For the past couple of years I have been helplessly addicted to a series on the Travel Channel (I bet you were expecting me to say “beer,” huh!).  The series, The Adventures of Mark and Ollie, chronicles two guys (Mark and Ollie) traipse into remote jungles to live with “uncivilized” and learn their ways.  Usually, the tribes they visit have had little to know connection with the outside world.

The price of Cable is worth this program alone.  Each episode leaves me spellbound, as I consider that I am not quite unlike the half naked folks on the screen.  Last weeks episode was particularly interesting, as it dealt with a passion of mine (and yours I’m sure)…BEER!

I shouldn’t be surprised.  Nearly every culture on the planet has some sort of alcohol history, as Mark and Ollie have discovered in every episode.  The Machigenga of Peru are no different.  The Machigenga cherish their beer, and they ought to.  It is not like they can run down to the local Quickee mart and pick up a six pack.  Each brew is painstakenly hand crafted from the bounty of their crops and the sweat of their brow.

The Machigenga’s beer is like nothing I’ve ever sampled.  The Masato Beer is made from the Manioc plant.  The Manioc, which appears to be a potato like plant, is boiled, and then mashed.  Then purple sweet potato juice is added.  Then the mix is chewed up and spit repeatedly for hours.  According to the Machigenga it is the spit that ferment the wort.  The beer is clearly alcoholic, as signs of inebriation are evident towards the end of the episode.

Enjoy the video below.  I hope you find it as fascinating as I did, and inspiring that no matter where on the planet you may find yourself, a good brew is not far away.