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Peruvian expedition gives beer insights.

Faced with nation-wide airline strikes, the worst cholera epidemic in 100 years, renewed terrorism in towns and cities and a total breakdown in Peruvian society, an archeological investigation financed by Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Co.'s Christian Moerlein beer succeeded beyond all expectations. The expedition's goal was to capture on the film the ancient, all-women Quechua Indian corn beer brewing practices of remote areas in Peru.

Beginning in the old Incan capital of Cusco, beer historian/anthropologist Alan Eames and journalist Steven Kemper traveled to the Urubamba River valley visiting Quechua Indian settlements during the now rare, seasonal brewing of the corn and strawberry frutillada beers collectively known as Chicha.

Regional beer styles were tasted and cataloged in the villages of Pisao, Calca, Yucay, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo, finding a wealth of oral traditions and religious beliefs previously unknown to western scholars.

"The significance of our findings is great," said Eames. "Perhaps nowhere else in the world is beer brewing such an integral part of the dietary and spiritual daily life of human society. Further, as in all ancient cultures, the making of beer in rural Peru is a household activity practiced by women only. These beers and the religious traditions surrounding beer brewing are the oldest-surviving, pre-Colombian folkways to be found in South America. As to the taste of these beers, they are nothing short of spectacular--quite unlike anything else I've tasted in 25 years of studying throughout the world."

"Sponsoring this expedition is our way of giving back to the entire brewing industry detailed information about the brewing styles and history of our ancient ancestors," said Ken Lichtendahl, Hudepohl-Schoenling's president. "We are thrilled Mr. Eames and Mr. Kemper, under difficult circumstances, were able to successfully complete their mission."

The full results of the expedition's findings will be published in articles that are scheduled to appear in Outside Magazine, America's Magazine, All About Beer, and the Italian-based World of Beer Magazine.
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Title Annotation:archeological expedition financed by Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Co.'s Christian Moerlein beer
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Mar 25, 1991
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