Field Museum Brings Back Ancient Peruvian Purple Corn Beer

An archaeologist and two brewers made beer with a thousand-year-old recipe
Ancient Peruvian purple corn beer

Facebook/Off Color Brewing

Off-Color Brewing and the Chicago Field Museum have recreated a thousand-year-old purple corn beer from Peru.

Archaeologists were excited when they discovered an ancient brewery in the Andes mountains in Peru, and now there’s reason for everyone to be excited, because the Field Museum and a Chicago craft brewery have joined forces to recreate a beer from a thousand years ago.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the original beer was brewed by women who lived cloistered in the brewery in the Wari Empire a millennium ago in Peru. John Laffler and David Bleitner from Chicago’s Off-Color Brewing have teamed up with Field Museum archaeologist Ryan Williams to reverse-engineer the recipe from residue found in vessels from the brewery. [slideshow:1128]

It’s a pretty fancy-sounding beer, too. The recipe is made with Peruvian purple corn and pink peppercorns, and tasters say it has a “very biting character,” with citrus and black peppercorn flavors and a deep color that’s both reddish and purplish.

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The beer is called Wari, and it will be released on March 3 at the Field Museum Bistro, and after that will be available at liquor stores around Chicago.