Tuesday, February 1

How Beer Saved the World, Part 2: Now cometh the essayist.

Yesterday I sent Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna my post on the Discovery Network's hour-long documentary, "How Beer Saved the World." He replied that sometime back Fjordman had written about beer.

I thought, 'Now there's a combination: Fjordman and beer.'

I imagined an essay that tied a decline in beer drinking in Europe to a scheme involving Multiculturalists, the EU Parliament and immigrant Muslim clerics to keep white Europeans in a perpetually defeatist mood. So like a fool I asked Baron to send me what Fjordman had written about beer. Here was the reply:
History of Beer — Part 1

History of Beer — Part 2

History of Beer — Part 3

History of Beer — Part 4

History of Beer — Part 5

History of Beer — Part 6
It was then I remembered that in addition to his fame as a social critic Fjordman is also known for his very long essays.

But on dipping into the first installment, published in August 2009, I was hooked. Fjordman deployed his formidable skills as a writer and researcher and drew from an array of authoritative sources to create a discourse on beer's role in world history that is fully as engaging as the Discovery Network's offering.

Yet while the cinematic medium did a superlative job of quickly conveying that beer making, beer drinking, and the quests to improve and preserve beer were crucial to the survival and advance of civilization, the essayist's art allowed for forays into linguistics, anthropology, trade, inventions and advances in science that the documentary could only touch upon.

So while I still have no idea whether beer drinking is on the decline in Europe Fjordman's essay is an inspiring meditation on human ingenuity and ancient cultures as diverse as the Chinese, Incan and Bantu -- diverse excepting their love of the fermented beverage we call beer.

Fjordman recounts that in ancient times the Andeans were so fond of the stuff "that being forced to drink water was a form of punishment.” The sentiment was echoed by a tenth-century English abbot who averred that his choice in drink was "beer if I have it and otherwise water."

Bravo, Fjordman! Three cheers for the essayists! Bottoms up!

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