Mental Floss links to free How-To guides from a hundred years ago that are still helpful if you need to mesmerize someone or name a baby
Darcy O’Neil’s “Art of Drink” blog examines temperance images from the 1800s, the meaning of temperance, historical drinking and driving ads, and a couple of bitters labels for good measure. [more inside]
Even in the grips of the Great Recession, one industry's profits are bubbling up, pouring forth, and experiencing growth in market share, dollars spent, and profit: craft beer! [more inside]
Everyone knows America's Oldest Brewery is D.G. Yuengling & Son (and daughters) of Pottsville, PA (and Tampa, FL) This family owned brewery was established as the "Eagle Brewery" in 1829 by a German immigrant named David Gottlob Jüngling. After the original brewery burned down in 1831 it was relocated to its current location. It was built into a mountain with caves dug into the side, a common practice to preserve beer and to achieve the cool temperatures required to make lager before refrigeration. Yuengling spent most of its history as a small regional brewery and only began to attract national attention years after the launch of Yuengling Traditional Lager in 1987, which went on to become the flagship product of the company and now accounts for 80% of Yuengling's production. On the strength of that growth, and with other brewers being bought out by or outsourcing production to foreign companies, Yuengling has now passed The Boston Beer Company to claim the title of America's largest brewing company as well. In this globalized beer era where giants war for market share, products from America's new largest brewer are only available in 14 states.
New Year's Eve is fast approaching, and for lots of folks that means... drinking. Plenty of drinking. And since there's no shortage of singers and songwriters who've had a little something to say about that particular topic, maybe some of the following tunes can serve as an appropriate soundtrack to your own joyous (or not?) imbibing of spirits. For example, there's... Jimmy Liggins with his succinct rendition of Drunk, and there's... [more inside]
The Guardian has an article on Pimm's, a traditional gin-based English summer drink. Invented by one James Pimm in London in 1840, Pimm's soon became associated with upper-class institutions and the British Empire; its popularity declined somewhat in the decades following World War 2 (apart from a few revivals as part of ironic constructions of "Britishness"), though it has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity. Recipes for serving Pimm's vary, though they typically involve mixing it with lemonade and/or ginger beer in a jug and adding oranges, strawberries, sliced cucumber and mint. While the formula remains a secret, knockoffs do exist (both Sainsbury's and Aldi sell their own substitutes, though Sainsbury's had to change the label on its to look less like the original), or you could try making your own.
[Joe] Namath learned to drink as a youngster, back home in Beaver Falls. You could say he developed a taste for hooch as an infant— when he got fussy while teething his mother rubbed his gums with a rag soaked in grain alcohol. (via SpoFi, another story of a great athlete/drunkard)
How Not To Get Drunk is a newish blog that takes a quasi-scientific approach to the fine art of imbibing without embarassment. Maybe Ben Affleck (YouTube) should take some lessons.
Serious vegetarians know to keep on the lookout for isinglass and other animal products in their beer. Isinglass is a fish-derived additive that's primarily used to help speed up the clarification of cask-conditioned ales, although some beer-makers will use it to reclaim batches that didn't filter properly. You can help keep your diet swimbladder-free with this awesome list.
Snooker legend dies A very sad day for snooker lovers. Bill Werbeniuk, the only man to split his trousers on live television during a professional snooker match, has died. And he liked a pint or thirty.
So When Can The Boy Start Drinking Then? From February 1 you'll have to be 16 to order an alcoholic drink in Portugal. We Portuguese were the last bastion in Europe - with no age limit at all - but have finally given in the to pressures from the European Union. Yet young people here enjoy drinking but rarely get drunk. Age limits vary wildly all over the world and the debate on the ideal drinking age rages on. The U.S. is still the strictest country of all. And yet public displays(and tacit approval)of drunkenness seem to be far more prevalent in the stricter countries than in those who have more liberal legislation. So what should be the minimum drinking age? [The main link, in Portuguese, refers to the political battles that preceded the new law. Interestingly, it reports the Portuguese government resisted EU pressure to limit 16-year-olds to beer and wine, more or less saying "alcohol is alcohol - you can get drunk on anything - so it would be silly to limit young people's choices." ]
The Science of Getting Schnockered The "New Scientist" directory of articles relating to drunkenness. Some of my favorites: why drunk people tend to stagger more to one side than another, drunks can control their behavior if they really want to, and girls can match boys drink for drink, so long as they stick to beer.