Beer Trivia #2

Beer is consumed all over the world by young and old. Countries, from ancient Babylon to modern Japan, are proud of their brews. Let us look at some additional beer trivia:
Around 4,000 years ago, in Babylon, there was a traditional practice that for the month after a wedding, the father of the bride made available to the groom an unlimited amount of mead. Mead is a beer based on honey, and because the Babylonians’ calendar was based on the movements of the moon, this time period was called the "honey month" and is now known as the "Honeymoon."
The American beer industry was particularly hit hard by Prohibition. Magan-breweries were the only breweries to survive Prohibition and that was only because of diversifying into other fields. The beer industry didn’t make a full recovery until the 1970s, with the revival of home brew and craft beer movements.
When in an English pub, it is customary to order ale by the pint or quart. Back in old England, if the customers got rambunctious, the publican (pub owner) would yell at them to settle down and to mind their own pints and quarts. Hence, the saying "Mind your Ps and Qs." Alternately, the story goes that records of beer purchases were posted on a board under "P" for pints and "Q" for quarts. The publican would remind the barmaids to "mind their Ps and Qs so that they might get the proper payment for the drinks.
The popular Scandinavian toast skaal (skol) comes from the word skole, or the drinking bowl designed after the shape of the upper half of a human skull. At first, the actual skulls of enemy killed in battle were used as bowls. I strongly believe in recycling but this goes a bit too far...
The expression "rule of thumb" originated from the practice used, before the introduction of thermometers, to describe brewers using their thumbs to test the temperature of their maturing brew. If the brew was too cold, the yeast would not grow and if too hot, the yeast would die.

In old England, a publican and his alewife barely had time to take a moment for themselves:
They had to have their own land to farm in order to grow the carbs needed to make beer, wine, mead, and cider, plus growing sufficient foods to feed the tavern guests.
They had to tend farm animals as well as keep a garden.
They needed to provide rooms and stables for their guests and their horses. A precursor to the parking garage?
They needed to have enough education to be able to keep the books, bills, and to collect payments due as well as managing the payroll for their employees.
Elephants have an incredibly strong attraction to beer and other forms of alcohol. They will even hunt for fermenting durian fruit in Malaysia. They must love the alcoholic content of the durian because the fruit is reputed to emit an odor of rotten eggs or worse.

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About The Author, Terry Kaufman
Terry Kaufman is Chief Editorial Writer for and For much more on stocking and entertaining at your home bar, see Tips on Tending Your Home Bar.©2007 Terry Kaufman. No reprints without permission.