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Brewing: Anglo-Saxon Times to the Victorian Era
Keith Thomas, Oliver Craig, Anita Radini

  • Tuesday 14 June 2016, 6.30PM to 8:30pm
  • Free admission
    Booking required
  • All Saints, Pavement (map)
  • Wheelchair accessible

Event details

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Beer has been a staple in the human diet for thousands of years, but brewing techniques and ingredients have evolved continuously. Join us to learn about prehistoric and medieval traces of fermented drinks, the social function of beer in the Anglo-Saxon world and Victorian beer.

Looking back into the distant past, Oliver Craig and Anita Nardini of the University of York discuss the challenges of obtaining information about fermented drinks from archaeological evidence. They will then explain the story of Eoforwic Ale which is made especially for the Festival by Leeds Brewery to an Anglo-Saxon recipe. Come along and find out its recipe and ingredients.   

Keith Thomas, Director of Brewlab Ltd, will then illustrate how Victorian beers can be constructed from original recipes and ingredients. Hear how an authentic Porter ale was brewed from an 1850 recipe, an 1830 malt and fermented with a yeast recovered from an 1825 shipwreck. 

This event includes a chance to sample Eoforwic Ale and Victorian beer.

About the speakers

Dr Oliver Craig is Director of the University of York’s BioArCh facility. He specialises in biomolecular archaeology - the recovery of proteins, lipids and DNA from ancient skeletal remains and archaeological artefacts to provide insights into past human activities. He is particularly interested in changes to human diets, cuisine and subsistence practices and the impact that dietary changes had on social evolution, health and the environment.

Anita Radini is a PhD student in the University of York’s Department of Archaeology. Her research targets diet and urban environment and their changes from the early to post-medieval periods in Leicester and the Leicestershire countryside, using micro-debris entrapped in human dental calculus (plaque).

Dr Keith Thomas began brewing as an undergraduate at the University of York and is now Director of Brewlab Ltd, training brewers for commercial production.  He teaches microbiology and biotechnology at the University of Sunderland and has worked on brewing projects ranging from barley disease resistance to converting waste paper to alcohol.


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