|~ hops! ~|
Rumor has it that the clumsy, unwelcome feet of corporate colonization has just marched across the Discovery Channel to oust the show "Brew Masters." Evidently, the Beer and Whiskey Brothers have it on good authority that Big Beer threatened to pull their advertising from the network if "Brewmasters" wasn't given the boot. Whether the truth comes to light remains to be seen, but I can't help but wonder what the U.S.'s beer-loving forefathers would think of such paranoia.
In the course of unrelated research on the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA, two glimpses into the country's brewing past were unearthed. From the book The Buried Past comes the story of a grand parade in 1788 staged to honor the U.S. Constitution. A league of brewers, led by Germantown brewer Reuben Haines, "marched with 'ears of barley in their hats, and sashes of hop vines, carrying malt shovels and mashing oars [and] a standard...decorated with the brewers arms and the motto,...'Home brew'd is best.'"
And from the 19th century gardening notes of early-urban-farmer Charles Wister Sr., whose summer house was located in Germantown, comes two homebrew recipes:
10 bottles of water
1 bottle of ale
1 pint of molasses.
Mix and place in wooden barrel.
Fred Brown's Ginger Beer
4 oz. of brused ginger
1 oz. of cream of tarter
Juice & rind of 2 lemons
5 lbs of loaf sugar
Put the above in a yellow jar, and pour 5 gallons of water on it. Let stand 12 hours.
Decant the liquid and add 1 pt. of good ale or port.
Put in bottles with cork and lay down.
In two or three days it will be fit to drink.