I unknowingly started my brewing career as a Classical Archaeologist. While spending the school year at Colorado University in Boulder doing graduate work, I spent my summers working abroad in Germany, Turkey, Greece, and Jordan. I was there for linguistic work & survey archaeology, but quickly developed an interest in the incredible flavors of the culinary world of the Middle East. There were new vegetables like aubergine & adana peppers, mouth-watering spice blends such as harissa & ras el hanout. The cultures were also incredibly welcoming, excited to educate, which meant lots of free samples!
There is a story I like to tell about my time as a TA. In graduate school, I had the opportunity to be a Teacher's Assistant for several introductory courses, one of which was Intro to Archaeology. It was a huge class, nearly 300, for two reasons. One, the professor was fantastic—extremely engaging and everyone loved watching her teach. Two, the class fulfilled the Humanities requirement for majors such as business and engineering.
From embalming pharoahs to sea dragons to warding off the devil to determining women's chastity basil has had many odd uses. We thought beer would be a great one to add to the list.
We toiled under the shadow of one of the many mountains on which Zeus was fabled to have been born. In the evenings, we relaxed on a small patio at the farmhouse where we stayed, looking over Lake Marmara to the east and the great Lydian tumuli to the west; some as big as Egyptian pyramids. On those evenings, we drank Efes, named for Ephesus, home to one of the ancient wonders of the world, the Temple of Artemis. There was however, nothing wonderful about the beer.