For the past few years McGovern has been analyzing scraps of pottery excavated from a site in central China. Last year he announced that he had detected traces of the oldest alcoholic beverage yet discovered, a Stone Age brew dating back 9,000 years. When I visited McGovern's basement laboratory the day before, he handed me a plastic bag containing one of the shards. I could not get my mind around the stretch of human culture it embodied—a time period twice the span from the pyramids of Egypt to the pyramids of Las Vegas; Christianity rising four and a half times. Nonetheless, with this meager evidence, McGovern and the brewers at Dogfish have found their mission: to coax an ancient brew back to life.
Our ancestors were getting fucked up on this stuff in China around nine-thousand years ago. That's right: we've been boozing it up since before some people think the Universe even existed. Here's to the human race, getting wasted on whatever's handy since time immemorial!