A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Craig -

A lawyer looking for laws. 'Tis a good thing we have a legal eagle on board this beery ship, methinks.

Alan -

I love old laws, especially prior to a certain point in the language. These are good old plain words that would be understood by any literate person. What is the "use" of beer? Love it.

Nitch -

Bear with the plebeian Nitch, but is that quote all one sentence?! Old documentation had such a liberal stance on writing, with it's free form capitalization and fancy "that's what is sounds like to me," spelling. Why is "Mistery" capitalized and not "art" or any of the other dozen nouns. For that matter does "Mistery" mean to be the Mr. of Beere (now THAT has to be a typo, right). And, what is Mault?
Kudos to you, Sir, for being able to read that and translate it fluently in your head. Masters degree in library hounding or am I the only one who had to re-read the passage three times?


Alan -

Good questions. It is one sentence but it is like a list of lists. See the two "That" at the beginning of a portion? A bit later and in law today there would be a semi-colon making the division more clear. "Mault" would be malt but I am not sure what the capitalization means in particular. Before a certain point there was a broader use of capitalization. In law now, capitalization means that somewhere else in the document you will find a definition of the term but I don't think that is the case with "Mistery". It might just mean "trade secrets" 350 years ago.

Gerry Lorentz -

Actually, the law does regulate brewing: "That no person whatever shall undertake the Calling or worke of Brewing beere for sale, but only such as are known to have Sufficient Skill in the art or Mistery of a Brewer." It regulates who can brew and then regulates the product of their work. In England the Brewer's guild would have regulated production and membership (through a legal charter), and the government would then have regulated sale. In this case, the government is regulating both. Not that this is a lot of regulation, but if a person did brew unwholesome or useless beer they would have been kept from brewing (at least from brewing after that point).

Alan -

Well, that is not "regulation" but prohibition. It does not set up either a bureaucracy of oversight or a even licensing process. In this system, a complaint would lead to an unskillful brewer to be hauled in front of a magistrate.