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Chester County Press

Historical Society to host tavern talk on drinking habits of colonists

04/12/2016 12:50PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

Did you know that in the 18th century, as local Colonialists were enduring the rocky and sometimes violent steps to becoming a new country, it was a generally accepted custom to drink beer for breakfast?
Here is another little-known fact: In between his role as a statesman, a writer and an inventor, Benjamin Franklin compiled a list of 228 adjectives for the word “drunk.”
If these facts have somehow escaped you, the Chadds Ford Historical Society is giving you the opportunity to learn how the alcoholic beverage – and the consumption of it – figured prominently in the formation of what is now known as the United States of America.
On April 21, the society will kick off its “Tavern Talks” with “Beer for Breakfast: Drinking Habits of the Colonialists,” which will be held at 7 p.m. at the Brinton House in Chadds Ford. Guests will get to play tavern games while sampling several beverages that were staples of the Colonists, such as ale, rum punch, mead, shrub and switchel, considered the forerunner of what we now call Gatorade.
Guests will learn about these many brews by visiting “Ales of the Revolution,” hosted by Yards Brewing Company; the evolution of rum punch, with Red Brick Craft Distillery; the historic malting process, with Deer Creek Malthouse; chocolate-making demonstrations with American Heritage Chocolate; and the popularity of mead, a fermented honey drink from ancient times, with The Colony Meadery.
The April 21 event begins what will be a monthly series of “Tavern Talks,” which will include “Digging Through Trash” (archaeology) on May 12; “Herbs and Potions” on June 9; “LiberTEA! EqualiTEA!” on July 14; “Creating the Perfect (Colonial) Selfie” on Sept. 15; “Very Superstitious: Fears, False Notions and Fables” on Oct. 13; and “All Things Apple” on Nov. 10.
“Tavern Talks” are held at the Chadds Ford Historical Society’s Barns Brinton House, located next to the Chaddsford Winery at 630 Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford.  Admission is $15 for non-members and $10 for members. Tickets must be purchased in advance over the phone, in person or online, as space is limited. All attendees must be 21 and older.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail