The Brew Site

Medieval Ale

The last several posts have taken an historical theme, so I thought I’d throw in another: Binge-drinking an age-old problem (via A Good Beer Blog).

Experts have uncovered evidence that 12th century Londoners drank ale by the gallon, starting at breakfast time, due to poor quality drinking water….

Looking back only 700 years, London had over 1,300 alehouses – one for every 50 people living in the city.

John Clark, curator of the Medieval London gallery, said: "Most people, including children, drank ale made from malted barley without hops.

"The even drank ale for breakfast, and got through up to a gallon, or four-and-a-half litres, a day each.

"At a price of a penny per gallon, only the poorest had to make do with water." However, he pointed out that this ale was much weaker than the beers people drink today.

By the gallon? Wow… considering you only need a half gallon or so of water a day, the "binge drinking" label isn’t far off.

Not a whole lot more to say about the article; I just thought it was an interesting snapshot of beer in the life of medieval England.