Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ideas, people and events that have shaped our world.
Manage episode 319755866 series 2248527
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Shakespeare references “beer” in his works 6 times, drawing attention to specific kinds of beer like “small beer” “double beer” and even one reference in Hamlet to beer barrels where the Prince of Denmark suggests that beer barrels had a stopper to keep them sealed. Drinking beer in Shakespeare’s lifetime was almost as regular as drinking water is today. So whenever you were thirsty, drinks like ale, beer, and spirits were much safer. This beer drinking reality means that there was a strong economy for beer making and distilling in Elizabethan England, including unique storage methods, containers, and even some versions of beer like small and double beer that are obsolete today. To find out exactly what the state, varieties, and industry was behind beer for Shakespeare, we have invited our guest this week, Richard Unger, expert in the beer making of Elizabethan England, and author of the book “Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance” to help us explore the history of how beer was made for the life of William Shakespeare.