The lack of universal beeriness - outside of Europe, the Middle East and Africa - has sometimes got me wondering about whether it has more to do with the lack of universal anthropolgical awareness of New World beer than its historic presence. Interesting, then, to note this reference to the habits of South Americans a way back:
As for the beer, David John Goldstein, an anthropologist at Northeastern Illinois University, in Chicago, said the New World's oldest dedicated brewery is at a 2,600-year-old site in southern Peru. There, people from the Wari empire made a drink called chicha from the sugary seeds of a local tree and drank it for ceremonial purposes. Goldstein, who has brewed his own, says it has "a sort of dirty-sock taste, deep, very sour, acrid." But the alcohol works, and he is sure some version of it was made much earlier and in many other places.Dirty-sock taste. Has he had a glass of macro-crap lately? More likely that there is a gap in understanding in that usually people find a way to make things tasty.