02 April 2012

Pre-Roman Germans Drank Like Frat Boys

It turns out Europe 2,600 years ago was pretty much exactly like one big college frat, with social elites vying for power and influence by throwing the most kickass parties - complete with lots of free beer.
Archaeologist Bettina Arnold is excavating Iron Age German hill forts, and is learning a lot about their society by the size of the beer mugs people are buried with. And the bigger the mug, the more powerful the person was. While they had wine from the Mediterranean and made mead, they also made an ale that didn't use hops. Remember, hops were originally added to beer as a preservative, not to make a beer taste like a grapefruit. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Since there were no hops, the beer had to be consumed quickly. Hence the large mugs, I guess.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:39

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