Pub Crawl

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Pub Crawl

Postby DP Crisp » 12:02 pm

Do we know for sure what was in the Beaker People's beakers?

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Alcohol is reckoned to have been invented in the Middle East, no doubt. If so, wouldn't it have spread equally sideways?

Alcohol is poisonous and resistance to its effects is genetic. World-leading piss artists in the extreme west of the Old World; light-weights-floored-by-half-a-pint in the extreme east. Guess who's been routinely alcohol-soaked longest?
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Re: Pub Crawl

Postby Donna » 12:08 pm

The Far West (Irish, Scotch, Scands) has a real drinking culture. The Middle East hates the stuff. The Far East can take it or leave it. I believe the anti-alcohol gene is completely absent in the West which points to real longevity.

However, let's not forget that brewing beer had a much more important purpose than getting pissed. It guaranteed safe drinking.
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Re: Pub Crawl

Postby DP Crisp » 12:14 pm

Donna wrote:However, let's not forget that brewing beer had a much more important purpose than getting pissed. It guaranteed safe drinking.

Yes, but only in urban populations... which must be significant.

(Is there a public house in every village or a village surrounding every public house?)
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Re: Pub Crawl

Postby Komorikid » 10:51 pm

Dan wrote:

Do we know for sure what was in the Beaker People's beakers?


If they grew grain they probably made beer by accident or design.

As for the Middle East they don't hate the stuff. This widely held piece of common knowledge stems from the Islamic prohibition on most alcoholic beverages. It is a religious prohibition, not a social one, that has only existed since the 7th century and the rise of the Islamic faith.

Prior to that time beer was widely made and consumed in the Middle East and China all the way back to BC times. Read Gilgamesh or Hummurabi.
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Re: Pub Crawl

Postby Jools » 8:27 am

Wikipedia says Jericho was walled from about 8000 BC (but originates even earlier) and that beer goes back at least to 4000 BC. Still, I agree with Dan that it is unlikely that beer was invented for the purpose of safe drinking.

It might have been noted unconsciously that drinking beer -- and plenty of it -- had its benefits, but it was probably encouraged on the usual "get it down ya, it does ya good" principle, regardless. (Ambulance men handed out cigarettes within living memory!) At least going to the beer shrine on the village green aka pub to take the beneficial waters was a lot easier (and cheaper?) than going to the Our Lady of the Mineral Spring shrine.

I agree that for any kind of alcohol gene to arise and spread round the world it must be way before all this. But then again there's a milk-intolerant gene that's "gone round the world" so I would have thought that all this is a mere genetic accident.

What do we know about the history of drinking milk? Not forgetting that milk is fermented into alcohol in some places...

But yes, maybe like Komorikid said alcohol intake took off because, by accident, it could.
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Re: Pub Crawl

Postby Donna » 8:34 am

It hardly needs to be pointed out that nobody likes drinking on their own so the "Celtic" model (lone farmsteads miles from one another which is Orthodoxy's view of British prehistoric settlement patterns) is inherently less plausible than the Merrie England model (everybody living together in villages grouped round a pub).

In which case pubs are thousands of years old, and so are pub-names.
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Re: Pub Crawl

Postby hvered » 9:30 am

Some pubs are literally watering-stops. A number of pubs on ancient routes are built on top of wells, for instance The Red Lion at Avebury on The Ridgeway or The Chequer Inn at Steyning (near Chanctonbury Rings) on the South Downs ridge.

Pubs are not only drinking places. The location of pubs is a clue to their function. Take the pub at Medmenham, where the swan-uppers annually gather but that's another story. The pub is opposite the church on a crossroads at the point where the road narrows. This is the only road beside the Thames and is linked to a ferry crossing (via Ferry Lane), where a former Cistercian abbey is situated. The pub and the church point to toll collection, borne out by the topography because this crossroads is overlooked not by one but two so-called Iron Age hillforts. One of them, Danefield, has a spring, NB. this is chalk!, and is the site of a posh hotel (it's interesting how 'big houses' continue to occupy the same ground) but both are vaguely described as Bronze Age-ish.
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Re: Pub Crawl

Postby Boreades » 3:18 pm

In the Og Valley, east of Avebury, there are several Roman Villa sites. Recent archaeological field work on one, at the head of the Og river, found that below the roman remains was a big Celtic Temple. i.e. the romans moved in and adopted what was already there. That included a six-foot high malting oven, i.e. a place for roasting barley to make beer, exactly where fresh clean water emerges from the chalk downs. Coincidentally this is also close to the Ridgeway Trail, exactly where it cross the St.Michael/Dragon Line.
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Re: Pub Crawl

Postby Boreades » 5:33 pm

The pub in Ogbourne St.George is The Inn With The Well. It still has a well, inside the pub. In that pub a while ago, I was chatting to one of the oldest farm workers in our village. I guess he’s 75-ish. He was telling of the year when he was a lad and the farm first had a tractor powerful enough to deep-plow the field closest to Tollgate Cottage. All was fine except for every time they crossed a line running from the Og up to an old field boundary heading up the hillside onto the Ridgeway Trail. The plow kept hitting ground much harder than the chalk and flint that’s usual below the top soil here. When they dug a trench they found clear evidence of a hard-stone base, probably roman cement, where there used to be a ford across the Og.
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Re: Pub Crawl

Postby hvered » 8:25 pm

Boreades wrote:In the Og Valley, east of Avebury, there are several Roman Villa sites. Recent archaeological field work on one, at the head of the Og river, found that below the roman remains was a big Celtic Temple. i.e. the romans moved in and adopted what was already there.

That makes economic sense, adapting a site is still common practice -- but how do they know this was a 'Celtic Temple'?

That included a six-foot high malting oven i.e. a place for roasting barley to make beer, exactly where fresh clean water emerges from the chalk downs. Coincidentally this is also close to the Ridgeway Trail, exactly where it crosses the St.Michael/Dragon Line.

Fascinating. Is it near Ogbourne Maizey? The village seems to be 'the middle of nowhere' nowadays, does it even have a pub?
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