Modern craft brewers tend to push forward, endlessly tweaking recipes and creating entirely new styles to distinguish themselves from the pack. But a small, nostalgic contingent of beermakers, bored with pale ales and porters, are looking backward for inspiration—way back, in fact.
In the quest for extreme, off-the-wall brewing, the resurrection of obscure—and previously defunct—styles has become an obsession all of its own for some brewers, who are whipping up ales more suited to a joust than a Jets game. Dogfish Head and Sam Adams were trailblazers when it comes to crate-digging for ancient recipes, but now plenty of others are dabbling with archaeological ales.
Here, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite throwback styles that, thanks to modern brewmasters with a taste for bygone beer, are once again available.