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Folklore: Pewter Tankards

Jack Blandiver 15 Jun 08 - 05:00 AM
Darowyn 15 Jun 08 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 15 Jun 08 - 05:28 AM
Folkiedave 15 Jun 08 - 05:29 AM
Doc John 15 Jun 08 - 05:33 AM
Silas 15 Jun 08 - 05:38 AM
Liz the Squeak 15 Jun 08 - 05:46 AM
Dick The Box 15 Jun 08 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,doc.tom 15 Jun 08 - 08:01 AM
pavane 15 Jun 08 - 08:04 AM
Leadfingers 15 Jun 08 - 08:11 AM
Folkiedave 15 Jun 08 - 08:15 AM
JohnInKansas 15 Jun 08 - 09:07 AM
Silas 15 Jun 08 - 09:17 AM
Micca 15 Jun 08 - 09:20 AM
Greg B 15 Jun 08 - 09:49 AM
Ned Ludd 15 Jun 08 - 11:56 AM
Georgiansilver 15 Jun 08 - 12:17 PM
BB 15 Jun 08 - 12:39 PM
Jack Blandiver 15 Jun 08 - 01:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jun 08 - 01:59 PM
glueman 15 Jun 08 - 03:54 PM
Gurney 15 Jun 08 - 05:59 PM
Georgiansilver 15 Jun 08 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,doc.tom 15 Jun 08 - 07:43 PM
Joe_F 15 Jun 08 - 08:14 PM
meself 15 Jun 08 - 08:28 PM
meself 15 Jun 08 - 08:29 PM
glueman 16 Jun 08 - 02:40 AM
glueman 16 Jun 08 - 02:47 AM
Georgiansilver 16 Jun 08 - 02:49 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 Jun 08 - 02:51 AM
GUEST,doc.tom 16 Jun 08 - 04:29 AM
Jack Campin 16 Jun 08 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,Valmai Goodyear 16 Jun 08 - 05:19 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Jun 08 - 05:20 AM
Jack Campin 16 Jun 08 - 06:23 AM
greg stephens 16 Jun 08 - 06:33 AM
GUEST 16 Jun 08 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 16 Jun 08 - 07:00 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Jun 08 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 16 Jun 08 - 08:02 AM
Rapparee 16 Jun 08 - 08:28 AM
nickp 16 Jun 08 - 09:11 AM
lady penelope 16 Jun 08 - 09:16 AM
glueman 16 Jun 08 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,Ned At Work 16 Jun 08 - 10:46 AM
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GUEST 16 Jun 08 - 01:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jun 08 - 02:24 PM
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lady penelope 17 Jun 08 - 10:45 AM
Silas 17 Jun 08 - 10:48 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 17 Jun 08 - 10:50 AM
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Silas 17 Jun 08 - 11:02 AM
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GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 17 Jun 08 - 11:25 AM
Silas 17 Jun 08 - 11:35 AM
Banjiman 17 Jun 08 - 11:38 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 17 Jun 08 - 11:43 AM
Silas 17 Jun 08 - 11:54 AM
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GUEST, TJ in San Diego 17 Jun 08 - 12:33 PM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jun 08 - 12:57 PM
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Marje 17 Jun 08 - 01:34 PM
Liz the Squeak 17 Jun 08 - 01:35 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 17 Jun 08 - 01:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jun 08 - 02:16 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Jun 08 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Squeezy Sessionizer 17 Jun 08 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,aeola 17 Jun 08 - 07:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jun 08 - 09:02 PM
meself 17 Jun 08 - 10:48 PM
Paul Burke 18 Jun 08 - 03:47 AM
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Jack Blandiver 18 Jun 08 - 04:18 AM
Liz the Squeak 18 Jun 08 - 04:20 AM
Silas 18 Jun 08 - 04:24 AM
Phil Edwards 18 Jun 08 - 05:18 AM
Zen 18 Jun 08 - 06:23 AM
lady penelope 18 Jun 08 - 06:50 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Jun 08 - 07:39 AM
Jack Blandiver 18 Jun 08 - 07:39 AM
TheSnail 18 Jun 08 - 07:48 AM
GUEST 18 Jun 08 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 18 Jun 08 - 08:01 AM
Phil Edwards 18 Jun 08 - 12:20 PM
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GUEST,cdavies 26 Dec 08 - 04:11 PM
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Guy Wolff 27 Dec 08 - 05:00 PM
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Michael 28 Dec 08 - 12:15 PM
VirginiaTam 29 Dec 08 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,glueman 29 Dec 08 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,Matt - with his new tankard 10 Dec 09 - 08:11 PM
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open mike 11 Dec 09 - 02:50 AM
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Old Grizzly 11 Dec 09 - 01:03 PM
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doncatterall 16 Dec 09 - 09:02 AM
EnglishFolkfan 16 Dec 09 - 10:13 AM
Richard Mellish 29 Dec 09 - 03:45 PM
manitas_at_work 30 Dec 09 - 06:04 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Dec 09 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,Bill S from Melbourne 30 Dec 09 - 08:18 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 05:00 AM

Served up in pewter it tells its own tale...

Further to the Folk: Image & Presentation thread, I was tempted by some lovely old Victorian pewter tankards in an antique shop in Cromer last week and, in resisting said temptation, I pondered their folkloric significance; at least their significance to folkies - pragmatic, symbolic, or otherwise. So what is the deal with Pewter Tankards? Is it purely an English thing? Is it just about being loathed to sup from plastic at festivals? Do you have such a thing? Come! Let us celebrate this most derided accessory of our calling - memories & anecdotes, customs & rituals, odes & origins...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Darowyn
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 05:06 AM

Pewter? that's not real folk.
Bourgeois, Victorian, academic revivalist nonsense.
A true trad folkie would have a leather tankard lined with pitch!
(I'd put a smilie here if Mudcat had such things)
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 05:28 AM

I feel that a pewter tankard somehow adds the finishing touches to the ensemble: beard, smock, clogs, red, knotted handkerchief worn round the neck and clay pipe.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 05:29 AM

I have both. (The pitch one is well made and makes the beer taste awful. It may be that it is in the mind - can't help that).

When around charity shops I tend to buy any tankard I see under £3.00.

That way when I leave one behind as I invariably do - I have a replacement.

Useful for carrying beer around and saving the 0.50p deposit at festivals.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Doc John
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 05:33 AM

Best not to carry the pitch lined leather tankard on your belt as a fashion accessory: the pitch fractures and the tankard leaks. Still to pewter.
Doc John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 05:38 AM

Some of us will remember the pre-plasic glass times. The problem was that the pubs and bars were not too keen on people walking off with pints of beer in glasses that were owned by the pubs. Also, when morris dancing it was difficult to find your own beer after a dance - one pint of beer looks pretty much like another (I always new mine though - it was the fullest glass - always!). Tankards seem to be the obvious answer. Also a friend of mine (Hi collin) used to have a pint and threequater tankard which he used to get away with most of the time (cheeky bugger) untill he was discovered by a local pub who's manager hurled it down the cellar steps on finding out and it broke its glass bottom.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 05:46 AM

Portable, reasonably unbreakable and, until relatively recently, a legally acceptable measured pint. Bit hard to tell with 'frothy' beers though if you've got the whole pint.

I have a tankard with a lid for Towersey - it keeps the wasps out but is heavy and cost me £12, 15 years ago, but I know there is only one other mug like it in the world. This year I've taken to using a plastic one - it's lighter, still a pint measure and has a jolly skull motif. ASDA's Hallowe'en range... cost me £1.95.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Dick The Box
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 07:52 AM

SHAMELESS ADVERT - I will have a selection for sale at Sidmouth from behind the bar in the Blackmoor marquee so you can experience the joy of pewter for yourself.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,doc.tom
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:01 AM

Sheeesh! And I thought a pewter tankard was a drinking vessel, not a fashion accessory. My tankard used to be lodged at the Ring O' Bells in St.Issey unitl I moved to N. Devon. Then it got moved to my new local at the Top George in Combe Martin. Very satifying drinking proper beer from a pewter pot - and nothing to do with folk music. Eventually it got stolen from backstage at the Bracknell Festival(along with seven others) when it was being used as a prop. for The Everlasting Circle - must have been the Southern Rag tankard mafia.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: pavane
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:04 AM

I used to have a nice pewter tankard, many years ago, 21st present from someone. But I went away to work for a few years, and when I came back, found my mother had been keeping it on the mantlepiece with water and flowers in it.
Totally ruined it - so beware.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Leadfingers
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:11 AM

Carrying your own Tankard at least means you dont have to pay a deposit on a glass or otherwise , and that you CAN walk out with your drink if you move from bar to bar (Especially useful at Town Festivals with sessions in different pubs) .
And beer tastes better out of pewter than out of a collapsible plastic thig !n


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:15 AM

Eventually it got stolen from backstage at the Bracknell Festival(along with seven others)

Now there IS a job for the folk police......

At Wychwood Festival they had "plastic" glasses which were much more environmentally aware - they were not made from plastic. And cost the same as ordinary plastic ones.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 09:07 AM

Sadly, at most venues where one might have a mug, in the US it generally is illegal to transport a drink from one bar/tavern to the next. (I was once informed in a Pennsylvania bar that it was illegal to have a glass in hand while standing up, and was severely chastised for taking my own drink from the bar to join friends at a table.)

At most festivals in my immediate locale, "spirits" of all sorts are strictly prohibited and not for sale. That usually means bringing your own, and pouring it discretely into an unlabelled container so that you can pretend it's "sody pop" or "lemonade." For this, a tankard might be of use.

Pewter was, according to what I've heard, a sort of "class thing" since metal vessels of any kind were too expensive for the peasants, so a pewter mug would be a status thing. As to folkish authenticity, it would then depend on what "social stratum" you wished to represent.(?)

It should be noted that some pewter had high lead content and could cause "drain bamage" if used regularly. That would hardly be noticed for some dancing troupes, but might be of concern to musicians. In the US, lead-pewter wasn't reliably removed from commercial channels until perhaps the 1940s, so mugs older than that might be suspect.

Modern (non-lead bearing) pewter is safe enough, but it's always been my impression that any kind of metal container affects the flavor. I've had a number of "pewter" mugs (although a couple were clearly alumin(i)um in drag) and have not found one that I enjoyed using because of the "edge" on the flavor. (Note: commercial beer/beverage cans, at least here, are copiously lined with "lacquer" so that there is no metal contact with the contents.) The flavor effect might be less noticed with stronger flavored beverages of the kind more popular in differently-civilized parts of the world.

When I need a "carry mug" in camp, I generally just use a quart "mason jar" with a screw on lid (sort of a tradition in my part of the US), so that I can cap it to keep the bugs out and the lid is secure enough that if it's necessary to kick it out of sight nothing spills. I have rigged a "necklace" to carry one, but don't usually bother with it.

I may be a bit fussy, but I've NEVER seen a plastic container of any kind that was really fit to drink out of, although sometimes there just isn't a way to avoid it (esp. if being polite is an issue).

John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 09:17 AM

Hi John

The difference here is that our beer is real living product - it is not a chemical product like american 'beers' it does not react with the pewter like your stuff does.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Micca
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 09:20 AM

I have an assortment of Stainless steel tankards!! for a number of reasons,
the "portability factor" is an important one, as we Gianting Folk are often in processions, not having to "drink up, we're moving" is easier to manage
I can ALWAYS taste the pewter if I drink Cider out of it
secondly all this tosh about "lead free" pewter not poisoning you or being tasteable!, No It has cadmium instead of Lead!!!! and cider would, and does, leach that out quite effectively.
but also Stainless steel is much less susceptable to dents and other damage from being dropped and is just more Robust. All I need now is a Stainless steel with a lid for the same reasons (Kamikazi wasps) given by Liz above.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Greg B
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 09:49 AM

Some a capella folk ensembles seem to grasp tankards while singing
as a sort of stage prop.

The first time I had occasion to affect such a thing myself, I
observed that the tankard actually could act as a sort of vocal
monitor, reflecting one's own voice back and aiding greatly in
distinguishing pitch, when held at the right angle and when
less than half-full (for an optimist).

So the question is, if Ewan MacColl had affected a tankard, might he
have spent less time with his finger stuffed in his ear-hole?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 11:56 AM

I use a pewter tankard 'cos I like it. I have a William and Mary one that tastes particularly good!( Must be the lead) No signs of brain damage yet! (Some would disagree)If I drank cider like Micca, I'd be sure to use stainless though.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 12:17 PM

Someone mentioned Combe Martin....we used to go there for pub crawls...as did many groups of Folkies and footballers and rugby players..and stag parties etc. We all used to take our pewter tankards!!!!!......Combe Martin in the 60s had around 14 pubs in about half a mile of main road....coaches used to drop a party at one end and collect them at a pre-arranged time at the other.....they were good old days as i remember.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: BB
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 12:39 PM

Funny, that half a mile has stretched to at least 2 miles! (To all intents and purposes there is only a main road.) And I believe there were nine pubs - now only six, sadly. Started at The London and finished at The Dolphin.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 01:48 PM

Great stuff. I'm well tempted. Is the old glass bottom / King's Shilling thing true? The ones I saw in Cromer didn't have glass bottoms, but were marked as true pint measures...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 01:59 PM

Dunno about the toxicity of the lead in old tankards.
The same question applies to old cut glass. I alway serve single malt in the heavy tumblers, and offer water on the side from a cut glass pitcher for them as wants it.
The whisky never stays in the glass for long, and it is always cleaned after use, so I figure the amount of lead is not worth worrying about. I'm antique myself, and the lead hasn't killed me yet.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: glueman
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 03:54 PM

Terrible, vile things tankards. Every pub I've ever used served beer in perfectly good glasses. Anyone who had their own tankard hanging up behind the bar I'd mark down as a complete tosspot. I'd like to be more liberal and understanding about tankards but they're the worst kind of snobbery in a portable form. Everything that's wrong with folk, superficial, ahistorical, superior, backward looking, twerpery. In short, ridiculous.
Thanks to the OP for the opportunity to sound off on the subject.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Gurney
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 05:59 PM

Land of the free, JohniK?

I used to use a tankard at English festivals, as others have said, because the landlords didn't like you walking out of the pub with one of theirs. Tried a glass one but it was too similar, and I didn't go to festivals to irritate landlords.

At one festival I went around with a guy who had a quart tankard (Tez from Coventry Mummers) and we mostly got charged for a pint and a half, not three pints.
I'm more honest nowadays.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 06:50 PM

BB We used to start at the White Hart....not sure where we ended LOL.....I assure you that in the fifties/sixties there were certainly 14 pubs in Combe Martin, on the main road.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,doc.tom
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 07:43 PM

Georgiansilver - the beer had addled your brain!

From Top to Bottom, Combe Martin pubs (and there were no pubs on side roads - hardly any side roads for that matter) went: London Inn (now deceased), Top George Inn (formerly George & Dragon when Bottom George was George III, now deceased), The Lion (now deceased), Bottom George (aka George & Dragon - formerly George III), The Castle, Pack O' Cards, The Fo'c'sle, The Marine (that's the one the elephant walked into), The Dolphin. In the days before the Dolphin there was The Star (now Star Cottage) but that's long gone. Nine pubs there were in the 1860s, nine pubs there were in the 1960s - now there are only six. For that matter, The Miramar Hotel has gone (returned to Velacott House, which is what it was before a hotel), as has Rone House Hotel - but they were never pubs - and there never was a White Hart.

Fourteen pubs? Half a mile? - Drinkers tales, my boy!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Joe_F
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:14 PM

Look into the pewter pot
To see the world as the world is not. -- A.E. Housman

They are particular about their drinking glasses at "The Moon under Water" and never, for example, make the mistake of serving a pint of beer in a handleless glass. Apart from glass and pewter mugs, they have some of those pleasant strawberry-pink china ones.... in my opinion, beer tastes better out of china. -- George Orwell


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: meself
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:28 PM

Of course, George O. was talking about an establishment that existed only in his imagination - possibly "superficial, ahistorical, superior, backward looking, twerpery. In short, ridiculous."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: meself
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:29 PM

(Still, I wouldn't mind joining him there for a pint some day).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: glueman
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:40 AM

The little hell reserved for tankards is based on the fact they're seen in no other context but folk. The perfect synecdoche for everything pretend about the form but backed up by olympic level pedantry. Preserving something abandoned for perfectly good reasons, reinvented with a new backstory, and placed central to the hearty, hail fellow nonsense that's attached itself to perfectly good music to ensure it never reaches the ears of those with an ounce of irony.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: glueman
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:47 AM

BTW, that hasn't even begun to exhaust my bile on the topic but it's the glorious 16th today and I'm off to kill worms.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:49 AM

I guess my memory must be playing tricks...LOL    They were good old days anyway!.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:51 AM

Of course, if I'm feeling particularly generous, I'll take my four pinter sharing tankard along to a festival... not even I can empty that on on my own - although I did become a legend one year at the Stag in Hastings when the other drinkers saw me get it filled and reckoned I'd drunk it all myself - they were talking about it the next evening in tones of awe and wonderment!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,doc.tom
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 04:29 AM

They certainly were the good old days.
TomB


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 05:03 AM

The whole association between beer and folk music is a liabilty anyway. Younger people drink far less beer than people in their 50s and don't romanticize it. Why should they want to get involved in a musical scene that makes a religious issue of it? Does drinking Baileys or vodka and fruit juice make you less good as a singer or or fiddler?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Valmai Goodyear
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 05:19 AM

You don't have to make a religious issue of beer to recognise that it's celebrated in quite a number of traditional songs, whereas Baileys, vodka and fruit juice aren't.

Valmai (Lewes, home of Harveys Brewery)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 05:20 AM

"Younger people drink far less beer than people in their 50s"????

If for this purpose beer includes lager, where is it that that is so?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 06:23 AM

Somebody I'd never seen before came into Sandy Bell's last Sunday and sang Bottle of the Best, but that's the first beer-related song I've heard in a traditional music venue for years. (I believe they're commoner in England).

You only have to correlate the age of the clientele in a pub with the fittings on the counter to see the pattern. Beer is declining in popularity and a close association with it does the folk scene no good at all.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 06:33 AM

My 21st birthday present inscribed pewter tankard was stolen at a subsequent birthday party at the Shakespeare Hotel, Lancaster, c1967. If the b*st*rd who took it is reading this(not unlikely, there were a lot of folkies there) please return it, there will be no recriminations. Then I could hang it on my belt and go to Sidmouth with pride.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 06:59 AM

Faux-rural arrant nonsense for a self-invented plastic peasantry.

None the less, totally harmless fun in the right (and some of the wrong) hands. In fact, you could see it as part of the great, now sadly dying, tradition of tribalism in musical dresscodes. The folk equivalent of bondage trousers or the duck's arse haircut.

Anyone who says it's not a signifier of tribal belonging - frankly, I don't believe them.

Does ownership of a rather fetching repro Toby Jug win me any bonus points?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 07:00 AM

Sorry that was me. Must join one day.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 07:45 AM

Beer is declining in popularity and a close association with it does the folk scene no good at all.

The numbers who drink and care about decent beer aren't huge, but neither are the numbers who play and care about traditional music. I think it'll be a long time before the folk scene's grown to a level where the association with beer is what's holding it back.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 08:02 AM

"I think it'll be a long time before the folk scene's grown to a level where the association with beer is what's holding it back."

Yup, sod the beer. It's the dodgy trousers that'll be the death of folk.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 08:28 AM

Hey! You guys haven't tried REAL beers from the US! Dead Guy, Polygamy Porter, Bitch Creek, Moose Drool, Fat Tire, Firehouse, Cutthroat, Sam Adams Winter, Midnight Satin, Alaskan Amber...to name but a very few.

I have a tankard of "new" pewter -- haven't used it in years. I drink from glass, either as a bottle, a mug, or a glass.

(Beer mugs are good -- when the fight starts you can smash the cylinder part and you have a handy set of glass knuckles.)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: nickp
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 09:11 AM


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: lady penelope
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 09:16 AM

Wow.... what an extreme range of emotion over a simple object!

I never understand why people get so het up over tankards. To me it's a useful item. And the few I own I bought because their looks pleased me.

I first started drinking out of tankards simply because I hate trying to drink out of those wobbly plastic glasses. On more than one occasion I'd end up with cider all down me front after being knocked by some eejit in a crowded bar (the instictive reaction to grip your pint glass harder when your arm is jogged kinda backfires when holding a wobbly plastic 'glass'), not to mention that they often were highly unstable. I lost more than one pint when the other side of a table was knocked, or the ground wasn't as level as I thought. I use my tankard whenever I know I'm going to be drinking outside (picnics etc), or at places I know I'll be moving around between venues, or I'll be away from my pint (easier to recognise when I come back), not just folk events.

As I used to mainly drink cider I originally bought a stainless steel tankard. Later, a very nice man called Tim Westwood came up with very fetching tankards made out of pewter that was far more inert in the prescence of acid (and no, they aren't loaded with cadmium Micca) so I bought a couple of those.

Now I mainly drink beer, but my tankards are still preferable to drinking out of wobbly plastics and, let's face it, a lot more eco friendly than all those disposable plastics. Pewter shouldn't affect the taste of your beer, unless you're one of those people who (gaggingly) insist that one should never use more than water to rinse your tankard out with - Blech!

I think Ewan(SAM) is right about the tribal signifier thing. It did used to pretty much be the sign of a folkie (regardless of gender or age)- that if you saw either a leather pouch or a tankard hanging off a body's belt, odds on they were a folkie. But to go on with this idea, musical boundaries are blurring and it's far more common to see people who are into various types of music at folk events and their 'tribal signifiers' are more likely to be from their main interests, or from the group they feel most associated with.

But mostly, have a tankard or don't. It's just a cup.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: glueman
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 10:45 AM

The user just needs a Meerschaum pipe to be a complete ****.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Ned At Work
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 10:46 AM

I always talk of you in tones of awe and wonderment LTS! especially when you are passing me the four pinter!
The General.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 10:55 AM

Just remember that if you take a quart tankard to a pub and ask them to fill it each time you buy.....you occasionally get charged for only a pint.....many bar persons don't know the difference........


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: pavane
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 11:18 AM

All I want is a proper pint of porter

Poured in a proper pewter porter pot

I may be off my tot, but I want a pint of porter in a pewter porter pot

Iron porter pots and tin porter pots, they're no use to me

If I can't get a proper pint of porter in a proper pewter porter pot, I'll have a cup of tea...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 01:29 PM

If I wanted pitch, I would drink retsina! Pine flavoring and ale or beer seem an unfortunate pairing. What about carved hardwood tankards? I have an intricately carved old meerschaum pipe once owned by my wife's grandfather, a navy rear admiral. Would that be over the top? What's a birkin?
Doesn't pewter contain some lead?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:24 PM

Whisky by the gill- make that two! And a tankard of ale with that
(partial tosspot and full-time snob).
The Bodleian has a song sheet, "A Tankard of Ale," but it doesn't display.
Harding B 25(1882), printed by Batchelar, London, bet. 1817-1828.
"Not yet drunk nor yet sober, but brother to both ..."
Does anyone have all the words?

It does not seem to be in the songbook, "A Tankard of Ale," comp. Theodore Maynard, c. 1919; online at Tankard of Ale

Tankards used by pubs to serve customers (pre-present decadent times) were stamped by inspectors, showing that they contained proper volume. The line on modern glasses is supposed to do the same, but no guarantees except the word of the server.

Not sure of British barbershop protocol, but pre-WW1, clients of American-Canadian barbers has their own exclusive shaving mug, and often badger brush, which the barber kept on a rack in his shop.

In pubs, there is only the server's word that the glass, used by many customers until it is broken, has been properly cleaned
between each use. Who knows, glue might have adhered! A personal tankard, on the other hand, is just that.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:27 PM

Tankard of Ale website- I may have erred-
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/tankard-ale/


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Tosse the Pot
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:48 PM

Lyr. Add: TOSSE THE POT
Thomas Ravenscroft (1592-1635)

Tosse the pot, tosse the pot, let us be merry,
And drink till our cheeks be red as a cherry.
We take no thought, we have no care,
For still we spend and never spare,
Till of all our money our purse is bare,
We ever tosse the pot.

Chorus-
Tosse the pot, tosse the pot, etc.

We drink, carous with hart most free,
A harty draught I drinke to thee;
Then fill the pot again to me,
And ever tosse the pot.

Chorus

And when our money is all spent,
Then sell our goods and spend our rent,
Or drinke it up with one consent,
And ever toss the pot.

Chorus

When all is gone we have no more,
Then let us set it on the score,
Or chalk it up behinde the dore,
And ever tosse the pot.

Chorus

http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/tankard-ale/


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 03:31 PM

"Note: commercial beer/beverage cans, at least here, are copiously lined with "lacquer" so that there is no metal contact with the contents"

Not exactly "lacquer", which most people associate as "varnish" - something you coat woodwork with.   There is a lining in cans, plastic based, and you cannot taste the metal - unless you drink from the can.

"The difference here is that our beer is real living product - it is not a chemical product like american 'beers' it does not react with the pewter like your stuff does. "
What horseshit are the feeding you across the pond? We have "live" beers just like you, and we have bottled and pasteurized beer, just like you. Ale and lagers are types of beer. Whatever type of beer you have will react with metal. Don't kid yourself. CAMRA, while doing great work, has obviously warped the sense of reality across the pond.

"Beer is declining in popularity and a close association with it does the folk scene no good at all. "
So in essence, you are saying that you really need to have half a bag on to enjoy English folk music.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 03:56 PM

It is true, deservedly, that the only brewery category that seems to be trending upward in the states is that of the microbrewery. In a strange way, they represent a return to basics and away from "factory beers" that are essentially flavorless (pissvasser, according to my German friends).

Noting that, this thread could (has) deteriorate(d) to the point of taking on the Campaign for Real Ale. On that note, I hereby commit my flagon of Samuel Smith Old Brewery Taddy Porter to the gullet. Cheers. Of course, I never drink on duty...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Marje
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 04:27 PM

"Beer is declining in popularity and a close association with it does the folk scene no good at all. "

So, Jack, are you suggesting that we folkies ought to start updating our image just to prove how young and trendy we are? Should we all drink the massively advertised lagers like the young people do? Maybe we should wear more sports gear - you know, tracksuit pants, football shirts, that sort of thing, and perhaps mini-skirts and stilettos for the ladies? And we really must encourage more folkies to smoke, it's so cool!

Me, I'm proud to have a "close association" with real ale which, like our music, is one of the treasures of our culture. I'll ditch the patchwork trousers if you like, and maybe even leave my copper tankard at home, but St Austell, Skinners and Dartmoor Breweries and many others like them can continue to count on my custom.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 05:51 PM

Big Rock Brewery, Calgary, Canada, produces products with no additives, no preservatives and no pasteurization.

Only the best two-row malt barley is used. Their yeast strains have been selected after long trial and error, and are a carefully guarded secret. Hops from Kent, Czech Republic, Bavaria, and Yakima Valley are used, selected for the brew. Calgary water is essentially glacier water, high in carbonates because of the grinding action of the glacier on the limestone rock at the source.

Recommended are pork ribs prepared using Warthog Ale.
Recipes:
http://www.bigrockbeer.com/kitchen-recipes.htm#


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 05:59 PM

I'll ditch the patchwork trousers if you like

See, I told you all it was the trousers not the beer that was the problem!

By the by and for the record, I've had some stunningly good U.S. microbrews when I've been over. Almost as good as the best of our real ale and far better than the worst of it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 06:39 PM

"Almost as good as the best of our real ale"

We have "real ale" too, and yours is almost as good too.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 07:02 PM

I should have added to my praise for Big Rock Brewery in Calgary that there are many good small breweries in the U. S., that produce excellent beers and ales. And stouts, too!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 07:14 PM

beer=ale
ale=beer
lager=beer
beer=lager


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,aeola
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 07:17 PM

Fascinating, who would have thought that Tankards would promote such comment.I had a pewter tankard long before I became a folkie and always thought I was being clever because only I drank out of it. As for the comments about the virtues of ale from each side of the pond I learnt that there was no bad ale, just that some was better than others!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 07:45 PM

Ales are top fermented.
Lagers are bottom fermented at a cooler temperture.

The yeasts are different animals.

I used to do a mean bottom feremented cider in the fridge (5 deg C many months - then it would restart when brought back to room temp!) - used to make a glow all the way down... :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 08:29 PM

Foolstroupe is correct, the yeasts are entirely different. Ale is not beer and v. v.
Stout is an ale, but dark roasted malts are used.

Lager and Pilsen lager are both beer, but the flavor may be very different. A good pilsen is made with Saaz hops (from Czech Republic).

I haven't had a good cider for years. In Illinois, we would get gallon jugs of untreated cider from the University farm and slow ferment it. If it went too far, it became vinegary in taste, but it rarely was permitted to reach that stage.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 09:13 PM

She: "I'll ditch the patchwork trousers if you like"

He: (To himself) Ah! The ale is having the desired effect! (To her) Certainly, my dear - let me take that tankard off your hands ... Perhaps you'd like to put on this interesting pair of trousers [See Post #16 Jun 08 - 06:59 AM - ed.] - everyone's wearing them in San Francisco!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 01:50 AM

Jack Campin -
not to be picky, but I think "A Bottle Of The Best" is Scotch Whisky-related, although beer is mentioned.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: glueman
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 02:41 AM

This debate isn't about beer, it's about tankards. The Whimsey collection, the cuddly toys on an adult bed, the death of imagination, the fin de siecle of Folk. And we say why don't they like us? What's wrong with the music? Then reach for our pewter gewgaws and spill the stuff on our patchwork trousers, certain of nothing but our certainty.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: lady penelope
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 05:08 AM

Wow, that's meep and deanignful....

BTW anything that's brewed with yeast can be referred to as 'beer', cider and wine included.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Paul Burke
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 05:19 AM

Fine bit of folklore, that thing about glass bottoms and the King's Shilling. I think it's a bit more practical: with a glass bottom you can see if the beer is cloudy.

I once had a smooth, nickel plated tankard. The beer went flat in about 5 minutes, not just lost its head but it's entire condition, and tasted like drip tray slops. Any physical chemists with views on the bubble- forming activity of nickel?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 09:30 AM

"The yeasts are different animals."

Absolutely, and there are different types of yeast used for different types of ales and different types of lagers. They are all beers.   The beer will react with a metal tankard unless there is some sort of coating on the metal.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 09:39 AM

"BTW anything that's brewed with yeast can be referred to as 'beer', cider and wine included."

Well...........anything can be referred to as anything, if you like, does not mean that it is correct.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 09:41 AM

You can bake, grill, smoke, fry or broil a chicken and it is still chicken. You can use bottom or top fermenting yeast, and it is still beer.

Lager and ale are beers. You can refer to it as any other way you like, that does not meant it correct.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 09:45 AM

"You can bake, grill, smoke, fry or broil a chicken and it is still chicken. You can use bottom or top fermenting yeast, and it is still beer.

Lager and ale are beers. You can refer to it as any other way you like, that does not meant it correct."

You can also bake grill etc pheasant, snipe, partridge etc, but it does not make them chicken - you are welcome to refer to them as chicken though, but it does not make it correct.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 09:55 AM

Why would anyone call a pheasant a chicken?

You are confusing the issue Silas.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:08 AM

Why would anyone call Irish stout lager?

You seem to think the terms are interchangeable - they are not.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:09 AM

No, lager is not a stout. Lager, stout, ale are all types of beer.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:10 AM

"beer=ale
ale=beer
lager=beer
beer=lager"

Perhaps you would like to amend the above then?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:12 AM

No, it is fine. Beer is the catagory.   Ale and lager are subcatagories of beer.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:24 AM

Well its not fine. I think what you are trying to say is that all ales and largers are beer, but not all beer is ale or lager.

Over here beer, ale and lager are different things. We don't see any american 'Ales' for obvious reasons and most of us think of american 'beer' as budwieser or miller.

Our 'Ales' are, generally, living beers, though there are many different types - including both bottled condituioned ale and 'sterile' bottled ales. There are bitters, milds, stouts and god knows what else.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:25 AM

Anyway - who cares? Long as it tastes good!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:41 AM

"I think what you are trying to say is that all ales and largers are beer, but not all beer is ale or lager."

I'm trying to comprehend what you are accusing me of saying. Your sentence is a bit confusing.

It is very simple. All ales and lagers are types of Beer.   Period. There are numerous variations of ales and lagers. Stout is technically an ale. There are also lambics which are

I understand that the UK has a unique way of referring to ale and beer, but you are unique in that regard - probably vicitms of ad campaigns.

Beer is created by the fermentation of sugars from starch sources - typically barley.   (Cider and wine are not created from starch sources and they are not part of the beer family.)

"Real" ale that you are so fond of is also a misnomer. It is actually cask conditioned ale - which is an historic vessel for conditioning beer through the ages, but copper and other elements have also been used.

The "real" ale that you are fond of is also lower in alcohol content - generally about 4%. It is typically referred to as "session" beers because the lower alcohol content and fuller body enable easier consumption over the long haul.

Lager is typically higher in alcohol - about 5%. The bottom fermenting yeast gives it a "cleaner" process - which is why people think of it as being thin. Because it has less body, you drink more - and because of the higher alcohol you get drunk faster. That is generally one of the reasons why it is so popular among the youth.

Don't get me wrong - I love ale and I think the UK produces some fine beer. But you need to understand that what you are being served is just a small portion of the world of beer. Cask conditioned ale is available in the U.S. - but is is a much smaller market than what you have in the UK. That does not mean the product is less desireable.

Historically, beer does not travel well. Lagering and pasteurization - and the bottling process, enabled changes.   Still, it rare that you would sample microbrews outside of the U.S. because of the conditions.

Beer is ale and lager. Period.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:42 AM

oops... I missed a sentence. Lambics are open fermented, meaning it uses natural air born yeasts that are present all around us. The Belgians brew an amazing style because of the yeasts that are present in that particular region.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: lady penelope
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:45 AM

Actually, the word beer has been historically used for all fermented beverages. When referring to medieval texts for brewing and other recipes it can take a while to sort out what drink they're referring to.

Beer was only legally referred to as a fermented beverage flavoured with hops as recently as the 18 century, when in Britain it became illegal to make it from anything else.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/beer

Main Entry: beer
Pronunciation: \ˈbir\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English ber, from Old English bēor; akin to Old High German bior beer
Date: before 12th century
1 : an alcoholic beverage usually made from malted cereal grain (as barley), flavored with hops, and brewed by slow fermentation
2 : a carbonated nonalcoholic or a fermented slightly alcoholic beverage with flavoring from roots or other plant parts
3 : fermented mash
4 : a drink of beer


http://www.answers.com/topic/beer
        
a.A fermented alcoholic beverage brewed from malt and flavored with hops.
b.A fermented beverage brewed by traditional methods that is then dealcoholized so that the finished product contains no more than 0.5 percent alcohol.
c.A carbonated beverage produced by a method in which the fermentation process is either circumvented or altered, resulting in a finished product having an alcohol content of no more than 0.01 percent.
2.A beverage made from extracts of roots and plants: birch beer.
3.A serving of one of these beverages.
[Middle English ber, from Old English bēor, from West Germanic, probably from Latin bibere, to drink.]

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/beer

beer   (bîr)
n.
1.
a. A fermented alcoholic beverage brewed from malt and flavored with hops.
b. A fermented beverage brewed by traditional methods that is then dealcoholized so that the finished product contains no more than 0.5 percent alcohol.
c. A carbonated beverage produced by a method in which the fermentation process is either circumvented or altered, resulting in a finished product having an alcohol content of no more than 0.01 percent.
2. A beverage made from extracts of roots and plants: birch beer.
3. A serving of one of these beverages.

[Middle English ber, from Old English b or, from West Germanic, probably from Latin bibere, to drink; see p (i)- in Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:48 AM

"probably vicitms of ad campaigns" ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????EH?


You are joking - right?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:50 AM

Not in the least. Your own posts show that you have perceptions about beer that are entirely wrong. Obviously you have been influenced by ad campaigns that are giving you that wrong information.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:53 AM

"Not in the least. Your own posts show that you have perceptions about beer that are entirely wrong. Obviously you have been influenced by ad campaigns that are giving you that wrong information"


This would be very, very funny if I thought for one second that you were being serious.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:54 AM

Joke all you wish Silas, but your own words prove my point.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 11:02 AM

I must say that I do find it somewhat strange to be told by an American that we are overly influenced by advertising campaigns when American culture seems to be entirely made up of advertising froth.

Facinating concept.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 11:24 AM

I find it interesting that a British citizen would feel that they are above influence by advertising campaigns.   I also find it interesting that you feel you know all about our culture because of whatever advertisements you are seeing. Fascinating concept.

When someone makes a statement such as "We don't see any american 'Ales' for obvious reasons and most of us think of american 'beer' as budwieser or miller" - you are openly admitting that your opinion is based solely on limited exposure and lack of knowledge of the entire story.   When you use the phrase "for obvious reasons" - they might be obvious to your small view of the world, but they are not obvious to the rest of us that share the planet.

CAMRA did a wonderful and noble job of resurrecting a beer style and saving your country from your own versions of Budweiser and Miller. Unfortunately, it appears by your own statements, that your education has been limited to what you have been exposed to.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 11:25 AM

What about the tankards? What about the TROUSERS!!?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 11:35 AM

"For obvious reasons" means that it is unlikeley that a cask conditioned ale would travel all that well across your continent and the atlantic ocean and still be drinkable - obvious really.

The exposure we have to American 'beers' are via the god awful tv programms that are inflicted upon us where I have yet to see anyone drinking proper 'beer' and the much hyped aformentioned products. So lack of awareness of your range of produce I would admit to, though it is refreshing to learn that you do have a range of 'real ales'.

We in Britain are not above beening taken in by slick advertsing, but you will, I think, admit that America is the home of this sort of thing, and why not, we should all be good at something.

Now, back to Tankards. ( and trousers)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Banjiman
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 11:38 AM

I think I might start a festival called "What about the tankards? What about the TROUSERS!!?".

Made me laugh in the context of the heat being generated above.

Thanks ESAM


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 11:43 AM

"drinking proper 'beer' "

That speaks volumes. You are imposing limitations on what constitutes "proper". It is wonderful that you enjoy your "real ale", but that does not make it the only beer that is "proper".

The godawful shows that are inflicted on you are purchased by your own broadcasters, so I would make your complaints known to them. It is very true that the major advertisers are the beers that you detest, and obviously has clouded your view of the world. That is a shame and I wish you luck in improving your conditions.

Don't make assumptions based on what you see on your television. Get out more and search out some different styles of beer!   You might enjoy it! If you ever get to this side of the pond, I would love to take you out for a few pint samples of what we offer.

Incidently, while I do not care for Budweiser either, it is actually a very good example of the style - and it is great for catching slugs in the garden.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 11:54 AM

Maybe a language thing here. Everyone over here knows what 'proper' beer is, I was not imposing limitations, it is just the way it is.

I have made my complaints about tv programmes known, and much good it has done!

Whilst I genuinly appreciate your kind offer, I have to say that America is probably the last place on earth that I would wish to visit. I would, however, extend the same invitation to yourself should you get the opportunity to visit the UK. I would be able to show you the best and also the worst of beers here.

Don't forget to bring your tankard though!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 12:05 PM

Silas - I appreciate your offer, and I don't blame you for not wanting to visit the U.S.   In recent years, our government has not made it easy or desirable for people to travel here - and that is a real shame. Hopefully that will change soon.

I hope my comments were not taken as a slap at British beers. I think your ales are wonderful, and the few cask conditioned ales that I've had the opportunity to sample were very good.

It is a language difference. I think I understand what you mean by "proper" beer, but I hope you understand my point that the world of beer has much more to offer. What I am reading from comments are that choices have been limited. It would be like living in certain regions and only drinking the wine produced in that area.   Beer is very complex.   For wine, you throw some grapes in a vessel and sit back until it is ready.   With beer, the process is quite complex and the variety and styles are much wider. There are more "notes" in the tasting of beer then there are in wines.

Sorry if I've gone off on a tangent, but when I hear words being used that might be correct regionally but incorrect in the global application, I feel a need to speak up.   Don't judge us by Budweiser and I won't judge you on your Watney's Red Barrel!

By the way - a plastic tankard would be preferable to a pitch-lined leather or a pewter tankard. Taste the beer, not the vessel.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 12:15 PM

Actually, you can't get Watneys Red Barrel in the UK - you CAN get it in Spain though (or at least so I am told)

You may think that we have some exclusive tastes here in the uk, with a fient scorn for anything that is not a British real ale.

Well, I have to tell you that for some of us, me in particular, just being a British ale is far from good enough. As far as I am concerned and this does go for quite a lot of us, if its not brewed in Burton (Burton upon Trent - Staffordshire) then its not proper ale anyway!!

Its known as a 'Burton Palate' and is something of an aquired taste, but well worth striving for.

Cheers - now, where's me tankard?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 12:25 PM

Burton Ale yeast is very popular among home brewers. I've used it and loved it. It imparts a slightly fruity taste and is very complex.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST, TJ in San Diego
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 12:33 PM

I spent more than thirty years in the food and beverage business, mostly in sales and marketing, with some importing thrown in. I learned to love the special beverages of countries I visited and the foods that went with them. A lot of us, in the states, have been rebelling against pasturized, homogenized and thoroughly forgettable mass market products for some time. The result is an explosion of microbreweries, fine wines from an increasing number of states, along with fine cheeses, exotic produce and the like. I have never tried to directly compare, say, German, French, Belgian or British beers or ales to ours. I simply enjoy what I like, wherever it is made. I do applaud the concept of a Campaign for Real Ale simply because it seeks quality, not mass market. Now, back to the music:

How many songs are based on these beverages; praising them, rather than simply celebrating or lamenting inebriation?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 12:34 PM

Now, here is a little true story.

Many years ago when I was young and stupid (as opposed to now, when I am old and stupid) I used to brew my own ale. Having heard that Burton ales were so good because of their water, I decided to take a trip to Burton with some large plasic containers and a length of hosepipe to grab a few gallons of the precious stuff and make some good brew.

The only place I could find to get my water was a public toilet, but never mind - it was still the stuff I wanted. Having stolen some 15 gallons of water I went off home to start my brew. I was horribly dissapointed to find in the end that it tasted exactly the same as the stuff I usually made.

It turns out that the water I stole was exactly the same as my home tap water, the stuff that Bass and Marstons use comes from their own bore holes - not a Welsh reservoir like the tap water that we all drink.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 12:57 PM

Webster's Collegiate Dictionary specifically defines beer as "brewed by slow fermentation." The same dictionary defines ale as a beverage brewed by "rapid fermentation." Mr. Olesko obviously fails to recognize this distinction. I haven't consulted my OED, but I am sure that they make the same distinction, albeit in more elegant prose and with pertinent quotations.
I doubt that he has advanced beyond Budweiser, Miller's, Coors, Molsons, Kokanee or other mass-produced 'beer', although he tries to speak knowingly about the variety of fermented products available in the U. S. (there are many good lagers and ales made there, no excuses need to be made).

Silas, although I agree in general with your opinion on differences among brewed products and the correct modern interpretation of the word beer, there is no need for any English product of that kind in N. AM. since their small brewers produce products as good or better-- and what is this concern about trousers? For Queen's sake, go to your tailor and get measured for something more appropriate for wear in public).

Lady Penelope, thanks for the summary of the history of beer s. l. in England. Very interesting.

Old UK tankards and measures in pewter used by taverns were stamped by weights and measures inspectors to confirm that the container was of legal capacity. Information stamped, e. g., could be ER (Edward Rex, 1901-1910), with a crown, the measure (gill, pint, quart), and perhaps a number indicating the district. A line is shown on modern UK pub glasses, but no official verification stamps.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 01:23 PM

"Mr. Olesko obviously fails to recognize this distinction. "

You are right Q, I fail to recognize that distinction -and most dictionaries, brewers and culinary experts would agree with me.   Read any of the late Michael Jackson's books and you will see that what I am saying is correct.

I'm not quite sure what bug has crawled up your butt Q, but you are dead wrong and you are making assinine assumptions about me for which you have no knowledge.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Marje
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 01:34 PM

I don't think I'd regard Webster's as an authority on ale/beer terminology as it applies in the UK. I'd prefer to consult CAMRA, who explain it most clearly and eloquently here:

http://www.camra.org.uk/page.aspx?o=100330 (sorry, can't do Blickies)

AS this shows, CAMRA coined the "Real Ale" tag at a time when real (cask-conditioned) ales were being replaced by tasteless and heavily promoted keg beers, and the "real" ones were simply unavailable in large areas of the UK, a trend which has seen a huge and welcome reversal.

As to the strength, real ales vary quite a bit - the average may be about 4% alcohol, but the normal ales range from about 3.5 to 5.5, with "Special" brews, perhaps at Xmas, appearing with 7 or 8% alcohol.

And now back to the trousers - having removed my patchwork ones, I am off to see my tailor to be fitted for some sleek modern trousers in keeping with my age and lifestyle. this will include some elastic at the waist, to allow for future ale consumption.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 01:35 PM

Oh please, let's not turn this into another 'more session rudeness' slanging match thread - that is tedious beyond belief!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 01:56 PM

Marje - Thanks for posting the link to CAMRA.

I think their definition is one that most people would agree with:

"What's the difference between 'ale' and other beers?

There are a huge range of different beer styles, each with different qualities, tastes and strengths, but each falls into one of two main categories; ale or lager. The key difference between ales and lagers is the type of fermentation. Fermentation is the process which turns the fermentable sugars in the malt into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Lagers are made using bottom-fermenting yeast which sinks to the bottom of the fermenting vessel and fermentation takes place at a relatively low temperature. Authentic lagers then undergo a long period of cooled conditioning in special tanks. Ales, which includes bitters, milds, stouts, porters, barley wines, golden ales and old ales, use top-fermenting yeast. The yeast forms a thick head on the top of the fermenting vessel and the process is shorter, more vigorous and carried out at higher temperatures than lager. This is the traditional method of brewing British beer."

British beer. Very well done!   CAMRA deserves a lot of credit as their influence has spread around the world and I think helped our own brewing revolution in the U.S.   I am glad to see that they are pushing traditional styles (note that is plural) and recognizing the various styles.   What you may be served in your local pub is probably the tip of the iceberg.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 02:16 PM

Ah, that elastic in the waistband! An important consideration as time adds increments. I think I have a few pairs that ought to go to the thrift store.
May you ever have a container* of your favorite near at hand.
*tankard seems to be objectionable to some.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 02:37 PM

When I lived in the UK there was a tradition that pewter tankards all came with bearded eejits attached to the handle
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Squeezy Sessionizer
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 03:33 PM

Hooray for beer. Isn't it amazing what happens to an argument when you say "Oh, I think it's my round... what's everyone having?"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,aeola
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 07:17 PM

Bought a heavy pewter tankard for 1 euro in a Spanish car boot sale, whatever I put in it ale, beer, lager tastes lovely.
Cheers and Squeezy;;; mines a pint!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 09:02 PM

Bottled Ale
This from a Gammer Gurton Nursery rhyme booklet, Glasgow, about 1810:

Without teeth it bites
Without tongue it sings
It foams without anger
And flies without wings.

I have found a 'song' called "A Tankard of Ale," but it may not be the one in the Bodleian Collection, mentioned above.

Lyr. Add: A TANKARD OF ALE

Ale that the absent battle fights,
And fames the march of Swedish drums
Disputes the princes' lawes and rights,
And what is past, and what's to come,
Tells mortal wights.

Ale that the plowman's heart upkeeps,
And equals it with Tyrants' thrones;
That wipes the eye that overweepes,
And lulls in sweet and dainty sleepes
His wearied bones.

Grandchilde of Ceres, Barlie's daughter,
Wine's emulus neighbor, if but stale;
Innobling all the nymphs of water,
And filling each man's heart with laughter-
Hah! give me ale!

A Tankard of Ale- online songbook.
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/tankard-ale/tankard-ale%20-%200194.htm
(Hidden under another title; not in the index)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: meself
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:48 PM

And who said, "A pint of plain is your only man"? Your only man indeed!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Paul Burke
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 03:47 AM

A famous Flann O'Brien poem:
The Workmans Friend
        
When things go wrong and will not come right, Though you do the best you can,
When life looks black as the hour of night-
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOU ONLY MAN.

When Money's tight and is hard to get
And your horse has also ran,
When all you have is a heap of debt-
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.

When health is bad and your heart feels strange,
And your face is pale and wan,
When doctors say that you need a change,
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN

When food is scarce and your larder bare
And no rashers grease your pan,
When hunger grows as your meals are rare-
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.

In time of trouble and lousy strife,
You have still got a daring plan,
You still can turn to a brighter life-
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.

There's a fourth stanza later in the book where the cowboy Furriskey (I think) parodies the Song of the Mad King Sweeney, but to find out why the cowboys of Ringsend, Sweeney, the Good Fairy and the Pooka McPhellimey


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Paul Burke
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 03:48 AM

..continues after finger trouble

are plotting the downfall of an author, you'll have toi read At Swim Two Birds.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 04:18 AM

When stags appear on the mountain high,
with flanks the colour of bran,
when a badger bold can say good-bye,
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN


I can't vouch for the accuracy of this, having nabbed it off the internet on account of most of my library presently being in storage, but it sounds about right.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 04:20 AM

Jim Carroll... although I have to admit, at my particular age, to a VERY slight increase in facial hair, I am not a 'bearded eejit', despite owning several pewter and silver tankards in a variety of styles, size, age and condition.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Silas
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 04:24 AM

And as for me, I have'nt got a beard.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 05:18 AM

But does anyone still brew 'plain'? In Brian O'Nolan's time it was the cheaper, lower-strength stout - session stout, you might say. (The full name of Guinness is Guinness Extra Stout.) A definite gap in the market - for the bitter drinker, at least, my experience suggests that a session on Guinness or even Murphy's is not a good idea.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Zen
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 06:23 AM

I agree Phil...

When things go wrong and will not come right
Though you do the best you can
When life looks black as the hour of night
A pint of plain is yer only man


from Myles na gCopaleen

Zen


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: lady penelope
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 06:50 AM

For a while, in the last couple of years, Guinness were producing something called Guinness Red. This was somewhere between a stout and a bitter (sounds somehow not quite right to me, but never knock something till you've tried it I say...). I never got to try it, but it was specifically aimed at those who found Guinness Extra Stout too heavy. I've never seen it on sale anywhere and I've no idea if it's still in production or not. Possibly a sign that it didn't capture it's target audience...?

I quite like some of the lower alcohol Porter Ales. But it seems that the lighter ones don't get the same interest as the heavier ones and over the last decade, I've not seen a Porter under 5%BV. A bit of a shame as they can be a very satisfying and almost refreshing pint.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 07:39 AM

Liz,
Have read many of your postings and am well aware of your mental capabilities - will have to take your word regarding your hirsute condition.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 07:39 AM

For those who don't know, I feel obliged to point out here that Flann O'Brien and Myles na gGopaleen are the two names that Brian O'Nolan wrote under. For more on this, see what Wiki has to say.

I was served up a pint of ale in Lytham recently, in lieu of the Bombardier which was off, that was getting on for a stout I'd say. Can't remember what it was, but it went down a treat with the steak and ale pie...

When the Bombardier cask's ran dry
and you're out with the wife in Lytham St Annes,
When you're tucking into some brick of a pie,
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 07:48 AM

Stereotypical? Moi?

Well, at least I'm not wearing panchromatic trousers.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:01 AM

What, like THESE LITTLE BEAUTIES?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:01 AM

Me above


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 12:20 PM

Not sure how I forgot this, since I drank it three weeks ago -

Grainstore Brewery Rutland Panther, 3.8%
According to the beer festival programme, "Black brew with drinkability of mild or light bitter, combined with roast flavours associated with stout."

According to me, that's pretty much what it was - a light, even slightly thin texture and not too much alcohol, but with the look and taste of stout. Could catch on.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,aeola
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 03:19 PM

At the recent Folk on the Coast fest I sampled some of the local Trapper's Hat, only 3.8% but very quaffable. Tried it in a glass & a pewter tankard tasted lovely!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 03:25 PM

I've just googled 'Trapper's Hat'.

Top tip: don't google 'Trapper's Hat'.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 03:28 PM

Gawd bless the Urban Dictionary!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Aeola
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 03:50 PM

Google it and look on page 2


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,cdavies
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 04:11 PM

Any advice welcome on the REAL possibility on getting lead poisoning from antique pewter tankard!!! What do you think? Yay or nay?!
Sorry if stupid question....i aint that bright...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: lady penelope
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 04:23 PM

If you drink a strong cider (and an awful lot of it) then maybe, yes.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 08:21 AM

what about a horn cup?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: romany man
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 02:55 PM

aint no lead in horn, is there, vt,


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 03:43 PM

I was suggesting it as an alternative to pewter for Cider drinkers. Would horn hold up under the acidity of Cider?

Antique pewter - I would not drink from. Just as I won't put consumables in glazed pottery (cups, mugs, bowls) from China because there are no regs on lead in glazing.

I got bagfuls of natural stupid. I don't need to go augmenting it with poison.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 05:00 PM

Lots of interesting points here . My mom's family was in the clipper ship business out of Salem and she had a great collection of pewter mugs . The glass bottom ones she said were considered more useful because when one said "bottoms up" ; you could also say "Heres looking at you " and all knew not to pull a gun or knife. We had some beautiful makers here in New England my two favorites were Danforth of Meriden Connecticut and Boardmen (I think of Boston first) Both families were working in the eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries . The great London makers might not be what your talking about for folkies at pubs because you could sell a good English Pewter mug for enough money to buy a martin and gibson in the same breath .. All the best to all here ..

Yours Guy   p.s.

Early pottery (and Leather) stynes were often called "cans" at a particular measure of liquid .


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Aeola
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 05:21 PM

Never mind pewter,... try a nice crystal tankard!!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Ebor_fiddler
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 06:08 PM

I use a lead-loaded pewter tankard,(bought for the pricely sum of £5 at Whitby this year) because of its shape. I dance a lot at festivals and got fed up of my plastic glass being spilt so easily. The tankard is broader at the base and has more weight. This is also cheaper than my "posh" tankard which I use (for similar reasons) at home! Besides, it gets me points with the folk police!

Re the ale/beer controversy, ale was the original English brew until hops were introduced as flavouring in the 16th (I think) century when the term "beer" came in to distinguish the new drink from the older one. "Carp, turkeys, hops and beer came to England all in one year" if I remember the jingle correctly. It's a good story anyway!
Cheers all!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 11:28 AM

http://www.aidan-campbell.co.uk/Pewter_Guide.shtml

Accourding to this authority, (see blue clicky above), there is little or no lead in pewter drinking vessels. So you can use them for any drink you care to imbibe.

As for the glass bottom, I was always told it so that you could see if you were being tricked into 'taking the Kings shilling'. Fact or fable?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Kampervan
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 11:29 AM

Sorry, that lasty post is me. I seem to have lost my identity!

K/van


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Michael
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 12:15 PM

"Would horn hold up under the acidity of Cider?"

Am I the only one who thought of priapism?
Mike


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 11:11 AM

snerk... Michael.... heh heh heh


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 12:02 PM

hops - roman if not earlier
carp - after monastic ponds for the table 'wild' carp supplanted by imported hybrid cyprinids
turkey - dunno but edwardian on any scale
beer - definition?

Never seen the attraction of pewter aesthetically or practically. Sets yer bloomin' teeth on edge. However I'm enjoying a rather fine single malt from an Aldi hipflask as I write so each to their own.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Matt - with his new tankard
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 08:11 PM

I'd like to know if my stainless steel tankard can be used for hot drinks like Tea or Coffee.
Obviously I can't drink alcohol at work and I use it most at work so it has to be either water, juice or (hopefully) tea.
Can anyone Advise?

Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 08:22 PM

Matt -

Stainless Steel is a chemical neutral metal. It does not react.

If it is stainless - it is obviously not Pewter....which contains lead and tin and perhaps chromium etc.

You can drink ANYTHING - acid/base/ from a stainless container (unless of course ... said container was made in China where the laws and regulations of alchemy do not apply.)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: open mike
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 02:50 AM

Tankards--From: glueman - PM - Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:47 AM -
BTW, that hasn't even begun to exhaust my bile on the topic
but it's the glorious 16th today and I'm off to kill worms.


what is the reference here? to me worms are equated with tequila...??

and what is the importance of June 16th?

thankfully, my secret santa sent a tankard...
my former pewter one was lost in a fire..
does pewter have a lower melting temp. than
other metals?

i have taken my "ram's horn" pewter tankard
to renaissance faires where it has become
fashionable to wear bowls, cups and spoons
hanging from one's waist/belt..as a fashion
accessory as well as utilitarian object.

in Swedish/Scandinavian culture the beveredge
vessel was an ale horn -- supposedly brought
to warriors in Valhalla...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Gervase
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 12:02 PM

If you drink hot drinks from your tankard you'll burn your lip, unless you like your tea and coffee tepid.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 12:56 PM

Each time I've been to the Saturday night singaround, of the Durham Folk Party, at the Rowing Club, a couple have entered to listen and drink from tankards.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Old Grizzly
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 01:03 PM

I loved my tankard and supped hmmmm ... rather a lot of ale out of it for over 30 years - till it was stolen from my car a few years ago :o(

A standard simple pewter tankard from about 1800 it had a touchmark of 3 'saracen' swords and bore the incription in flowing script -

I W Kemp
The Crown
Narrow St.
Limehouse

If anyone ever comes across it I would dearly love to be re-united.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,TJ
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 01:34 PM

Strange; no one has mentioned a "Drinking Gourd." Of course, I'm told they make ale taste like dried pumpkin or some such...and so hard to clean.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Rowan
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 11:36 PM

From various sources.

While the term pewter covers a range of tin-based alloys, the term English pewter has come to represent a strictly-controlled alloy, specified by BSEN611-1 and British Standard 5140, consisting mainly of tin (ideally 92%), with the balance made up of antimony and copper. Significantly, it is free of lead and nickel. Although the exact percentages vary between manufacturers, a typical standard for present-day pewter is approximately 91% tin, 7.5% antimony and 1.5% copper.

From the 15th century onwards, the composition of English pewter was carefully protected by the Worshipful Company of Pewterers in London. The Company required that the finest quality English pewter contain at least 94% tin, with the balance made of other metals including lead. Lead was removed from the composition in 1974, by BS5140, reinforced by the European directive BSEN611 in 1994.

Until the end of the 18th century, the only method of manufacture was by casting and the soldering of components [almost all solder at the time would have had a considerable lead content]. From the last quarter of the 18th century, improvement in alloys and techniques allowed objects to be made from pewter by stamping and spinning

It was known as " fyne peauter " and used for dishes, saucers, platters, chargers, and for all " things that they make square," such as cruets, chrismatories, &c., which owing either to the rough usage they would be submitted to, or to the sharpness of their angles, called for greater toughness in the material . The recipe for this alloy as originally propounded was as much brass to the tin " as it wol receiuve of his nature," but the lack of precision in this perhaps rendered it difficult to distinguish accidental variations from deliberate adulteration, and in 1474?1475 it was resolved that 26 lb of brass must be mixed with every hundredweight of tin. The penalties for infringement of the rules were severe and frequently enforced, but in spite of them alterations and improvements crept in. The chief and perhaps the earliest of these was the addition of a certain proportion of bismuth, or as it was then called " tin glass." When this was first used is not recorded, but by 1561 it was accepted as a matter of course; in 1630 a maker " was found in fault for not sufficiently tempering his metal with tin glass "; and in 1653 it was ordered that 3 lb weight of tin glass at least must be mixed with every 100 lb of tin.

Antimony was subsequently introduced?though there is no mention of it in the records of the Pewterers' Company?sometimes alone as in tin and temper (r.6 to 150 parts) and trifle (17 parts to 83 of tin)?sometimes with other metals as in hard metal (96 parts of tin, 8 of antimony and 2 of copper), a mixture very closely resembling that still used under the name of " Britannia metal," an alloy composed approximately of 93 percent tin, 5 percent antimony, and 2 percent copper, used for making various utensils, including teapots, jugs, drinking vessels, candlesticks, and urns, and for official maces. Similar in colour to pewter, britannia metal is harder, stronger, and easier to work than other tin alloys; it can be worked from sheets, like silver, or spun on a lathe. The alloy is first mentioned in 1769, as "Vickers White Metal," but it was during the 19th century that the advantages of britannia metal were appreciated.

Lots of lead, therefore in antique pewter but none in modern pewter and no mention of cadmium anywhere. Acids in liquids would certainly leach copper out of modern pewter. Stainless steel (90Fe, 10Cr, < 0.5Mn + 0.25C or 90-2Fe, 8Cr, 0.4Mn, < 0.12C or 86.7Fe, 12.5Cr, 0.35Mn, 0.35Ni, 0.12C) may have nickel, to which some become allergic.

More on alloys.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 09:27 AM

In some countries, what we would call pewter is called just tin, e.g. French étain, German Zinn. (Apologies if the e-acute doesn't display correctly for everyone.)

The actual composition anywhere in Europe is likely to be according to EN 611, which Rowan has already mentioned. (I've just looked it up on the BSI website . EN 611-1 covers pewter (i.e. presumably the alloy) and EN 611-2 pewterware, i.e. presumably things made of pewter.)

"EN" signifies a European Standard, which the national standards bodies are obliged to adopt as a national standard, thus BS EN 611-1 and -2 in the UK, but similarly in France as NF EN 611-1 and -2 (which indeed refer to "étain"), etc. But enough of this digression about European standardisation!

Richard


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Mr Red
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 08:09 AM

OK lead oxidises fairly easily and oxides can be etched by drink - particularly cider because it is acidic rather than the alkline beers and lagers.

However. As can be seen from the recall of the Go Gerbil, antimony is pretty toxic too. Maybe it doesn't oxidise so readily, mayhap the oxide is not as soluable but would a metalergist care to expound on the likely dangers when antimony is awash in cider?

I drink from a stainless steel mug and it is tastier IMNSHO. And I personalised it


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 12:15 PM

I think the Germans had the right idea with their steins. They keep the beverage cool longer, they can be highly decorative or plain as a mud fence, as you prefer. And, with the right glaze, they are quite easy to clean. They are more breakable, but I have seen some well-mangled pewter vessels as well. Unfortunately for me, I no longer drink much beer or ale, as it tends to cling to the midsection. At my age, I don't need the additional avoirdupois.

P.S.: I humbly bow to the metallurgy lesson, above, and the voluminous reference material from which it comes. I had no idea how restrictive the recipe was or how well-controlled the production must have been.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 12:49 PM

I remember my father telling me about antimony being used in type-metal (for printing presses etc.) as when the correct proportion was used the liquid did not change in volume when changing phase to the solid, hence giving the correct size of type.
Presumably this means that antimony forms a crystaline structure like ice does, becoming larger when solidifying, or am I misinformed?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Rowan
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 04:29 PM

Presumably this means that antimony forms a crystaline structure like ice does, becoming larger when solidifying, or am I misinformed?

BBCW, I once worked with a local rag press and have a dim recollection that "printer's metal" was specially formulated so that the alloy had a slight expansion as it solidified, as water does; it was this property that produced beautifully crisp print. Whether it was solely due to the antimony content I can't remember, but I'm sure you could glean info by googling "printer's metal"/"type metal" and/or antimony. I do recall that, although vast quantities of scrap offcuts were lying around during the preparation for the print run, they were meticulously collected and recycled, as the alloy was expensive and criminal charges were brought against people who tried to sell it to scrap metal merchants or those merchants who bought it.

TJ, thanks for the compliment. It occurred to me while I was reading earlier parts of the thread that some might be confused by changes of meanings, as well as by simple appearances. I had thought that the change from antique (lead-containing) pewter to britannia metal (and thus modern pewter) had occurred in the middle of the 19th century and was surprised to see the relevant Standard hadn't come into force until 1974. I had never associated cadmium with pewter and I suspect that most people's experience of it would be cad-plated metal items. These routinely have a dull grey lack of sheen, not unlike pewter's appearance when it hasn't been cared for over a long period of time; I hesitate about calling it a patina but that is probably the proper term for the surface of weathered pewter.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 05:12 PM

Lady Penelope assured us:

BTW anything that's brewed with yeast can be referred to as 'beer', cider and wine included.

Sure, and an ox can be referred to as a horse, and a nanny-goat can be referred to as a cow, but that doesn't make either one true!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: doncatterall
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 09:02 AM

I lost a tankard many years ago in the Balfour at Sidmouth.
It was inscribed "Saddleworth Darts and Snooker Champion 1970 Diggle Band Club" (not me!!!)
News of its whereabouts gratefully received.

Don


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: EnglishFolkfan
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 10:13 AM

The closing scenes of the New BBC TV Victorian Farm Christmas series episode 1 has the wonderful John Kirkpatrick playing, singing and directing the dancing for the haymaking celebrations with lots of pewter mugs in use & for decoration:

Available to those as can access BBC iPlayer til 31st December 2009, and episode repeats on TV.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p71fz

Will they be drinking out of pewter at the actual Christmas feast?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 03:45 PM

Apropos the remarks about who did or didn't drink out of pewter at what time in history, I have just come across a relevant comment in the book "Fire & Steam: How the Railways Transformed Britain" (Christian Wolmar, Atlantic Books, ISBN-978-1-84354-630-6):
"One of the more obscure developments brought about by the railways was the change from drinking ale out of pewter tankards, which were more suitable for the capital's stouts, to glasses" (which the context in the book implies were more suitable for the beers brought by the Midland Railway, particularly Bass from Burton).

This is in one of Wolmar's endnotes. He identifies the sources (albeit secondary ones) of most of the quotations in his endnotes, but this one has no attribution at all. I therefore venture no opinion on its accuracy, but I pass it on for what it's worth.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 06:04 AM

I don't think glasses are more suitable but they did allow you to admire the clarity of the new-style beers. It's a bit pointless with the porters and stouts in vogue up to then - indeed you might wish to hide the cloudiness of the beer.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 07:24 AM

Re the comment about drinking from glass being more suitable - The advent of 'Pilsner' beers - Ie, those brewed in the town of Pilsen, West Bohemia, also promoted the rise of Bohemian Crystal as drinking vessels. The bright clear beers were best displayed in bright clear vessels. Or was it the other way round? Too many Czech lagers have dimmed the brain! As Manitas says - with stouts, porters, weiss beers and cloudy brews it does not need to be seen.

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST,Bill S from Melbourne
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 08:18 PM

I had a favourite tankard which did not, sadly, follow me to the Antipodes but may still follow the morris. It was brass bound oak and you had to soak it overnight before you could use it. The ale tasted good from it. I got rid of most of my collection of tankards but they have gradually been replaced. Of morris significance is a prize at the Bampton Fair from long ago, which I picked up in a remote farm in South Australia. I used to have 4 quart tannkards, useful near closing time as it in theory halved the number of scrums at the bar. Just the satisfying clunk of them on the bar and the call off a gallon of bitter please. And yes they were part of morris kit so you could still enjoy a beer between pubs. Hey, Kitty, is Hairy's gallon tankard ever seen these days?
IMHO the best ales from the US rank with the best anywhere, the worst compete for new lows, ditto Australia where a sea of mediocrity is saved by the output of dozens of great micros


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pewter Tankards
From: GUEST
Date: 17 May 14 - 03:28 PM

Did you hear about the bus load of Morris Dancers that was hijacked by terrorists?

The terrorists threatened to release one every hour until all their demands were met.


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