The Pilgrims and...Beer?

From Pilgrims Pub:

"During the voyage of the Mayflower, the cooper who guarded the Pilgrims' casks of beer and pipes of gin and brandy was the famous John Alden. The supply was of no small importance to the Pilgrims. When the Puritans set sail, they were well freighted with astounding amounts of alcohol. In the hold of skip, the Arabella, which hit the seas for America in 1630, sloshed some 42 tuns of beer, 10,000 gallons of wine, and, "almost as an afterthought , fourteen tuns of fresh water," A tun of beer was a wooden barrel-like vessel and was also a unit of measurement, equal to about 252 gallons. Also aboard there were 120 hogshead of malt for brewing, since a hogshead is between 63 and 140 gallons, we are talking about 7,560 gallons at minimum. And note: This was just the official supply-most families brought their own backup barrels."


Rob said…
Puritan women smoked pipes. Not kidding.

And the forefathers of my country, the USA? The liquor tab on the Constitutional Convention was preserved. Those guys were plastered.

Pretty sharp document that Constitution, but I am glad none of those guys drove home..
Jason Nota said…
I don't agree with Rob. In Mark Edward Lender's book DRINKING IN AMERICA, he points out that most colonist (using today's standards) would qualify as moderate or heavy drinkers. He suggest that by the 1790's an average American over 15 years old drank just under six gallons of absolute alcohol and beer. Over half of this was beer and cider. Contrary to popular prejudices, Lender notes, "But America colonist were not problem drinkers-at least not if social policy directed at alcohol abuse is any indication....." He calls this "one of the most significant feature of drinking in the colonial era." Then he glorifies the social standards of the day, although not naming Christianity as the chief factor, which it clearly was. He asserts, "Such was the context of early American drinking. The colonist had assimilated alcohol use, based on Old World patterns, into their communities lifestyles. As long as mores remained intact, communities held drinking excesses largely in bounds." And, "The church played an especially powerful role in defending community values," with Calvinist calling drinking excesses sin. The wise aphorism of Increase Mathers prevailed "Wine is from God, but the Drunkard comes from the Devil."

p 94,95 Drinking With Calvin And Luther, Jim West
Steve Scott said…
It wasn't Guiness, as it wasn't brewed yet. I doubt the Pilgrims were Baptists.

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