Sometimes however, blogs can be used to look back and reflect on how much the world has changed.  This rather philosophical line of thought came to me while I was idly perusing one of the books from Malthouse Library.  It was a rather whimsical 1965 book called “The Froth-Blowers Manual” by Pat Lawlor.

Now, Pat Lawlor was certainly not your standard beer writer, as the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography noted: *

“Lawlor’s range of writing was remarkably wide, involving not only imaginative writing and literary commentary, but also work as diverse as an attempt to locate a rumoured novel by Katherine Mansfield, devotional and theological writing, and patriotic verses published over a pseudonym during the Second World War.  Though a deeply conservative man with a strong sense of the importance of domestic values, Lawlor was a congenial figure with a taste for good ale and company.  In about 1936 he wrote a long treatise on beer, later to be published as “The Froth-Blowers’ Manual” in 1965.  He also edited “Brewnews”, a bi-monthly booklet on beer and brewing, from 1965 to 1971.”

His beer writing was all the remarkable given he ended “The Froth-Blowers Manual” with an epilogue stating “the last beer I tasted was in June 1959.”

The final section of the book is titled “A Beer Encyclopaedia” and it gives an insight into some of the old slang around beer and beer drinking, as well as a few drinks recipes which thankfully seem to have fallen out of favour.  This post covers A-L:

ABC – Ale, bread and cheese; an abbreviation originating from Christ’s Hospital.
Abraham Grains – An ancient name for a brewer or publican.
Alecied – An obsolete word signifying drunk on beer.  There is a kindly almost chivalrous note about this word, so different from our crude modern day equivalents (corned, cut, canned, soused, swilled and soaked).  Even the ancient ale-blown or ale-washed is more polite than muzzy, raddled, doldered, blithered or the American well-hooched.
Ale-knight – An ale enthusiast of the Sixteenth Century.
Ale-stake – A pole, often surmounted by a bush, indicating the presence of an ale house.
Archdeacon – Oxford slang for Merton strong ale.
Bar-cuddler – One troubled with beer-fixation.
Beerup – Australian slang for a prolonged session at the bar.
Blob – World War I slang for a glass of beer.
Bonyclabber – A Celtic beverage composed of beer and buttermilk. **
Brother Bung – A member of the vast fraternity of the vat.
Ceapalethelum – A beautiful word dating back to the days of the Saxon kings and signifying an ale-shop.
Chirping Cup – A convivial glass or cup of beer.
Collar – That delightful filmy embroidery surmounting a pot of beer; delightful only if there is not too much of it.
Corpse Reviver – A taste of the “hair of the dog” the morning after.
Dead Marines – Empty bottles.
Gargle – An endearing word descriptive of drinking one or more beers.
Green Beer – A species of lager beer coloured with spinach.
Half-G – The distinctly New Zealand term for a flagon of beer.
Hot-pot – Brandy and ale mixed together and heated.
Hot-Tiger – I think the term is still in existence at Oxford and specifies hot spiced ale and sherry, a very consoling brew for a cold day.
Huckle-My-Butt – An old time drink composed of beer, brandy, sugar, eggs and supporting edibles. ***
Humming Ale – Strong beer with a goodly froth and potent enough to cause a humming in the head of the drinker.
John Roberts – A tankard of prodigious size containing enough beer to last a normal drinker from Saturday to Sunday. **** The measure was of Welsh origin and designed to defeat the Sunday closing Act of John Roberts MP in 1886.
Liquorpond Street – To have been in Liquorpond Street was to have been on the spree.  This street boasted of several breweries in the early part of the eighteenth century.

The highlights from the remainder of the beer encyclopaedia will be in a future post.

In World Cup news, Malthouse will be showing replays at noon and 5pm virtually every day.  New Zealand’s amazing results have ensured that interest continues to grow. 

A quick look at the FIFA World Cup website shows that – at the time of writing – New Zealand had more points than England, France, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Australia, Cameroon, Slovakia, Portugal, the Ivory Coast, North Korea, Honduras and Spain.  Additionally, New Zealand had scored more goals than England, Spain, Portugal, North Korea, Slovakia, the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Japan, Australia, Algeria, Nigeria, South Africa and France.  However, the Socceroos did hold a commanding 2-0 lead over the All Whites in the ‘getting sent off’ stakes.

* For one thing he is the only beer writer in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography
** Possibly the only Scottish beverage worse than Irn-Bru
*** Clearly there were different food labelling requirements back than
**** I suddenly know what I want for Christmas.


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