Virginia Brewery Creates Beer With Historical Significance

beer with historical significance

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in another century? What would it be like to live in an old house, wear old-fashioned clothing, and eat and drink the food and beverages of the era? If you have an interest in history, then a “new” beer from Ardent Craft Ales in Richmond, Va. might be for you.

Jane’s Percimon Beer is brewed from a recipe found in a book from the Virginia Historical Society’s collection dating back to the 1700’s. It has sweet tangerine-like notes mixed with just a bit of spiciness from English Golding hops. And it contains 3 percent or less alcohol by volume. The ingredients and alcohol content are all pretty typical of the time period when the recipe was recorded.

Since making beer in the 1700’s involved some very different equipment and materials, the process was drastically different than most modern day brewing. In addition, the recipe was basically made up of a few handwritten sentences, rather than modern-day detailed instructions. So it took some trial and error from Ardent Craft Ales’ brewers, Tom Sullivan and Kevin O’Leary to get it right. Sullivan told The Huffington Post:

“With a lot of these recipes, the real fun of it is trying to figure out where the little pieces of wisdom hid in the recipes. If you’re making this stuff for yourself and your family and drinking it all the time, you bet your bottom dollar the end product was good.”

Virginia is definitely a state that places a lot of emphasis on history. People live in historic homes, attend events that promote local history, and seem to enjoy learning about the heritage of their communities. So for residents and visitors that appreciate the past, this beer could definitely pique some interest.

beer with historical significance

Paul Levengood, president and CEO of the Virginia Historical Society said of the recipe in an interview with The Huffington Post:

“You can feel a connection across time when you’re drinking something that maybe hasn’t been drunk for a couple hundred years. It’s a fun way to bring the past into the present.”

The team at Ardent Craft Ales plans to continue combing through historical materials in search of more recipes. The growing popularity of craft beers mixed with a local market that values the past could make another beer with historical significance into a huge success.

Images: Ardent Craft Ales/Twitter


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

3 Reactions
  1. I think i know where i’m going to plan my next vacation. 🙂 thanks for the great article.

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