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Golden brewery takes a brewing tip from Thomas Jefferson — chicken beer

Small batch of chicken beer now available to the public


The idea to brew a chicken beer came to Golden City Brewery through one of Thomas Jefferson's journals.

“It's drinking history,” said Derek Sturdavant. “Homebrewers have probably tried it, but as far as we know, there's no reference of it being brewed for 100 years.”

So Golden City Brewery went ahead and brewed a small batch — only 40 gallons. On March 1, the brewery hosted a pre-release of the beer for the brewery's clubmembers, who got to try the beer and eat the chicken.

The beer was released to the public on March 2, and will be available until it runs out.

Clubmembers Lee Ann and Pete Horneck of Golden weren't sure what to expect, but said they enjoyed it.

“It's exciting to get to try it,” Lee Ann Horneck said. “It's really fun.”

The chicken beer does have real historical significance, said Jon Burks, Golden City Brewery's assistant brewer. Back in the 16th and 17th centuries in Britain, people would brew a beer with chicken and other spices in it, he said. It was a way for them to have food and beverage pairing for the meal, he added.

And it served as a way to preserve the chicken, Burks said, but when refrigeration came along, preserving food in this manner wasn't necessary.

“This is a genre of beer commonly known as historically dead,” Burks said, “because it's no longer commonly brewed.”

Tasting the beer made Robert Coleman, a Colorado School of Mines student, feel as if he was a part of history, he said.

“It's interesting to be connected to my ancestors,” Coleman said, and added “it's the novelty aspect that gives it its value.”


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