Hot Beer on a Hot Day


It is very hot in the Village today.  Working in an historic building in a long dress, with long sleeves, that does up to the neck and contains several layers of petticoats underneath really does make one appreciate air conditioning!  The warm weather had me thinking about popping into the brewery for a pint of cold beer when an article I read yesterday popped into mind.

“When a man is thirstie, there are two master-qualities which do predominate in the stomach, namely heat and drinesse, over their contraries, cold and moisture.  When a man drinketh cold beer to quench his thirst, he setteth all four qualities together by the ears in the stomach, which do with all violence oppose one another and cause a great combustion in the stomach, breeding many distempers therein.  For if heat get the mastery, it causeth inflammation through the whole body, and bringeth a man into fluxes and other diseases.  But hot beer prevents all these dangers, and maketh friendship between all these enemies, viz., hot and cold, wet and drie, in the stomach; because when the coldnesses of the beer is taken away by actuall heat, and made a shot as the stomach, then heat hath no opposite, his enemie cold being taken away, and there only remains these two enemies, dry and wet in the stomach: which heat laboureth to make friends.  When one is exceedingly thirstie, the beer being made hot and then drunk into the dry stomach, it immediately quencheth the thirst, moistening and refreshing nature abundantly.” John Bickerdyke, The curiosities of ale & beer. London: 1889.

Mr. Bickerdyke goes on to recommend hot beer as a sure-fire cure for consumption (tuberculosis), and notes several instances of the health hazards of drinking beer cold.  Take that Coors Light Cold Certified!  So today while you are sweltering in the heat, raise a pint of warm beer in honour of Mr. Bickerdyke and the restoring powers of hot ale!

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