The Beery Tale of the Jar Ark: A Story of Endangered and Forgotten Beers
Beer has been a part of human history for thousands of years, and there are countless brewing traditions from around the world that have been lost or forgotten. But thanks to the dedication of a group of passionate beer enthusiasts, some of these endangered brews are being brought back to life.
One of the most exciting initiatives in this movement is the Jar Ark, a project that aims to catalogue, preserve, and spread awareness about endangered beers. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of the Jar Ark, exploring its history, mission, and the fascinating beers that it has helped to save.
The History of the Jar Ark
The Jar Ark was founded in 2015 by a group of beer lovers who were alarmed by the rapid disappearance of traditional brewing methods and styles. Many beers were on the verge of being lost forever, and there was little documentation or knowledge of how they were made or what they tasted like.
The founders of the Jar Ark wanted to create a central repository of endangered beer styles, with the goal of preserving them for future generations to enjoy. They began by travelling around the world, visiting breweries and speaking with locals to gather as much information as possible about the disappearing brews.
They soon realized that not only was documentation and preservation important, but also education. Many beers had been lost due to a lack of awareness and demand, so the Jar Ark also began promoting these rare beers and encouraging people to try them.
The Mission of the Jar Ark
The mission of the Jar Ark is twofold: to preserve endangered beers and to promote their revival. By documenting and cataloguing disappearing beer styles, they hope to prevent them from being lost forever.
But the Jar Ark is not content to simply catalogue beers and keep them in a dusty archive. They see themselves as ambassadors of these beers, spreading the word about their unique flavours and brewing methods. By doing so, they hope to create a renewed demand for these brews and keep their traditions alive.
The Beers of the Jar Ark
So what kinds of beers does the Jar Ark focus on? They run the gamut from ancient brewing styles to more recent, but still endangered, beers.
One example is Grätzer, a smoked wheat beer from Poland that had all but disappeared until the Jar Ark helped a brewery in Poland bring it back. This unusual beer has a smoky, bacon-like flavour that pairs well with meats and stews.
Another endangered style is Lambic, a spontaneously fermented beer that is unique to the Pajottenland region of Belgium. The Jar Ark is working to preserve this ancient brewing method, which involves allowing wild yeasts and bacteria to ferment the beer.
Other endangered beers include Altbier, a dark, hoppy beer from Germany; Sahti, a Finnish beer that is brewed with juniper branches; and Gose, a sour, salty beer from Germany that was nearly lost until it was rediscovered in the 1980s.
The Future of the Jar Ark
The Jar Ark has already had a significant impact on the world of beer, helping to bring back forgotten styles and spread awareness about the importance of preserving traditional brewing methods.
But there is still much work to be done. There are countless endangered beer styles from around the world that are in danger of being lost forever. The Jar Ark hopes to continue its mission of documenting and promoting these brews, with the ultimate goal of keeping them alive for generations to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I taste some of these endangered beers?
A: The best way is to seek out a brewery that specializes in rare or endangered beers, or a bar that has a wide selection. Some of these beers may also be available for purchase online.
Q: Why do some beer styles become endangered?
A: There are many reasons why certain beer styles may fall out of favor, including changing tastes, the rise of mass-produced beers, and a lack of awareness or education about the beer.
Q: Are there any endangered beer styles from the United States?
A: Yes, there are several endangered beers from the United States, including Kentucky Common and California Common. The Jar Ark is working to document and preserve these and other endangered American brews.