I spent my memorial day weekend with friends in the rolling green hills of Akron, Ohio. Since several of them have been working on home brewing projects, I had the unique pleasure of sampling some home-brewed beers.
Of interest to you may be Mark's Spruce Beer. Spruce beer is an old fashioned home brew of which there have been several attempts to recreate. Mark's was deigned "not bad." It was a little flat, but the taste was appealing. Made with brown sugar, it was rich like a gingerbread cookie, and had a flavor that staid on your tongue. I wasn't a huge fan, but many people really liked it. Here is his recipe:
Additionally, Mike brought some Midas' Touch Beer, a commercially brewed beer made from a 2,700 year old recipe:
"It is an ancient Turkish recipe using the original ingredients from the 2700 year old drinking vessels discovered in the tomb of King Midas. Somewhere between wine & mead; this smooth, sweet, yet dry ale will please the Chardonnay of beer drinker alike. (from the Dogfish Brewery Official Site)."
Left: Mark and his Beard pour a spruce beer.
Midas's Touch smelled a little like bud light. And sometimes a little like vomit. But despite that, the flavor was amazing complex. Brewed with honey, the flavor was similar to a mead, but still dark and rich like a stout ale.
We also discussed the Anchor Brewing Company's Ninkasi beer, made from a 6,000 year old Sumerian recipe that is generally considered the oldest beer recipe. If you read cuneiform, you can make it yourself. Here's the recipe:
Thanks to Mike and Mark for all the info, and all the beer.