...Back to Main Page
Curiosities of Ale & Beer: An Entertaining History
Publisher: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1889. Reprint: BeerBooks.com, 2008.
Hard Cover, 449 pages, 6x9.
Here is BeerBooks.com's reprint edition of John Bickerdyke's original 1889 book, Curiosities of Ale & Beer. When the author first began researching what he called "the antiquities of ale and beer," he was shocked to find that no comprehensive volume had ever been written on the subject. In 1889, Bickerdyke corrected that injustice with publication of this book. In the words of the author himself, his tome was responsible for "the bringing to light of many curious facts, so far as I am aware, never before noticed" about the role of ale and beer in the history of mankind.
Starting in ancient Egypt, Bickerdyke traces the evolution of beer and brewing up through the late 1800s. Along the way, he illuminates nearly every facet of beer’s colorful saga -- ancient recipes, hops and malt, beer laws and regulations, drinking customs, beer songs and ballads, "ale-wives," inns and taverns, porter and stout, ancient drinking vessels, brewers of old London, and much more. The book includes over 50 woodcut illustrations. What an incredible resource of brewing fun, fact and fancy!
Look Inside the Book
To make this rare brewing text more widely available, BeerBooks.com has reprinted the book. An 1889 first edition copy was digitally scanned, professionally enhanced, and reissued in a hard cover format. All pages are reproduced exactly as they appeared at the time of publication in 1889, including the more than 50 original woodcuts.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Suppression of Beer-shops in Egypt 2,000 B.C.
Brewing in a Teapot
Distinction between Ale and Beer
Knights' objection to Sack
Hogarth and Temperance
Importance of Ale to the Agricultural Labourer
Sir John Barleycorn introduced to the Reader
Origin and Antiquity of Ale and Beer
Dean Swift on Home-brew
Christopher North's Brew-house
Use and Importance of Hops in Beer
Their Introduction and History
Ancient and Curious Laws relating to the manufacture and sale of Ale and Beer
Brewing and Malting in Early Times
The Brewers of Old London and the Brewers' Company
Various Kinds of Ales and Beers
Some Foreign Beers
Ale houses: Their origin
Hospitality in Medieval Times
Old London Inns and Taverns
Anecdotes of Inns and Inn-keepers
Signboard and Ale-house Verses
Ale-house Songs and Catches
Ancient Merry-Makings, Feasts and Ceremonies peculiar to certain Seasons, at which Ale was the principal Drink
Harvest Home, Sheep-shearing, and other songs
Ale at Breakfast
Bequest of Ale
A Sermon on Malt
Excesses of the Clergy
Old Ballads, Songs and Verses relating to Ale and Beer
Brewing in the Present Day
Anecdotal and Biographical Account of some representative London, Dublin, Burton and Country Brewing Firms
Porter and Stout
Circumstances which led to their Introduction
Value to the Working Classes
"A Pot of Porter Oh!"
Beverages compounded of Ale or Beer, with a number of Receipts
Ancient Drinking Vessels
Various Uses of Ale other than as a Drink
Old Medical Writers on Ale
Adulteration of Ale
Advantages of Malt Liquors to Labouring Classes
Temperance versus Total Abstinence