hist-brewing: Re: glass bottom mugs

DEPiLLsb42 at aol.com DEPiLLsb42 at aol.com
Wed Mar 17 21:27:21 PST 1999


<< My question of the moment is:  Does anyone know the story behind the 
origin of glass bottom beer tankards (usually pewter otherwise)...I read 
somewhere that it had something to do with navy conscription 
practices...Any enlightened souls out there? >>

I understand it was a slightly post-period English practice. A navy recruiter
would drop a coin in a man's cup when he wasn't looking. If he drank the beer,
then he accepted the coin as payment and was now the king's man and could be
impressed into naval service. Thus the glass-bottomed tankards, so you could
check to make sure there weren't any unwanted coins in your ale. At least this
is how it was told to me at Ren faire as an explanation why all those clear-
bottomed (mostly plastic bottomed) tankards were not appropriate.

Eleanor, Isles (mka Dawn)

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