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Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  31 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Looking at a time when beer was often a nutritional necessity, was sometimes used as medicine, could be flavored with everything from the bark of fir trees to thyme and fresh eggs, and was consumed by men, women, and children alike, this book presents a detailed history of the business, art, and governance of brewing.
Paperback, 319 pages
Published March 30th 2007 by University of Pennsylvania Press (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 102)
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Richard Gombert
An informative book.
I learned much about the history of taxes and beer.
However the major flaw is the author tries to talk knowledgeably abotu beer and fails. He constantly misuses the word quality when referencing beer. In his mind (obviously he is not a very knowledgeable beer drinker) the quality of Middle Age and Renaissance beer equates with it's alcohol level. He higher the alcohol, the better the beer.
He is capable of using the word quality correctly to describe the properties of other ite
...more
Karen Brooks
If you're at all interested in the history of ale, beer and brewing, specifically as it developed in Europe and England from roughly the 1200s through the 1600s, then this book is for you. Richard Unger delivers a well-researched but very easy to read book full of facts and some suppositions about the changing nature of one of the most important drinks in human history and how it altered from being a domestic product, replete with all sorts of medicinal wonders, to a heavily commercialised one t ...more
Blanca
A repository of numbers. Good for citing specific data, although I can't possibly source check the material since most of the archival sources come from England, Germany and the Netherlands. Mainly about beer consumption in Northern Europe and England. It was a bit hard to follow since it is not broken up chronologically. Again, if one day you need, NEED, the number of liters drank by the average Northern European, then this book is for you. It's just taxes, economy, nothing really about the cul ...more
Redsteve
This is absolutely the driest book on alcohol that I have ever read. That being said, it is interesting and contains a lot of information that I was previously unaware of, including the existence of gruit, an additive to beer in the Middle Ages so common that systems of taxation were built around it. This book deals mainly with the economics of beer brewing and selling during these periods, including production, trade, taxation, and regulation. I give it a 2 for readability but a 3 for informati ...more
Joshua
Mar 28, 2010 Joshua added it
Shelves: ay09-10, booze
More than you probably wanted to know about the rise of hopped beer (in contrast to traditional ales), brewery guild structure, the 'international" beer trade, and the market competition between beer and wine. Enjoyable read for a scholarly text.
Mouldy Squid
A bit dry but full of interesting facts, details and specifics of brewing, consumption and sale of beer. If you are familiar with reading academic works this book will be engrossing.
Bettie☯
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