At a Medieval Fair there are a few things you are guaranteed to see: Maidens with abundance of braids in their hair, Knights wielding swords, and a lavish
At a Medieval Fair there are a few things you are guaranteed to see: Maidens with abundance of braids in their hair, Knights wielding swords, and a lavish feast overflowing with goblets of beer. After all they are creating Medieval Europe, and water is a bacteria laden cesspool waiting to cause disease, right? Wrong. The myth that beer was safer than water is just that, a myth. But while beer may not have been safer, it was more nutritious and in turn a greater health benefit to its consumers.
Yes. You heard that right. Beer is healthy! Beer by nature is nutritional. Think about it…beer’s main ingredients are hops, barley, and wheat. It’s made from grains, and is chocked full of the same micronutrients grains are. B-vitamins, niacin, potassium and phosphorous just to name a few.
Beer in Medieval Europe was a precious source of energy, and it was not uncommon for laborers to quench their thirst with up to 6 liters of beer a day. When you’re consuming that much brew, its important your ale isn’t sitting at a 9%ABV. Small beer (or small ale) was the answer. Its low alcohol content, often just under 0.75% made it a favorite among Europeans in the Middle ages as well as Colonial North Americans who often opted for cheaper, low-alcohol beer instead of more expensive higher percentage brews.
Even Benjamin Franklin declared in his autobiography that he sometimes enjoyed small beer with breakfast. So when you’re frying eggs and about to pour that glass of orange juice, think: what would Franklin do? And if you want to avoid a hangover by 2pm, opt for non-alcoholic beer.