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Virginia Brewery Recreates 300-Year-Old Colonial Beer

Ardent Craft Ales is now pouring "Jane's Percimon Beer."

Ardent Craft Ales/Facebook

A Richmond, Virginia brewery has combined persimmons with hops to recreate a 300-year-old beer recipe unearthed by the Virginia Historical Society. The AP reports Ardent Craft Ales brewers/co-owners Tom Sullivan and Kevin O'Leary brewed a recipe for "Jane's Percimon beer," which dates back to a historical collection from the 18th century. Because the original recipe contained no specific volumes or instructions, a bit of trial-and-error was necessary: Per the AP, a "first trial run using about 17 pounds of persimmons yielded only three gallons of beer." But the final, drinkable result is a low-proof "table beer" that's less than three percent ABV.

Breweries have been getting experimental with older recipes in recent months. This summer, hipster favorite Pabst Blue Ribbon announced it will resurrect its Ballantine India Pale Ale, a recipe that dates to the 1870s. In October, a Finnish brewery successfully recreated a 172-year-old beer recovered from a shipwreck site: Because no recipe was available, brewers from Stallhagen worked with scientists to study the yeast strains in the shipwreck bottles, recreating an approximation of the brew inside.

Ardent will offer tastes of the 300-year-old beer on December 9, as part of a "History On Tap" tasting and discussion. Proceeds will benefit the Virginia Historical Society, and Sullivan tells the AP that more historical society collaborations may be on-tap for the near future.

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