Bar Slaves in History – “doth make a man fatte, and doth inflate the belly”

Well folks, it’s your friend Old Iron again. Our good friends over in Britian have , through archeology and massive funding of research projects,  done it again! Yes, they have discovered IN FACT people…

Drum roll please…


What news they have stumbled on! What amazing feats of science that they have revealed that could have been told to you by anyone that has ever had an honest conversation with anyone in their immediate family about the night that you were conceived!!!!

 I bow to their mighty minds. 


Binge-drinking an age-old problem

Image of 12th century Toby jug 


Artefacts show drinkers with ‘inflated’ beer bellies

A culture of 24-hour drinking and bingeing on alcohol may not be unique to modern society, say historians. Experts have uncovered evidence that 12th century Londoners drank ale by the gallon, starting at breakfast time, due to poor quality drinking water.

Exhibits at the Museum of London, including a selection of old Toby jugs, depict tubby men with beer bellies.

London’s many drinking dens entertained ‘immoderate quaffing by fools’, according to a writer of the time.

Looking back only 700 years, London had over 1,300 alehouses – one for every 50 people living in the city.

John Clark, curator of the Medieval London gallery, said: “Most people, including children, drank ale made from malted barley without hops.

“The even drank ale for breakfast, and got through up to a gallon, or four-and-a-half litres, a day each.

“At a price of a penny per gallon, only the poorest had to make do with water.”

However, he pointed out that this ale was much weaker than the beers people drink today.

Tom Knox, head brewer at Nethergate Brewery which produces real ale – the modern version of medieval beers – said: “Ale was the preferred drink at a time when water and milk were often contaminated and tea and coffee were unknown in England.

“The boiling of the beer in the process and the production of alcohol during fermentation destroyed most of the bacteria,” he explained.

During the 1400s beer, brewed with hops, became increasingly popular in London, replacing traditional ale.

According to the views of one commentator in 1542, beer drinking was “to the detryment” of many Englishmen since it “doth make a man fatte, and doth inflate the belly”.


~ by Old Iron on April 26, 2008.

2 Responses to “Bar Slaves in History – “doth make a man fatte, and doth inflate the belly””

  1. I doth not give a damn about beer inflating my belly. I like beer. Mmmmmmmmm……beeeeeeeer.

  2. I like the fact that it mentions that even children drank, albeit watered down versions of the real deal, and the average was a gallon of beer a day.

    Makes my drinking ability look like the product of a pussy. And now it is time to do some historical research on this article and see if I can get to their level of imbibing…

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