Good pubs, Good Beer, Good People

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Man (and woman) kind's debt to beer

"Back in the day" ( as my students used to say, usually eliminating the word "old" and the plural of day), I would begin my senior World Literature unit by telling stories of early humans as "hunter-gatherers." At the conclusion of my tales, with my students either rapt or nodding off (especially if it was a morning class or a class immediately after lunch), I would tell them that when these nomads eventually decided to settle down, nothing less than civilization began. Then I'd give an assignment by asking them to think about this question: What momentous, cataclysmic event could it have been that made these nomads decide to forgo their "nomading" and settle down? Then I'd tell them that a close friend of mine was the curator at a very prestigious museum, and he would be allowing me to bring into class tomorrow (so you don't want to be absent, boys and girls!) the very valuable item that was responsible for the birth of civilization.

The next day, after reviewing the assignment and building up the pending revelation with sufficient drama, I'd very carefully and slowly reach into my lower desk drawer and extract an item wrapped in velvet cloth.

An empty bottle of beer.

Pete's Wicked Red, to be precise, because it had a picture of Ninkasi, the Beer Goddess, on the label.

I taught mostly seniors in high school. And when you begin your school year by praising beer in a class of seniors, you've got them on the hook until June. Let them discover that you get paid to go to bars and drink beer, and you've got Facebook friends for life. And some of them, nearing retirement age, still call you "Mr."

Yes. Beer can do that. And it seems that what I taught is now being verified by professionals.

The picture and motto on this very blog is testimony to how important beer was. And is.

Enjoy the article! H/T to Carl for the heads-up!

Cheers! The PubScout

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