By Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017
Jean Lachat, © The Field Museum

Craft brewing has become so popular, everybody’s getting into the game – even natural history museums.

Chicago’s Field Museum announced it’s planning on releasing a limited-edition beer intended to mimic a beverage brewed during the reign of the Wari Empire in southern Peru between the years 600 and 1,000 AD. The museum was inspired to make the beer after a team of their researchers helped in the excavation of an ancient Wari brewery in Cerro Baul. During their work at the site, they found purple corn and molle berries, both of which were incorporated into the Wari beer which will be released next week.

Since most archeologists aren’t known for their brewing prowess, the museum teamed up with the local Off Color Brewing who used indigenous Peruvian ingredients to make the pink-hued, 4 percent ABV “chicha inspired ale.” “Chicha” is a South American drink fermented from corn, a nod to the Peruvian purple corn used alongside the pilsner and honey malts to make the beer, which is simply called “Wari.”

The museum will be debuting the new brew during a $40 a person tasting event that not only includes a beer and food pairing, but will also show off artifacts from the Wari brewing site, as well as feature a chance to chat with both museum curators and the brewers from Off Color. If you ever wondered what brewery tours were like 1,400 years ago, this is probably the closest you’ll come to finding out.

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