Beer, Oh Happy Produce Of Our Isle – And Good For Us Too!
THE Mail brings us the glorious news that beer is actually good for us:
Mine’s a pint: Full of vitamins, high in fibre, low on sugar and good for your hair – the benefits of beer
Beer is being hailed for its health benefits and vitamin levels
Research suggests drinking beer might help prevent Alzheimer’s
Hops have ‘aphrodisiac-like qualities’ and could balance hormones
Contains minerals including phosphorus, iodine, magnesium and potassium
Well, yes, aphrodisiac qualities: who has not suffered from beer goggles at one time or another? But those health effects are quite true and some of us have the bellies to prove that we’ve known this for decades.
The thing is that the Mail isn’t the first to point this out to use. We all know Hogarth’s “Gin Lane”, drunk for a penny, dead drunk for tuppence. But many fewer know that this was one of two engravings, the other being Beer Street. Full of manly Englishmen doing manly things in the company of fair English maidens, all who had been raised upon copious amounts of beer. And here’s the doggerel to go with it:
Beer, happy Produce of our Isle
Can sinewy Strength impart,
And wearied with Fatigue and Toil
Can cheer each manly Heart.
Labour and Art upheld by Thee
We quaff Thy balmy Juice with Glee
And Water leave to France.
Genius of Health, thy grateful Taste
Rivals the Cup of Jove,
And warms each English generous Breast
With Liberty and Love!
I’ve always rather liked that “and water leave to France” line myself.
Sadly all do insist that moderation is a virtue. It’s just that moderation to Hogarth would have been perhaps a gallon a day. 8 pints seems about right, doesn’t it?