In June, this blog published the first half of the beer lexicon from that book.  The remainder is reproduced below.  Lawlor also made some particular observations about DB, Morton Coutts and continuous fermentation which have particular relevance with the recent release of the 50th Anniversary DB Export beer.

First, the remainder (M-Z) of Lawlor’s lexicon:

Malt-worm – An Elizabethan synonym for a heavy beer drinker. *
Merry-goe-down – A graceful title bestowed on beer by the old English poet John Taylor. **
Mumper’s Hall – A mendicant’s *** ale house.
Nappy Ale – Potent ale sufficient to make one “nappy”.  It carried a nap or frothy head.
Nick-pot – To smuggle a beer measure from a bar-room.
Pewter – The word itself signifies an alloy of tin or lead but to the beer drinker means a metal mug.  Beer connoisseurs will agree that it is the most desirable vessel from which to drink beer. ****
Porter-gaff – A mixture of stout and lemonade.
Posset – Hot milk and ale, or spirits.
Rameses III – Famous because of the inscription cut on his tomb recording, with the statistical accuracy of the period (around 1200 BC), the fact that he had offered 466,303 jugs of beer to the gods.
Salt in Beer – An old Scottish superstition.  A handful of salt was thrown on the mash to keep the witches away. *****
Seal Drink – It was a practice at markets and fairs when a deal was finalised or “sealed”, that the vendor or the purchaser “shout” all those present.
Shandy-doodle – A mixture of beer and lemonade.
Shandy-gaff – Beer with a dash of lemonade.  In Maori parlance, titoki.
Shearer’s Joy – An Australian and New Zealand synonym for beer.
She-Oak – An Australian equivalent for beer.
Sons of Malt – A title given to the early German soldiers by the Emperor Julian.  Two centuries earlier Tacitus was also enthralled over their beer drinking prowess.
Skinker – An obsolete synonym for tapster or barman.
Stone-fence – A mixture of brandy and ale.
Swipes – A slang expression for bad beer or for a barman.  Other derisive terms for bad beer are bilgewater, swankey, slumgullion etc.
Swig – Known out here as a comfortable swallow of beer.  At Oxford last century the word covered a very special concoction – spiced ale served with toast.
Sundowner – A lovely word of South African origin bestowed on the first pot of beer one may partake of when the sun has gone to rest.
Wear the Barley Cap – An old Scotch expression signifying intemperate drinking of barley-bree (malt liquor brewed from barley).
Wild Beer – Frothy beer; too much collar.
Yorkshire Stingo – The name of a celebrated brew of beer also of a famous tavern in Yorkshire.  Stingo may refer to several varieties of strong ale.

I can see why most of these terms fell out of favour but personally I’d be keen to welcome back malt-worm, wear the barley cap and shandy-doodle, the last one only because it is an even more derisive term for ruining perfectly good beer with lemonade.

Lawlor also discusses the discovery of the continuous fermentation process at DB.

“Came the year 1956 when the world of hops shook to its foundations because of a momentous discovery.  At the first whispers, wort, endosperm and company spent sleepless nights wondering what was going to happen to them.  From the shades of the past, however, Pasteur gave an approving nod.  Eventually, after months of intensive experimentation, the Technical Director at Dominion Breweries, Mr M W Coutts, perfected a process which gave to the brewery a stabilised wort and continuous fermentation process. 

In more picturesque language, Mr Coutts appears to have summoned all the gods of beer and with their unanimous consent so raised the status of the earthly brew as to be worthy of a place on the banqueting tables of Valhalla.  This may be accounted a picture in hyperbole ****** but the plain fact remains that the Coutts Process, as it is now called, has been universally acclaimed at home and abroad as a most important, if not epoch-making discovery and since been licensed to leading breweries in other parts of the world.

While Mr Coutts must remain the acknowledged chief priest of this historic ceremonial, I shall leave it to some future historian to apportion the respective credit to assisting ministers.”

It is correct that this brewing revolution was invented in New Zealand and was adopted widely around the world.  In general, it produced a higher yield and better efficiency than a batch brewing process which is why many breweries implemented it.  However, virtually all of them have subsequently dropped continuous fermentation.  DB is the only local brewery to still use it. 

Finally, in the on-going debate over Malthouse fashion, the bewhiskered bar staff are now arguing there is important difference between check shirts, plaid shirts and houndstooth shirts.  Apparently their shirts are houndstooth and houndstooth is cool.  It is worth noting the etymology of the term – the pattern of broken checks is supposedly reminiscent of the jagged back teeth of a hound.

* Might have to put that on my business card.
** Probably not going to catch on around Courtenay Place.
*** Seriously, a beggar or a member of an order of friars forbidden to own property in common, who work or beg for their living.
**** No.
***** This was very effective as no salted beer was ever stolen by witches.
******* Yes, I feel it might.


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