View Full Version : Shut up about Barclay Perkins - Beamish Porter in India

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31-05-2011, 07:11
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I'm not convinced as to the accuracy of the quote that follows. Some of it is clearly bollocks. Which raises the question, can we believe any of it?

It's a bit weird, because the bit that interests me is merely a footnote. A footnote about Porter in a Dublin jail:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1-m09RJ2-dg/Tduy3lrP_bI/AAAAAAAAH8U/9yQqZingsGw/s320/Beamish_Stout.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1-m09RJ2-dg/Tduy3lrP_bI/AAAAAAAAH8U/9yQqZingsGw/s1600/Beamish_Stout.jpg)
"Before proceeding to the biographical account of this extraordinary person, which it is my intention to give, I think it proper previously to state the very singular manner in which our friendship had its commencement. One evening, in the month of October, 1812, I had the misfortune, from some circumstances here unnecessary to mention, to be conveyed for a night's lodging to the watch-house in Dublin. I had there the good fortune to meet Mr. Odoherty, who was likewise a prisoner. He was seated on a wooden stool, before a table garnished with a great number of empty pots of porter.*

* We beg leave to hint to our Irish correspondent, that if the pots were empty, they could scarcely be termed pots of porter.— Blackwood. [And I beg leave to hint that, in the watch-house in Dublin, in 1812, such a liquid as porter was not at all likely to be in request. The drink of that region would inevitably be — whiskey punch. In 1812, very little malt liquor was used in Ireland. Most of what was made was exported to the British army then under Wellington in the peninsula, to the British West India islands, and to the East Indies. The soldiers drank it, of course, as if it were so much "mother's milk"—only a great deal stronger. In the West Indies, where the drought was great, the draughts were copious. In the East Indies, whenever what was called Cork porter and Fermoy ale happened to arrive, in anything like good condition, it brought a great price, and was imbibed freely. But, in those days, brewers had not arrived at the present certainty of making ale as drinkable on the banks of the Ganges as in London, Dublin, Cork, and Edinburgh, In 1812, London porter was scarcely exported to the East or West Indies: Edinburgh ale was not known much beyond the city of its birth; and the supplies were sent from the porter brewery of Beamish and Crawford, of Cork, and the ale brewery of Thomas Walker & Co., of Fermoy. The last-named concern has wholly ceased, but Cork city rejoices in Beamish and Crawford's porter brewery, whence it also taken one of its parliamentary representatives (1855), in the person of Frank Beamish. At present, the pale ale of Bass and Alsop — rival houses in the small English town of Burton-upon-Trent — is the favorite tipple in British India, where one man asks another to "take a glass of Bass" with him, just as, elsewhere, he would invite him to take a glass of champagne. It is surprising that in Calcutta, Madras, or Bombay, some capitalist does not commence an ale and porter brewery, and go in to make a fortune thereby. Long after Odoherty's time, Guinness's Dublin porter came into note in rivalry with "London Stout." The story goes that Guinness had no great note until the full body of one particular brewing attracted the attention of those who malt. On cleaning out the vat, there were found the bones and part of the dress of one of the workmen, who had been missing for some weeks. Guinness, it is said, sang small about the matter, but to give his porter the required body, instead of boiling down a man, as before, substituted a side of beef, and has continued the ingredient from that time to this. So, after all, even a tee-totoller must admit that Guinness's porter is but a malted description of — beef-tea! — M."
"Miscellaneous writings of the late Dr. Maginn, Volume 1" by William Maginn, 1855, pages 3 - 4.There's a clear claim there that Porter from Cork - in particular Beamish and Crawford's Porter - was exported to the East Indies at a very early date: 1812. I know that Guinness exported their Stout to India a couple of decades later. But this is the earliest mention of Irish Porter in India. Just a shame it's from someone who can't spell Allsopp properly.

Then there's the stuff about the workman dissolving into Guinness. Obviously totally untrue, as all stories like this inevitably are. If for no other reason than that at the period in question putting anything other than malt, hops, sugar, yeast and water was illegal. And the authorities took the rules pretty damn seriously.https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5445569787371915337-4607279338864979203?l=barclayperkins.blogspot.com

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