Drink!

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Drink!

Postby Boreades » 10:08 pm

The sacred art of brewing is one of the most ancient and revered trades of all. Just today I have been reminded of what an important part this played in all our cultures, regardless of what pompous academics might say. Especially as they tend to have very limited abilities to organise a micturition event in an alcoholic beverage production facility.

What jogged my memory? It was some thirsty walkers on the Ridgeway Trail commenting on the purity of the stream water. I was minded to recycle some thoughts on the matter.

The Ridgeway Trail crosses the Og Valley to connect the megalithic sites at Silbury and Avebury to those at Wayland's Smithy, Uffington and Dragon Hill.

As an aside, the head of the Og valley is flanked on both sides by two hill tops. Just to confuse visitors, they are both called Castles (Barbury and Liddington). Where they really castles? Ah well, no. But if they weren't castles, what were they? The usual reflex answer from orthodox historians or archaeologists is that they were hill-forts. Castles, forts, wars and death sounds a lot more exciting. Which is great for academic careers, books and TV series. But how much evidence have we that they were military forts or places for battles? Outside of a few known battles between native Britons and mercenary Saxons, there is surprisingly little evidence. Instead the bulk of evidence suggests something much more mundane and peaceful. That is, the Ridgeway Trail is an ancient trade route, used for thousands of years, connecting a string of enclosures that were only rarely used for military purposes as well.

Back on track: Locally, what we know now as Gypsy Lane was one of the most direct routes between Barbury and Liddington. It passes close by the head of the Og river, near a location known to have been a pre-Roman building. The ortho-archaeos at first thought it was a temple (ritual stuff), until the more insightful realised the largest room in the building was a large malting oven for roasting barley. Which is, of course, a crucial ingredient in brewing beer. The other crucial ingredient is water, which suggests a plentiful supply of fresh clean water from a spring or well. Roasted barley has an acidifying effect on the beer mash. Because of this, modern-day brewers tend to treat the mash with calcium carbonate to keep the pH in the proper range. The chalky Og water would be slightly alkaline, and perfect for a naturally balanced brew.

The Ridgeway Trail is mostly on chalk uplands, with few rivers, and these are mostly winter bournes, which means rivers that usually only flow in winter time. Victorian era maps of Ogbourne St.George show many wells in the area, so that villagers had a dependable water supply all year round. So for most of the year, every year, the Og valley would have been a special place on the Ridgeway, as one of the few parts where travellers could depend on finding water for themselves and their animals. The most famous example now is The Inn With The Well, which is still refreshing weary walkers to this day, and may be carrying on a local tradition which has lasted for five thousand years. Cheers!

Ogbourne St.George features as the first walk on The Megalthic Empire's walks.
http://www.themegalithicempire.com/walks/walks/?p=1
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Re: Drink!

Postby TisILeclerc » 9:57 am

Image

http://www.bristan.com/watermap

If you are looking for the best place for a megalithic brewery here are the hard and soft water areas in England and Wales, and Cornwall.

According to the BBC Scotland is just soft water. I can't really believe that especially as London is a hard water area and has been renowned for terrible beer since the beginning of time. And as for making a cup of tea it's amazing how quickly a dark brown scum appears on the top of the tea.

Image

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22247668

Much better is Burton on Trent which appears to have two breweries for every inhabitant of the area.

http://www.lovetobrew.co.uk/blog/water- ... e-brewing/

After all that what is it with 'Gog'. It seems to crop up all over the place. North Wales people are known as Gogs, there are the Gog Magog hills in Cambridgeshire. Although any lump in the ground would be a hill I suppose in that area. And then there are Borry's gogs and then there are the Ogs. Does the word mean anything? Was it a brand of megalithic beer?
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Re: Drink!

Postby Boreades » 7:54 pm

Accepted that most of Scotland is a soft water area.

But it came as a surprise to learn that some of the most famous Whisky production is in hard/acidic water corners of Scotland.

the water from certain regions of Scotland, when added to whisky, seems to bring out specific taste qualities in the whisky for which those regions are known.

Highland Water: hard water, high in minerals. 225 parts per million dissolved solids and high in nitrate, calcium, and magnesium. pH around 7.7 (lightly alkaline)

Speyside Water: soft water, low in minerals. 125 ppm dissolved solids. pH around 7.8 (lightly alkaline)

Islay Water: higher natural acidity. 183 ppm TDS. pH around 6.3. High in sulphate, potassium, sodium, and chloride.



http://www.alcademics.com/2013/06/how-d ... hisky.html

Islay’s Ardilistry Spring produces water with higher natural acidity which is created by filtration through peat.

http://www.uisgesource.com/chemistry/
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Re: Drink!

Postby TisILeclerc » 1:34 pm

The Bluffer's Guide to Beer has a handy timescale for devotees at the cult of the great god or goddess of brewers.

9000 BC or the Year Beero is their start date. Apparently ancient Egyptian workers were paid in Kash which was their word for beer apparently.

http://bluffers.com/beer-eternity-brief ... y-brewing/

http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/prehistoricbrewing.htm

Orkneyjar traces brewing in Britain back to the Stone Age from places as far apart as Orkney and Durrington Walls.

Getting down to specifics though and the chemical basis of beer is found in a more scientific site.

http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/archive/t ... chron.html

Whenever the first beer may have been sipped, Sumerian cuneiform tablets and Egyptian hieroglyphics dating back more than 5000 years allude to its production. Initially, brewing was, for the most part, a household project carried out by women. The well-known legal code drawn up by the Babylonian King Hammurabi nearly 4000 years ago forbade brewers from diluting their beer and also put a ceiling on the price they could charge for it. An Egyptian papyrus dating to 1400 B.C.E. warns about getting drunk on beer “for fear that people repeat the words which may have gone out of your mouth.” Egyptian pharaohs provided their laborers with a daily ration of four loaves of bread and two jugs of beer. Rameses III took pride in consecrating to the gods more than 400,000 jars of beer.


Well, they say they're chemists and I'll drink to that in the interests of research.

In Israel meanwhile they have found Egyptian pottery that goes back five thousand years and which was used for storing beer.

‘Among the hundreds of pottery shards that characterise the local culture, a number of fragments of large ceramic basins were discovered that were made in an Egyptian tradition and were used to prepare beer,’ he said in a statement.

The vessels were made with ‘straw temper’ and other organic material to strengthen them – a method which was not in local potteries.

The excavation is the first to offer evidence of an ‘Egyptian occupation’ in the centre of Tel Aviv 5,000 years ago.


So says Diego Barkan, of the Israeli Antiquities Authority

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... srael.html

Egyptian was obviously good stuff that travelled well but seeing as they got it from Osiris in the first place it's no wonder. Other gods were also happy to get involved as well although it was left to ordinary women to brew the stuff. A tradition which continued until very late in British history as well.

http://ancientegyptonline.co.uk/beer.html

The following is from the Instructions of Ani:

[your mother] sent you to school when you were ready to be taught writing, and she waited for you daily at home with bread and beer.


I remember it well. Those were the days.

Perhaps the Egyptians sailed their beer booze cruisers up to Cornwall and swapped them for tin?
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Re: Drink!

Postby Boreades » 9:07 pm

If it was Egyptians, perhaps Princess Scoti brought the recipe with her?

Golden beer

We're used to the notion of an Irish "Beerage", with long dynasties showing the French how to brew the very best Cognac in Bordeaux (Hennessy etc)

So it shouldn't come as a complete surprise to find that beer might have been what the Irish traded for Cornish tin and gold.

Bronze Age man was a bit of a boozer, according to a team of archaeologists who claim to have uncovered evidence of the world's largest prehistoric brewing industry.

After four years of research, which has seen them travel from Belgium to Bavaria to investigate ancient beer-making methods, the team has concluded that Ireland's love affair with alcohol predates the 1759 foundation of the Guinness brewery by many thousands of years.

An archaeological consultancy based in Co Galway has demonstrated that enigmatic man-made Bronze Age features, which are common throughout Ireland, could well have been ancient microbreweries.

The research by the Moore Group has culminated with the archaeologists recreating Bronze Age brewing methods and producing a modern version of the ale, which our forefathers would have drunk by the beaker after a hard day's hunting and gathering.


Or a hard day's mining.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science ... e-ale.html
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Re: Drink!

Postby TisILeclerc » 8:10 am

Iron working and related trades have always produced thirsty workers.

In the Middlesbrough steel works the men had beer brought into them at the work place. It was seen as essential to replace minerals and other things lost through sweat. Some steel works even had their own pubs inside the plants and boys were employed to carry the beer to the men.

For this reason steelworkers had a taste for a strong pint of beer and the breweries obliged with all of them producing special brews for Middlesbrough.

Beer advertising throughout the north east stressed the strength and manliness of the product. Cameron's brewery produced Strongarm while Vaux's brewed Samson. Hoardings usually showed a bare chested muscle bound man with a giant girder on one shoulder and a pint of beer in the other hand. Worthy of the Soviet proletarians at their best.
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Re: Drink!

Postby Mick Harper » 7:03 pm

There are only around 200 chalk streams in the world, and 85% of these are found in England


And the rest are in Belgium. I have mentioned this before but if chalk streams are natural they will be found all over the world. If they are not, and they are obviously not if this statistic is correct, then we need to know what their purpose is, how they are made and why they have not been imitated elsewhere (even in Britain). Beer would not seem to be the answer, since that is made everywhere.
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Re: Drink!

Postby Boreades » 2:25 pm

Mick Harper wrote:
There are only around 200 chalk streams in the world, and 85% of these are found in England

85% are in England? Sounds too good to be true. And sure enough, it is too good to be true. That quote comes from Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalk_stream
References
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... al-ecology


It's not an authoritative quote, it's a copy and paste from a Guardian article. Repeated without variation or question on various "Special Interest Group" sites, all keen on protecting these "unique habitats", all experts at ways of lobbying for extra government grants to the SIGs.

In reality, there are many more chalk streams. Eh voila, mon ami, pour les apéritifs, we just have to cross the Channel to pick up where the English chalk downs resurface in France. Normandy and Brittany are full of them.

Fish on the rivers Maronne, Cere, Doustre, Souvigné or the Dordogne itself ... Another spring-fed French stream is La Sorgue, in Provence, where the fishing is a real challenge. It's here that the French national fly-fishing team practises – and it is consistently the best team in the world. The river is clear and beautiful and full of fish ... La Loue is a spring-fed river in Franche Compté near the Swiss border. It is one of the best trout and grayling rivers in France


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/desti ... annel.html

The French national fly-fishing team is consistently the best team in the world??? Mon Deiu! Sacre bleu!

I stand ready for someone to suggest the Normans invented these streams and installed them in England as well.
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Re: Drink!

Postby Mick Harper » 2:35 pm

I stand ready for someone to suggest the Normans invented these streams and installed them in England as well.


Very well, I will suggest it.

It's not an authoritative quote, it's a copy and paste from a Guardian article. Repeated without variation or question on various "Special Interest Group" sites, all keen on protecting these "unique habitats", all experts at ways of lobbying for extra government grants to the SIGs.


I take your point but it is beyond (my) belief that so professional a bunch of lobbyists would make such an absurd error.

In reality, there are many more chalk streams. Eh voila, mon ami, pour les apéritifs, we just have to cross the Channel to pick up where the Engllish chalk downs resurface in France. Normandy and Brittany are full of them.


You mean where the Normans operated?

Fish on the rivers Maronne, Cere, Doustre, Souvigné or the Dordogne itself ... Another spring-fed French stream is La Sorgue, in Provence, where the fishing is a real challenge. ... La Loue is a spring-fed river in Franche Compté near the Swiss border. It is one of the best trout and grayling rivers in France


So all of a sudden not where the chalk extends over the Channel. However all these areas are intensely Megalithic.
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Re: Drink!

Postby Boreades » 8:43 pm

Mick Harper wrote:I take your point but it is beyond (my) belief that so professional a bunch of lobbyists would make such an absurd error.


Tut, you really do take me off at tangents.

In the professional art of lobbying, it really doesn't matter whether anything is an absurd error, or even just an ordinary error. The important thing is whether the lobbyee believes it. Another key part of the professional art of lobbying is getting some of your own folk in-bed with the lobbyee as "special advisers" or "experts" to reassure whoever the current King is that his new clothes really are everything the lobbyer says they are, even if crass and stupid common folk say the clothes are invisible. Billion-dollar empires have been built out of less.
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