[Sca-cooks] Brown Ale -

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Sun Jun 7 05:27:05 PDT 2009

Alright I logged on and searched EEBO this morning.

The earliest match in EEBO-TCP when searching under 'brown' and 'ale'
in a proximity search is 1646.

To many a youth, and many a maid,
Dancing in the Chequer'd shade;
And young and old com forth to play
On a Sunshine Holyday,
Till the live-long day-light fail,
Then to the Spicy Nut-brown Ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How Faery Mab the junkets eat,
She was pincht, and pull'd she sed,
And he by Friars Lanthorn led
Tells how the drudging Goblin swet,
To ern his Cream-bowle duly set,

By John Milton and appearing in his
Poems of Mr. John Milton,: both English and Latin, compos'd at several
It also appears in a play dated 1641 for performance and published for
the first time in 1652.

This Gentleman speaks not. Or had you rather take a Drink of brown Ale
with a Toast, or March Beer with Sugar and Nutmeg? or had you rather
drink without Sugar?

Ol.> Good Sir, a Cup of your Houshold-Beer.

Exit. Butler>.I fear he will draw down to that at last.

Enter Butler with a Silver Can of Sack.
But>Here, Gentlemen, is a Cup of my Masters small Beer: But it is good old
Canary, I assure you. And here's to your welcome.

from A joviall crew, or, The merry beggars presented in a comedie at
Drury-Lane, in the yeer 1641
by Brome, Richard, d. 1652?

Here's another:

While my Host does break a Jest.
Nut-brown Ale that cures the weak,
And can compell a Cat to speak:

from The Academy of pleasure. 1656.

from 1693 there's this long poem on Bacchanalia and drinking
that talks about ales, wines, sherries, etc.

Yet the good Oly of Barly there's none will decline:
That we as a body call'd corp'rate may stand,
And a Patent procure from your Seal and your Hand,
That none without Licence, call'd Special, shall fail,
To drink any thing else, but Strong Nappy Brown Ale

from The bacchanalian sessions, or, The contention of liquors with a
farewel to wine
Ames, Richard, fl. 1688-1694.

Searching under 'brown' near 'malt' turns up 3 late 17th century
mentions of malt near brown sugar
and this mention in a poem.

The marrow of Malt:
where the nut brown toast
Smiles in the flowrie Ale, whose mirthfull hoast
Makes mee turne Marriner, and hither saile
To court the confines of this famous Ale.
This noble Ale, this most substantiall liquor,
That chears the Stade, and makes the Genious quicker,

from Occasions off-spring, or, Poems upon severall occasions by Mathew

Searches under roast near malt and malt near roast yielded nothing in

Hope this helps


Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius wrote:
> On Jun 7, 2009, at 1:18 AM, Terry Decker wrote:
>> A brewer's website provided some other information that light malt is 
>> used in the preparation of most brown ales; 
>> http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2008/07/09/brown-ale-recipes-brewing-styles/ 
>> . The site also makes the point that what we refer to as "brown ale" 
>> may have just been "ale" prior to formal usage of the term "brown 
>> ale" beginning the early 18th Century. While this make linguistic 
>> sense, I'm hesitant to wholly accept the explanation without 
>> references to support the logic.
> I'd just like to see some specific references to brown ale in period, 
> or to instructions to actively and positively roast the malt until it 
> has changed color to some extent. Otherwise I can't help thinking this 
> may be one of those imposed, misinformed archaicisms, like calling a 
> subdivision of a medieval feast a remove... it may have seemed like a 
> great idea until somebody actually sat down and did that homework.
> Adamantius

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