hist-brewing: barrels

Beth Ann Snead ladypeyton at yahoo.com
Thu May 6 21:01:20 PDT 1999

> I haven't encountered any evidence that coopered vessels
> were commonly used to transport beer in pre-industrial
> periods (although I must admit, my "research" has been
> extremely casual).  Sure, I see barrels in the Bayeaux
> Tapestry, and I know that it was beer that quenched the
> thirst of the pox-rotten Normans, but that doesn't mean
> that they ever put beer in those barrels.

The barrells seen in the Bayeaux tapestry are most often used as evidence
that the Normans brought wine along with them on the campaign.  Expecially
as there are grape vines interspersed with other animals and plants along
the top and bottom of the tapestry.  Since it has already been proven in
many other sources that wine was transported in barrels as far back as
Herodotus (who wrote a wonderful description of how the Babylonians
shipped wine casks down the River Euphrates in collapsable skin boats so
that they could travel home upstream on the backs of asses) I think it's
more probable that it in fact WAS wine depicted in the casks.

(Hyams, Edward.  Dionysus: A Social History of the Wine Vine. Macmillan,
London. 1965.)

Beth Ann
Lettice, Lady Peyton in the SCA
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