pounding these down. My Dad kept Lowenbrau for special moments and Schlitz everyday. They brewed one that I believe was called Encore, which was a great dry brew.
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  5. mactrail

    mactrail Poo-Bah (9,993) Mar 24, 2009 Washington
    Society Trader

    I would bet on a Weizenbock or Dunkelweizen, both of which are really malty and be pretty sweet, especially compared to a Pilsner of standard German lager style.
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  6. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (330) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    Well the hops were 652 grams per hl wort, 30kg or 30000 grams divided by 46 hl (the finished volume of beer was most likely somewhat less than that). One US barrel is 117 liters, there's 39.3 US barrels on 46 hl. 30000 grams divided by 39.3 is 763 grams of hops. The OG would have been between 1.076-1.079, i.e 18.8% balling, and the ending gravity 1.028, 7% balling. The abv when it was put into barrels would have been 6.55% as per this calculator but the book doesn't say what the finishing gravity was for any of the beers, just the gravity of the beer prior to being barreled/lagered.
  7. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (566) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    It was probably Süszbier.
  8. riverlen

    riverlen Aspirant (213) Sep 16, 2009 Illinois

    It was the same as it is today.
  9. Dachs

    Dachs Initiate (73) Oct 17, 2014 Ohio

    Yeah, as an aficionado of Wisconsin beers, Id love to go back in time to the hayday of Schlitz and try it. When my great, great grandparents (mom's side of the family) came to American from Switzerland in the 1850s, my great, great grandmother worked for the Schlitz family as a housekeeper and back in the '70s, when my parents still drank, they used to get drunk on Schlitz every weekend, so it would be cool to try it and see what it was like.
    A few years back, my brother bought some Schlitz and it was OK but for me, it doesnt count unless I can go back in time and try the real thing. I cant imagine that Schlitz made in 2011 would be even close to the stuff they made in 1870.
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  10. 77black_ships

    77black_ships Disciple (393) Dec 4, 2012 Belgium

    I have had two of them Chateau Jiahu & Midas Touch Golden Elixir, they were nice. It is my understanding that modern water is nothing like what they used, that malt that we use is nothing anymore like pre-1960 malt etc. Not to mention that they are good, clean brews & historical brews probably would have been very wild with brewing error etc. Yeast was still a complete mystery back then. I think that they are like reconstructions of dinosaurs, we might be doing our best but missing out an important detail that we will discover in the future like the fact that most later era dinosaurs had brightly coloured feathers.

    1700s Imperial Stouts by all accounts had quite a bit brett in them due to the fact that brewing wasn’t as controlled back then. Most brett flavours didn’t develop prior to aging. Even descriptions of 1980s Courage Russian Imperial Stout don’t sound like most RIS these days, lots of soy sauce & vinous are common terms. Fresh these qualities probably were way less pronounced.
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  11. DieHippieDie

    DieHippieDie Initiate (0) Oct 12, 2012 North Carolina

    Might have been Honig Bier. Google Odin Trunk
  12. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,081) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    That's what Pabst's "Schlitz Gusto - classic 1960s formula" was supposed to be (now, apparently called just "Schlitz" in whatever markets it still survives).

    Actually, it happened in the reverse order - cheapened and then bought (By Stroh). Although Schlitz did re-formulate their beer after the debacle when it was headed by ex-AB brewmaster, Frank Sellinger but it wasn't enough to turn the company around.

    Not that subsequent owners Stroh and Pabst didn't also "cheapen" it - it certainly sold in the economy segment before being revived.
  13. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,081) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    It may taste the same, but...

    Today (from MC's website):
    Circa 1977 - (from Coors promo book - A Handful of Questions about Coors)
    Early 80's (info from Coors, in the CSPI's Chemical Additives in Booze):
    Coors Annual Reports 1981 + 1982:
    #53 jesskidden, Nov 24, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  14. marquis

    marquis Champion (803) Nov 20, 2005 England

    Water analyses are available (at least in Burton and London) for over the last 150 years so replication should be no problem if the sources have changed since then.
    Regarding malt, the earliest Fuller's cound find for their Past Masters range was Plumage Archer (introduced 1905) from the Prince of Wales' estate , there is now some Chevallier barley being grown https://zythophile.wordpress.com/tag/chevallier-barley/
    Hops, Goldings (in my opinion still the best flavoured of them all) go back to the 1700s and are still readily available.
    ChrisMyhre likes this.
  15. LuskusDelph

    LuskusDelph Aspirant (255) May 1, 2008 New Jersey

    Agree on the Ballantine Burton. I recently acquired six apparently well-kept bottles of it, and tasted/evaluated one of them. It was pretty damned amazing considering it was brewed in 1946 and not bottled until 1966. Given the original long aging/solera treatment, it was undoubtedly at it's true peak at bottling time, and for a few years thereafter.
    I do wish I could taste one in that kind of peak condition (it did after all apparently inspire Fritz Maytag in the development of Anchor's 'Old Foghorn'.

    On the archaic side of things. I think I'd be interested in tasting a Guinness Stout as was made in the 1800's when it was made without the roasted unmalted barley introduced in the 20th century, and naturally soured with aging. A side by side with some of the present day ' Foreign Extra' wold be pretty interesting.
  16. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (566) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    I shared a bottle of Ballantine Burton at the NHC in Jume. Wonderful stuff. So glad I got to try it.
  17. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (566) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    It was probably Süszbier.
    And Bass IPA had spent a year in the brewery yard before it fot anywhere near a ship.
  18. Witherby

    Witherby Initiate (116) Jan 5, 2011 Massachusetts

    An aged October beer from the cellar of an 18th century English country estate with a private brewhouse. A genuine stock ale.

    If I had to pick one year to go back to it would be around 1860. I would love to travel all over England and Austria/Bohemia/Bavaria/Prussia and try every beer I could get my hands on.
  19. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (330) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    Of interest here might be that German beer legislation changed in 1939 ahead of the war which reduced the gravities allowed.

    Einfachbier - 3-6.5%
    Vollbier - 11-14%
    Starkbier - 16%

    Einfachbier 3-6.5%
    Lagerbier 9-10.3%
  20. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    Olympia from the early 70s. To bring back my youth.
  21. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (330) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    This has been my understanding from reading your previous posts on the subject. Alot of the information needed to reverse engineer a late 19th century lager/pilsner beer can probably be pieced together from various other sources, even if it wont be the exact recipe used for a particular brand back then. I would think that with the right intentions and some attention to details they could get pretty far without an exact recipe, although it might certainly help the effort if they did have a recipe, especially if they are going to sell the beer as an actual reproduction of a specific brand of beer.

    If there are brewing log books out there in the public domain my guess would be that they are sitting in some city archives (although jesskidden seems to doubt this which gives me reason to doubt the idea myself), although I don't know to what degree records of private companies (that have closed their doors, the breweries still in existence will probably hold on to their own archives and keep them private) end up in public city archives in the US, if at all. If they exist I would suspect that some actual leg work would be needed. There's only so much info that can be mined from google :stuck_out_tongue:.
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  22. NCMonte

    NCMonte Aspirant (248) Jan 28, 2014 North Carolina

    The first beer in the world was brewed by the ancient Chinese around the year 7000 BCE (known as kui). <--- This
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  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,662) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    This is the first time I have seen the term “kul”. Do you have some references (links) that discuss kul? I did a web search of “kul ancient beer” but I did not get any productive results.

    I am familiar with the Dogfish Head effort to brew an ancient Chinese alcoholic beverage they labeled as Chateau Jiahu.

    Here is a good discussion of the brewing of Chateau Jiahu: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/07/0718_050718_ancientbeer.html

    Take note of:

    “Given the requisite addition of barley malt to Chateau Jiahu, Dogfish Head's concoction is classified as a beer, Calagione said. However, McGovern said the beverage made in China 9,000 years ago defies description.

    "We called it a mixed beverage, because we're not sure where it fits in," he said.

    Gerhart too struggled to categorize the beverage. "It wasn't a beer, it wasn't a mead, and it wasn't a wine or a cider. It was somewhere between all of them, in this gray area," he said.”

    So, as you can read above this particular ancient Chinese alcoholic beverage was not specifically a beer.

  24. Hodgson

    Hodgson Initiate (137) Nov 17, 2014 Canada

    Okay thanks, roughly I think it is about 2 lbs hops per U.S. barrel, which sounds about right then for a beer approaching 7% ABV.
  25. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,827) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

  26. StuartCarter

    StuartCarter Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2006 Alabama

    There is a very evocative hint in the literature (looking for @patto1ro to correct me if I am remembering wrong) regarding Fuggles and Goldings. Basically as soon as the railways hit the brewing towns, whatever hops they were using were pretty much unceremoniously dumped in favour of Fuggles and Goldings. That, to me, heavily implies that F&G were clearly superior to whatever hops they were using at the time.

    Agree with you on the heritage barley - it'd be fascinating to try the same beer made with modern and heritage varieties :slight_smile:
  27. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,028) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    I'm content to wish for Founders CBS to come back. I just started getting into craft beer in late 2010 just about when CBS was getting retired. Never got to try one.
  28. tylerstravis

    tylerstravis Meyvn (1,051) Feb 14, 2014 Colorado

  29. Doctor_Bogenbroom

    Doctor_Bogenbroom Aspirant (269) Nov 2, 2014 Pennsylvania

    As a historian myself, I'd have to say I'd love to do a direct comparison between what was brewed immediately prior to Prohibition (for example, Yuengling) and what was produced immediately after its repeal. I still get irritated in my classes when I'm talking to my students about the prohibition era. Sigh, what a shame.
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  30. Doctor_Bogenbroom

    Doctor_Bogenbroom Aspirant (269) Nov 2, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Oh, and I definitely want that 1930s Ballantine IPA too!
  31. RockAZ

    RockAZ Disciple (338) Jan 6, 2009 Arizona

    It is a tiny place, make reservations and the beer is very good. http://m.citytavern.com/
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  32. NCMonte

    NCMonte Aspirant (248) Jan 28, 2014 North Carolina

    Here you go: http://www.ancient.eu/article/223/
  33. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,662) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania


    I read your first post as being "kul"; I guess the italics font through me off.

    I web researched "kui" but I was not successful in finding out how kui was brewed from an ingredient perspective. I did noe that several sites made mention of kui being a beer-like beverage. Do you have any details on the ingredients of kui? For example, were the fermentables primarily malted barley?

  34. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (330) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    Speaking about recreations of old beers I thought this entry on untappd sounded interesting:


    "5.5% abv 32 IBU. This is recreation of our early American-style pilsner originally brewed in 1884 for Tony Faust’s St. Louis Oyster House and Restaurant. A dark amber beer brewed with two-row and caramel malts. Includes a combination of European hops to deliver a malty yet refreshing beer with a crisp, bitter finish."

    One wonders whether Anheuser Busch in this instance had access to old brewing logs from back then, and to what degree they adhered to the information found therein.
  35. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,690) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    I love the idea of drinking the original (or just an old version) of any beer that has been around for decades vs. a modern version for the sake of comparison. That could be anything from a macro lager from the 50's, to something like Jever pils or London Pride, to even SNPA or Fat Tire.
    Doctor_Bogenbroom likes this.
  36. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (568) Jun 12, 2009 Oregon

    Zima all the way. Especially the fruited walezbro version.
  37. dawatts

    dawatts Initiate (177) Dec 27, 2006 Massachusetts

    I always wonder what the beer on the Mayflower would taste like.
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  38. NCMonte

    NCMonte Aspirant (248) Jan 28, 2014 North Carolina

    No, I don't have any information on the how it was brewed or with what ingredients. I just thought in my own mind, how cool it would be to try beers that started this all. When I google'd, that's the one that came up as earliest. Good luck!
  39. PSU_Mike

    PSU_Mike Champion (840) Sep 6, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Pre-AB buyout Rolling Rock. My father cried the day AB bought them. I was still in high school.
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  40. ari32

    ari32 Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2013 Georgia

    1983 unblended Dirty Horse.

    I would also like to travel back and try a true Polish grodziskie. Maybe something from the 1700-1800's.
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