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A taste for trouble ("Caveman" Beer created - puts hair on your chest)!
The Scottsman ^ | Thu 19 Feb 2004 | KEN BARRIE

Posted on 02/19/2004 1:35:04 PM PST by vannrox

AN ARCHAEOLOGIST recently recreated a neolithic brew based on ingredients excavated in Perthshire. The resulting ale tasted unpleasant, but clearly those who drank it originally were not put off. Ever since, the production and consumption of alcohol has been central to Scotland?s culture.

It wasn?t just home-produced brew for which Scots developed a taste. Scotland did brisk international trade exporting a wide range of goods in exchange for claret, imported from France to Leith as early as the 12th century. Subsequently, wines from Spain were landed in Dumbarton, bound for Glasgow. In the other direction, export ales were developed from the late 18th century so they remained drinkable on arrival in the colonies.

Alcohol was consumed in large quantities in Scotland until the early 20th century, when we were drinking with a gusto unmatched even today. For a long time alcoholic beverages, beer in particular, were safer to consume than drinking water, particularly in the towns, and it was often not much more expensive. Alcohol was drunk by people of all social classes and ages, including children. Drinking was an important part of Scottish life, it oiled the wheels of commerce and as well as being a crucial source of much-needed calories, alcohol was used to mark almost every ceremony imaginable; births, deaths, taking up apprenticeships and starting work. Getting drunk was a major recreational activity enjoyed in its own right. Whilst drunkenness might be frowned upon, it was still tolerated to a large degree.

Although drunken disinhibition was seen as a threat to godliness, order and decency, alcohol was also viewed as a gift from God and religious orders were involved in its production and consumption. Until the 16th century, the Archbishop appointed Glasgow?s baillies and provosts, who fixed the prices and quality of wine and ales.

This dichotomy between the pleasures and evils of drink is the faultline which runs through the history of alcohol in Scotland. Nowhere is it more apparent than in the poetry of Burns. In Tam O?Shanter, we are told of great tales of drunkenness; in Holy Willie?s Prayer there is a strong "anti- drink" sentiment;

By the end of the 18th century, the social changes arising from the industrial revolution affected the role and importance of alcohol in Scottish society. Large numbers of people moved from rural to urban settings to become part of the new industrial workforce. As a result, the traditional, informal controls which small rural communities exerted over their members? behaviour were broken. The growing import trade and burgeoning brewing and distilling industries - early examples of entrepreneurial capitalism - meant cheap alcohol became very readily available.

Yet in an industrial environment, drunkenness became less acceptable - because it might inhibit the generation of profit as well as influence social unrest - and by the early 19th century, there was a reaction against widespread drunkenness, particularly in towns and cities where industry was forging ahead. In 1804, Thomas Trotter published part of his doctoral thesis, which was submitted to the University of Edinburgh and entitled An Essay, Medical, Philosophical and Chemical on Drunkenness. He proposed that habitual drunkenness was a "disease of the mind" and was one of the first to recognise the concept of addiction. His contribution was seized upon by the growing Temperance Movement, providing it with a rationale for publicising and tackling the evils of drink.

The Temperance Movement, an umbrella term for several different groupings, was essentially an American import and made its entry to Scotland though the ports of Greenock and Glasgow which regularly traded with the United States. John Dunlop, a Greenock magistrate and temperance reformer, described a world in which the middle classes vied with working people to create occasions for another glass. "In no other country does spirituous liquor seem to have assumed so much the attitude of the authorised instrument of compliment and kindness as in North Britain," he wrote in 1839. Around the same time, the publisher William Collins was spearheading the temperance cause in Glasgow.

Many commentators at the time regarded drink, rather than the prevailing social conditions, as the primary cause of the abject poverty they witnessed when visiting industrial towns. One visitor to Glasgow noted: "When the drunkards of Glasgow become too poor to satiate their appetite for spirits, they now resort to laudanum, which in an adulterated state is consumed in considerable quantities." Laudanum, a tincture of alcohol and opium, was widely available as a cure-all in a population which almost never consulted a qualified medical practitioner. It would have been used as a form of self-medication to cure hangovers as well as withdrawal symptoms from alcohol dependence.

By the 1840s, the Temperance Movement was gaining considerable momentum and the characteristic Scottish teetotaller would have been working class and quite possibly involved in radical social change movements such as the Chartists. It is also likely that teetotalism was worn as a badge of respectability and as a mark of trustworthiness in a time of aspiration and entrepreneurial activity. It was not until later in the 19th century that the middle classes joined the movement.

Temperance campaigners scored numerous successes in the political arena. In 1834, a Select Committee on "the extent, causes and consequences of the prevailing intemperance among the labouring classes of the United Kingdom," recommended that workers? wages should not be paid at public houses, that duties on tea, coffee and sugar should be reduced and that alternatives to drinking alcohol should be introduced. This led to the provision of open spaces, parks and libraries by social reformers eager to improve the lot of the less well-off in addition to providing alternatives to drinking.

The Temperance Movement had its strongest links to the Protestant churches, although in 1842, Father Matthew, an Irish priest, attracted a crowd of 50,000 to Glasgow Green for a temperance rally.

Alcohol consumption decreased slightly as a consequence of the Temperance Movement?s stance, which encouraged individuals to "pledge" abstinence. This was not good news for the freshly-industrialised brewers and distillers, who had emerged from the amalgamation of many smaller cottage industries, and were beginning to exert considerable political influence.

In the mining villages of Fife, the drink trade was taken into municipal ownership, an idea borrowed from the Gothenburg Temperance Movement in Sweden. Pubs were called "Goths" and the profits derived from them provided funds to establish libraries and employ district nurses. The Forbes-Mackenzie Act of 1853 resulted in the closure of public houses at 11pm on weekdays and all day on Sundays. Two years later, the Methylated Spirit Act regulated the manufacture of meths for consumption.

While these changes were considerable victories for the Temperance Movement and evangelical Sabbatarians allied to it, reformers were open to accusations of curbing working-class enjoyment while the middle and upper classes continued to consume claret.

As the 20th century dawned, the Temperance Movement was running out of steam. Its early charismatic leadership had gone and a clearer understanding was emerging that society?s ills could not be blamed solely on alcohol. Even so, in 1913 "veto polls" were approved to allow local communities to vote for prohibition or to limit the availability of alcohol. These local referenda resulted in 41, out of 584 areas, opting for prohibition or limitation by 1920. Towns such as Kirkintilloch and Lerwick, as well as the Glasgow suburbs Cathcart, Pollokshields and Kelvinside, were "dry" for decades. The areas with the highest number of licensed premises and greatest problems were unaffected, reflecting the Temperance Movement?s failure to influence the masses in the long term.

One of the last major interventions by the Temperance Moment was the election of the only Prohibition Party MP in the general election of 1922, when Edwin Scrymgeour defeated Winston Churchill. It has been suggested the votes of newly enfranchised working-class women were crucial to the outcome although a proposed national prohibition act was soundly defeated in parliament.

For nearly a century, the Temperance Movement had been hugely influential, particularly regarding legislation and policy. By the time of the First World War, alcohol consumption had fallen, although this could be attributed to economic reasons (taxation had risen) as well as spiritual ones. Alcohol was becoming a luxury product; there was an upward blip in the roaring 20s, but alcohol consumption remained below 5 litres per head per year for most of 1916-1968.

By 1952, the British Medical Journal had consigned alcoholism to the past. The Temperance Movement had succeeded, it claimed. Half a century on, that statement looks decidedly intemperate.

? Ken Barrie is director of the University of Paisley Centre for Alcohol & Drug Studies.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: analize; ancient; archaeology; beer; create; drink; ferment; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; hops; neolithic; past; recreate; taste
FYI
1 posted on 02/19/2004 1:35:06 PM PST by vannrox
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To: Conspiracy Guy; Just another Joe
Ping for a brew!
2 posted on 02/19/2004 1:37:07 PM PST by CSM (My Senator is so stupid he'd have to get naked to count to 21 and my Governor wouldn't be able to!)
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To: Overtaxed; g'nad; msdrby
ping
3 posted on 02/19/2004 1:40:15 PM PST by Professional Engineer (Chief recruiting officer, BicycleSpankenTruppen)
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To: vannrox
If I read this article correctly, the gin craze that paralyzed Britain in the 1740's bypassed Scotland. The Scots were drinking other things for other reasons.
4 posted on 02/19/2004 1:43:25 PM PST by Publius (Die Erde ist gewaltig schön, doch sicher ist sie nicht.)
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To: Publius
Yea, they rightly saw that gin is the devils urine!
5 posted on 02/19/2004 1:45:57 PM PST by Axenolith (Politicians lie. If they told the truth, the voters would vote for their lying opponents.)
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To: vannrox
Reminds me of a joke, the punchline to which is:

"I'm not sure where ya' been laddy, but I see ya' won first-prize!"

6 posted on 02/19/2004 1:46:31 PM PST by Joe 6-pack ("We deal in hard calibers and hot lead." - Roland Deschaines)
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To: vannrox
The resulting ale tasted unpleasant, but clearly those who drank it originally were not put off...

I guess it tasted better than this swill.

7 posted on 02/19/2004 1:47:24 PM PST by theDentist (Boston: So much Liberty, you can buy a Politician already owned by someone else.)
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To: vannrox

Mmmmm...Caveman beer...
8 posted on 02/19/2004 1:54:36 PM PST by SquirrelKing (A vote for John Kerry is a vote for Jane Fonda.)
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To: theDentist
Hey, where can I get some of that?

9 posted on 02/19/2004 1:57:27 PM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: William Terrell
Check with your local stores. You can get it anywhere...
10 posted on 02/19/2004 2:02:40 PM PST by theDentist (Boston: So much Liberty, you can buy a Politician already owned by someone else.)
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To: theDentist
In Alabama? I've never seen it.

11 posted on 02/19/2004 2:16:03 PM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: William Terrell

12 posted on 02/19/2004 2:24:03 PM PST by COBOL2Java (If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading this in English, thank a soldier.)
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To: COBOL2Java
COBOL to Java, huh. LOL. Just a straight substitution of code, right?

13 posted on 02/19/2004 2:29:06 PM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: William Terrell
I've heard too many managers speak that line!
14 posted on 02/19/2004 2:33:51 PM PST by COBOL2Java (If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading this in English, thank a soldier.)
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To: vannrox
So the "caveman makes beer" story goes something like:

The caveman knows how to make bread using wild cereals. During this simple bread-making process the skies open up and it rains really hard. Realizing that the bread is ruined and would not satisfy his hunger, he leaves the soppy mixture in his cave and heads out to hunt mammoths.

The next day he returns, unsuccessful in his hunting trip and examines the ruined bread. He's very hungry at this point but decides another day of hunting would be better than eating the now disgusting mish-mash of sloppy cereals that was once his bread.

At some point the unsuccessful hunter is overcome by his hunger and succumbs to the bread, which is now a lumpy foul-smelling liquid.

It must have tasted terrible, but the caveman would have immediately recognized the wonderful buzz after his very first beer.

Thats the story, at least as it was told to me.
15 posted on 02/19/2004 2:39:50 PM PST by wesdale
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To: William Terrell
Does Ala still have that silly law where the beer caps have to have Ala printed on them? I moved away from there about 10 years ago so I'm not sure if it's still in effect. I remember when it passed...the choice in beer dropped by at least half overnight. Fortunately, I moved to Maine where there are oodles of microbreweries. Of course the taxes suc@, but hey... The Cave Creek Chili is interesting because every drink you take burns so you instinctively take another. The beer is finished in no time flat.
Cheers,
P.
16 posted on 02/19/2004 2:40:48 PM PST by pdunkin
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To: vannrox
bump for later...when I have a drink in hand...
17 posted on 02/19/2004 2:57:12 PM PST by sirshackleton
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To: sirshackleton
Me too...


18 posted on 02/19/2004 3:01:51 PM PST by Stars N Stripes (My baloney has a first name, it's h o m e r, my baloney has a second name it's h o m e r .......)
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To: vannrox

Laudanum, a tincture of alcohol and opium, was widely available as a cure-all in a population which almost never consulted a qualified medical practitioner.

If they would have consulted a qulaified medical practioner, they would either have been dispensed laudanum or the cure for laudanum addiction at the time, morphine.

19 posted on 02/19/2004 3:04:54 PM PST by JmyBryan
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To: CSM
I must have drank way too much. I have hair on my shoulders and back.

CG
20 posted on 02/19/2004 5:40:56 PM PST by Conspiracy Guy (I'm not stupid. I just act that way.)
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To: JmyBryan
If they would have consulted a qulaified medical practioner, they would either have been dispensed laudanum or the cure for laudanum addiction at the time, morphine.

It is obvious I lived in the wrong century ;)

21 posted on 02/19/2004 10:25:45 PM PST by Indie (That earthling has stolen the Iludium 238 explosive space modulator!!)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 4ConservativeJustices; ...
One last blast from the past for tonight, although this will be the top one in your article list. G'night all!
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

22 posted on 12/29/2004 7:17:16 PM PST by SunkenCiv ("The odds are very much against inclusion, and non-inclusion is unlikely to be meaningful." -seamole)
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To: theDentist

Hey, I live in Phoenix, that is pretty good beer! But you have to be from the Southwest to be able to take hot spices!

Oddly enough, I once found that beer, from my home town (well 10 miles N. of Phoenix) in a bar in Capetown, South Africa.

Life is odd.


23 posted on 12/29/2004 7:19:56 PM PST by Central Scrutiniser (I'll never have that recipe again.......)
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To: theDentist

BTW, you want swill, worst beer ever, and it will be confirmed by any reputable beer site, is Strela, from Egypt.

Absolute enema water!

BeerLao comes close.


24 posted on 12/29/2004 7:21:33 PM PST by Central Scrutiniser (I'll never have that recipe again.......)
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25 posted on 11/14/2010 7:26:37 PM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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