Friday, September 21 / Ardent Craft Ales: 3200 W Leigh St, Richmond, VA
Saturday, September 22
/ John Marshall House: 818 E Marshall St, Richmond, VA

Ardent Craft Ales is teaming up with scientists from the University of Richmond and historians from the John Marshall House, a Preservation Virginia historic site, for a weekend of history, science, and beer!

First, join us in the taproom at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 21, when we’ll introduce our latest pilot brew: Old Molasses Ale. This beer was based on a recipe from John Marshall’s cousin, Mary Randolph, that she brewed in the late 1700s and featured a late addition of molasses in the boil. Old Molasses Ale is an easy-drinking brown ale with low bitterness that features notes of molasses in both aroma and flavor. 4.6% ABV

Representatives from the John Marshall House will also be on hand.

On Saturday, September 22, Ardent heads downtown for a day of history, science, and beer! We’ll be serving Old Molasses Ale at the John Marshall House, which is opening up its doors for free admission to mark Time Travelers Weekend. In addition to touring the house and learning about John Marshall, check out scientific demonstrations about how we hope to capture yeast from bottles of Madeira that have been preserved in the cellar.

The John Marshall House will be open 10am-5pm on Saturday:

  • 12:00: Presentation & discussion with historical brewer Danny Fain

  • 1:00: Scientific demonstration of extracting yeast from corked bottle with molecular biologist Dr. Angie Hilliker

  • 2:00: Presentation & discussion with historical brewer Danny Fain

  • 3:00: Scientific demonstration of extracting yeast from corked bottle with molecular biologist Dr. Angie Hilliker

Dr. Angie Hilliker and Dr. Kristine Nolin with the University of Richmond will be handling the historical Madeira extraction and studying the results. Dr. Hilliker, a molecular biologist, will try to culture microbes from the liquid, as well as sequence DNA extracted from the wine to identify the type of microbes present and perhaps the type of grape uses. Dr. Nolin, an organic chemist, will analyze the wine itself for its chemical composition.

John Marshall, a Richmond native, was the longest-serving Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and is largely responsible for establishing the modern influence of the court. He was also quite fond of Madeira, a Portuguese wine that he shared enthusiastically with friends at his Richmond home.

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