By Gregg Smith
The most very important yet little-known points of early American heritage was once beer's position within the founding of our state and its adolescence. The definitive account of beer's effect on humans and occasions that formed the beginning of a kingdom will astonish readers
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Extra info for Beer in America : the early years, 1587-1840 : beer's role in the settling of America and the birth of a nation
In Massachusetts the first attempts to cultivate barley were unsuccessful. To the settlers’ dismay, they had to continue to import malt and hops. Deliveries from England were infrequent at best and unreliable at worst. Ship owners and captains had other priorities and often as not the brewing supplies ran short. Brewers, though discouraged, never gave up. They merely turned to other methods. Creating variations on traditional brewing was common practice. Both in town and on the frontier the women brewers improvised, substituted, and fabricated alternative ingredients for brewing.
Virginia’s climate was too warm for brewing, and New York beer was shipped down the coast with increasing frequency. Although New York’s brewing future looked bright, one factor started to inhibit production by the latter half of the 1700s: a limited supply of water in Manhattan, a problem that haunted inhabitants well into the 1840s. ”2 However, down the eastern seaboard in Philadelphia, unhindered by the water problem New York brewers faced, breweries continued to thrive. Thirsty new arrivals to eastern Pennsylvania were greeted with a large selection of beer.
Beer was an inescapable part of Harvard life. Beer was considered critical among Harvard’s staples and was one of the president’s most important responsibilities. 44 Beer Settles in Unfortunately, the institution’s first president, Nathaniel Eaton, ignored this all-important duty. President Eaton was responsible for a variety of functions considered essential to the smooth running of Harvard’s college, but in a monumental blunder he turned over control of beer production to his wife, who paid scant attention to maintaining the beer supply.