hist-brewing: Re: Old Ale

Paul Robertshaw probertshaw at sciencephoto.co.uk
Wed Jan 14 07:37:14 PST 1998

> Do you have references for the practices of the guilds near this time
> period? I'm very interested in reading more on it, especially the
> guidelines they used for determining acceptable "brew" and membership
> within the guild. As well as any charters or what not that gave
> guidelines to follow in regards to what to do and not to do. For
> example, is it okay to brew on Sunday or not? Any time restrictions?
> (These are examples I read in a spurriers charter in _The Medieval
> Reader_.)

A good source is:

Calender of the Letter Books of the City of London: Letter Books A-L 
by Reginald Sharpe

which contains the following passage on qualification for membership:

"no brewer take any servant that has not served his time as an
apprentice to the craft, and been made a freeman of the City; nor
keep in his house at one time more than two or three apprentices at
the most; that all such apprentices be first presented to the Wardens
in the Common Hall of the Craft and by them be publicly examined as
to their birth, cleaness of their bodies, and other certain points.
 That apprentices be presented to the Wardens by their master before
admission to the freedom of the City, so that it may be ascertained
whether they have duly served their term; and that no apprentice who
has served his term shall become a Chief Brewer or Under brwer, and
therefore take wages, until certified as able by the said Wardens
under penalty prescribed."

Makes you wonder how many failed on the "cleanness of bodies" part

>Just because hippocras was only bought for feasts has no connection on
>herbs/spices being used in beers and ales. Hippocras is a spiced and
>usually sweetened wine; while braggart is a mead made with hops. This
>would make them both in the "wine" category for the special occasion,
>with the bitter flavor of beer in the Franklins' drink.

I'd be interested in any English recipes which name hops as
ingredients.  The ones I have are basically made of ale, honey and 
spices which have been fermented together for a few days. 

Thanks for the response

Paul Robertshaw

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