Friday, November 07, 2008

Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol

This is more than anyone ever wanted to know about alcohol. It starts at the beginning, portraying the slaves that built the pyramids as being pretty much pickled on the couple gallons of ale given to them daily by their Egyptian overseers. It goes on in that vein. Along the way, there are some interesting tidbits about culture for those who enjoy trivia. For instance, did you ever notice many of Shakespeare's villains drink beer while his protagonists sip ale or wine? Probably not. But they do: Elizabethan England was experiencing a shift in drinking habits. Foreign-brewed beer (basically ale with more sophisticated bewing and hops) was gaining ground, but ale was seen as a more patriotic beverage. Interesting stuff, but a little esoteric for many.


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