Being a beer enthusiast means knowing a few things about beer. How to describe different tastes. How a good beer density looks. At least, have a handle on quite a large collection.
But, sometimes beginning beer enthusiasts get tripped up on the smallest little details. There is a responsibility of all beer enthusiasts to impart our knowledge on those who are less knowledgeable than ourselves. So, here are some facts or myths that I think every beer enthusiast should know.
Watch Your Ps and Qs
First of all, printers at one time tried to claim that they were responsible for the origin of the phrase, “watch your Ps and Qs.” They claimed that old typesetting for printing newspapers and books years ago was a difficult task of setting each character in place. The main difficulty takes place when each character had to be backward. At times, printer’s helpers would put a small “p” where a “q” should have been or vice versa. So the term, “watch your Ps and Qs” was reported as being a warning in the publishing business to pay attention to the small details. It is a commonly accepted myth.
However if you are talking to a beer enthusiast, you could not be more false. The term, “watch your Ps and Qs” is referred to as Pints and Quarts. Years ago, bartenders would keep track of a customer’s tab by writing their Ps and Qs on a chalkboard. Some beer enthusiasts would say that you would “watch your Ps and Qs” to monitor your own alcohol intake. Other beer enthusiasts would say that meant that you would keep an eye on the bartender who might have been trying to overcharge you.
The End of Prohibition
To be absolutely honest about this one, not many people know exactly how the prohibition was ended. All they know is that one day, Congress enacted a law lifting the prohibition and that was it. But, little do they know that it was actually part of the Presidential running campaign for FDR.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a hero to us for many reasons. But when he made a stand to end Prohibition was when he forged his place in history as our 32nd President. The day after FDR’s Cullen-Harrison Act became law on April 7, 1933, Anheuser-Busch sent a team of Clydesdales to the Whitehouse to deliver a case of Budweiser.
Wet Your Whistle
A term that is rarely discussed is where “wet your whistle” originated. You can blame that one on beer as well. Regulars in early English beer pubs would drink out of their own mugs. So, they came up with an interesting method to alert the bartenders when they were ready for another beer. They had whistles melted into the mugs and steins so that they could just blow the whistle.
I’m thinking raising my hand and calling a waitress over would be good enough. But, you would have to imagine the chaos that could be in a pub in those days. With men singing songs in one corner and others arguing in another, it just might get a little loud in there. A whistle might come in handy.
The history of beer is probably one of the most interesting of anything else on earth. Sure, you could consider the field of medicine important. You could rave on and on about the advancement of technology. You might think that the theories of human evolution are quite phenomenal. But, I will ensure you that a discussion about the history of beer won’t put anyone to sleep.