[Sca-cooks] warm beer, the 19th C ice trade

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Mon Aug 3 20:25:22 PDT 2009

<<< A man after my own heart. A good beer (especially ale) should be
served about the same temperature as a good red wine. And I can't seem
to get people to *get it*!!! >>>

I don't agree, but then that maybe why I prefer white wines to red.

But here is a late-period take on the matter which I just added to the  
BEVERAGES section in the Florilegium.

Warm-Beere-art     (6K)  7/23/09  "An aside— on Beer and English  
                                      by THL Johnnae llyn Lewis.

It is interesting that in the 19th century, due mostly to the efforts  
of one man, a big industry in New England was the exporting of blocks  
of ice to the southern US and the Caribbean and as far away as India.  
However, try as they might, unlike the British in other parts of the  
world, they couldn't convince the British in the British Isles to  
accept ice for cooling their drinks or much of anything else.

Just in case anyone is interested in more about this:

The Frozen-Water Trade: A True Story
Weightman, Gavin
ISBN: 0-7868-6740-X
Hyperion, New York
272 pages

 From Publishers Weekly
Weightman, a London journalist and documentary filmmaker, uncovers a  
secret history and ends up transforming a dull-sounding topic into a  
riveting read. He introduces turn-of-the-19th-century Bostonian  
Frederic Tudor as an indefatigable American dreamer who sought to give  
people something they didn't know they wanted-and make a killing while  
he's at it. Tudor hatches scheme after scheme to "farm" ice from New  
England ponds and deliver chunks of the brand-new commodity to the  
Caribbean, and ultimately to India and elsewhere, so that items like  
cold beverages and ice cream become cultural staples. Along the way  
Tudor encounters disbelievers, creditors, rivals, imprisonment, yellow  
fever, warm weather, political scuffles-even pirates. Weightman also  
delves engagingly into the science of freezing and the particulars and  
economics of ice transport and storage. Through it all, Weightman  
juggles the players in the burgeoning but finally ephemeral business  
while he spins a tale of a pre-refrigerated world. Issues of commerce  
and entrepreneurship in an infant nation are revealed in this page- 
turner, which gets its title from the name of the industry. When  
Weightman visits Tudor's original ice source, locals think the author  
is loony for suggesting that cubes from the pond cooled people in  
Calcutta two centuries earlier-and made one man (and perhaps many  
others) rich in the process. Weightman takes a relatively unknown part  
of history (and the figure at its center), and creates a funny,  
rollicking human adventure.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

 From The New Yorker
The idea sounds fanciful: harvest ice in Massachusetts and sell it to  
people in the tropics. But the nineteenth-century entrepreneur  
Frederic Tudor was immune to ridicule and single-minded in his  
conviction that the ice trade could be profitable. He was also right.  
This entertaining history of his crusade to turn New England into the  
world's ice-maker shows how the combination of technological  
innovation and sharp marketing--Tudor trained bartenders to use ice in  
cocktails in order to illustrate the virtues of cold drinks--created  
an industry that sold thousands of tons of ice a year to places like  
India, Cuba, and the American South. As a case study of the  
entrepreneurial mind, Weightman's book reminds us that creating demand  
can be as important as meeting it.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker  --This text refers to the   Paperback  

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list