The Best of the Wheatsheet Number 4
January 1998

Mike finally on his way!
Mike being a barrow full during the Boxing Day Barrow Push held at the Green at Writtle. The “Push “ was won by Doug Adams and has raised approximately £1600 from sponsorship.

Guess who came last?


Notes from Colorado Don of the High Plains

The Antiquity of Beer is indeed something to wonder at. The oldest inscribed clay document in existence, thought to date back to ancient Babylonia of 6000 B.C. depicts a scene of the preparation of a crude type of beer for sacrificial purposes.

The Babylonian Beer (16 different types by 4000 B.C. ) was made from barley, or barley spelt (a hard grained kind of wheat) or spelt alone, with honey as an additive. Hops or similar bittering plants are thought to have been used around 3000 B.C. although the first definitive record of a hop plant itself dates back to only the 6th Century B.C.

In the Imperial Egypt of the Pharaohs about 3000 B.C. Beer of which 4 types were made was a common item in the daily diet of Kings, Nobles, officials, peasants and labourers. The Kings, Nobles and officials drank filtered beer made as follows:

Underbaked bread , made of coarsely crushed germinated barley cut into small pieces, and soaked in water in a large jug and left to ferment for about a day, the fermentation being started by airborne yeasts. The mass was then filtered by forcing it through a woven sieve into another vessel. The resulting whitish, foaming and slightly sourish beverage was ready for drinking. It was sometimes sweetened with dates or spiced with herbs.

The labourers and peasants were given the unfiltered mash (2 jugs each) and 4 loaves of bread each per day. It is recorded that it was customary for mothers to bring beer to their sons in school.

Jumping ahead to more recent times, it is recorded that when the Pilgrim Fathers came to America they chose to land at Plymouth, Mass. because AOur victuals were much spent, especially our beer@.

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