The Guiness Book of World Records was originally undertaken by the Dublin Brewery, which was looking for a source to help settle barroom “discussions.”
The phrase “mind your P’s and Q’s” is rooted in the old English pubs. Ale was sold in either Pint or Quart tankards. The wise proprietor minded (i.e. kept track of) who was drinking out of what size tankard so they were charged the correct amount. (The wise customer did likewise.)
The term “Pub” is short for Public House, a place where British men could always enjoy a beer, a card game, a brawl, or news of the day.
The word “bridal” came about in 17th century England. Special ales were brewed for special occasions, including the wedding day, in honor of the bride. This beer was called “bride’s ale,” eventually shortened to “bridal.”
Priestley’s theories on oxygen were formulated while watching bubbles rise to the surface in a vat of beer in an English brewery.
The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock instead of their intended destination much farther south in Virginia because they were out of beer aboard the Mayflower. The ship’s log recorded, “We could not now take time for further search or consideration; our victuals having been much spent, especially our beere.”
But don’t get the idea it’s all about the British! The first paved street in North America was Stone Street in lower New York (then called New Amsterdam). It was paved in 1657 to benefit the many breweries located along its way whose delivery wagons, loaded with beer, kept getting stuck in the mud.
If in New York, your favorite Beer of the Month Club encourages you to visit New York City’s Public Library. There you will find a porter recipe in porter-loving President George Washington’s very own handwriting.