Anchor Brewery has an interesting story about the history of pale ale, and specifically their Liberty Ale (one of my favorite beers) entitled The Tale of Pale Ale . Be sure to read Bob Brewer’s answer to whether Liberty Ale is a pale ale or an IPA.
Here’s a fun little piece of history. In the September 2, 1947 issue of Look magazine, journeyman freelance author Don Wharton wrote an article examining the different types of drinkers one might encounter in mid-20th century America, as long as one kept to the mainstream America filled with white, affluent males. In his introduction to What Kind of Drinker Are You? he alludes to eleven different types, at least “according to doctors, psychiatrists, bartenders and drinkers of all types.” They admit that their types couldn’t cover everyone, but believe 95% of the population should be able to find themselves among the types. I thought the article I found online was complete, but it only shows ten. However in the text describing “Pick-Up Drinkers,” they refer to the “Week-End Drinker,” so that must be the missing eleventh type of drinker.
- Convention Drinker
- Before-Dinner Drinker
- Pick-Up Drinker
- Sneak Drinker
- Abnormal Drinker
- Hard Heavy Drinker
- Convivial Drinker
- Polite Drinker
- Petty Drinker
- Party Drinker
- Week-End Drinker
The descriptions of each type of drinker provide a fascinating insight into how people thought about drinking in the late 1940s, shortly after World War 2 ended.
Which type are you?
I got a press release yesterday from a Julian Healey about a project he’s just launched. His new website from Australia is The Hoplist, and includes information on at least 268 varieties of hops, which they claim is the “biggest list of hops … ever.” And that seems right, most of the hop guides are put out by the hop growers and sellers, and focus on just the varieties that they carry, whereas the Hoplist is at least attempting to be complete. For each hop, there’s a description of the hop and nearly two-dozen bits of information about it. I’ll be in Melbourne in just over a week, so perhaps I can share a beer with Julian. I think I’ll suggest something hoppy.
For our 87th Session, our host is Reuben Gray, from The Tale of the Ale. For his topic, he’s chosen a local theme, all about Local Brewery History. He’s asking you to “give your readers a history lesson about a local brewery,” and here’s the details:
In Session 87, I want you to give your readers a history lesson about a local brewery. That’s a physical brewery and not brewing company by the way. The brewery doesn’t need to still exist today, perhaps you had a local brewery that closed down before you were even born. Or you could pick one that has been producing beer on the same site for centuries.
The only thing I ask is that the brewery existed for at least 20 years so don’t pick the local craft brewery that opened two or three years ago. This will exclude most small craft breweries but not all. The reason? There’s not much history in a brewery that has only existed for a few years.
Also, when I say local, I mean within about 8 hours’ drive from where you live. That should cover most bases for the average blogger and in many, allow you to pick one further away if you don’t want to talk about a closer one. For instance, I live in west Dublin and the closest brewery to me is The Porterhouse, but they only opened in the late 90′s. The most obvious brewery of course is Guinness, but enough people get told the history of Guinness by a very clever marketing team so I can’t bring myself the re-hash the same old tales about the 9000 year old lease and all that. So I will be picking something else on the day.
Some of you may already know a lot about the history of a local brewery and others might have to do a little research. If you do pick a dead brewery, see if there are any connections today! Perhaps the brewery is dead but the brand was bought by another brewery and lives on today.
The most important goal is to have fun with your research.
So put on your historian’s hat and let’s tell some histories to make Maureen Ogle proud. On Friday, May 2, blow the cobwebs off of your local, possibly now defunct, brewery’s story and give us your best chronicle.
Also, as Reuben generously pointed out, we have a number of open slots for upcoming Sessions. If you’re a contributor, but haven’t yet been a host, please consider signing up for one. We need a host for June, along with August and beyond.
Today is the birthday of the late Alan Eames, one of the first Americans who wrote extensively about beer, especially in a serious way, mining history and culture for his topics. I never met Alan, though I talked to him on the phone a few times. When he passed away a few years ago, my friend Pete Slosberg bought his library, and donated much of it to the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado, for their library. When Pete and his wife moved to San Francisco, he gave me several boxes from the library, mostly old newsletters, press releases and other miscellaneous stuff, including the poem below.
By coincidence, today is also the day when many people celebrate the Greek philosopher Aristotle’s birthday around 384 B.C.E. Nobody’s sure of the exact date that Aristotle was born, and I’m not even sure why today is used by so many sources, but it’s as good a day as any, I suppose. Anyway, I was browsing through boxes of Alan’s papers and found a Xeroxed copy of a 17th century poem from one of Eames’ books, “A Beer Drinker’s Companion,” from 1986, which also mentions Aristotle. The author is unknown, but it seemed appropriate because of the connection between Alan Eames and Aristotle and their mutual birthday today. Enjoy.
Beer and Women
While I’m at the tavern quaffing,
Well disposed for t’other quart,
Come’s my wife to spoil my laughing,
Telling me ’tis time to part:
Words I knew, were unavailing,
Yet I sternly answered, No!
‘Till from motives more prevailing,
Sitting down she treads my toe:
Such kind tokens to my thinking,
Most emphatically prove
That the joys that flow from drinking,
Are averse to those of love.
Farewell friends and t’other bottle,
Since I can no longer stay,
Love more learn’d than Aristotle,
Has, to move me, found the way.
Today’s beer film is a fun little video created by the St. Louis Brewing Co. — a.k.a. Schlafly — as an alternative to this year’s Super Bowl halftime, what they called “the ultimate Super Bowl Halftime extravaganza,” or Beerd Bowl! “It’s the Brewers’s beards from Schlafly Bottleworks versus the beards from the Schlafly Tap Room in a smack down, drag out, no holds barred competition for both bragging rights and the Limbeardy Trophy.”