FAQ – False Ale Quotes

Beer is a popular subject, and has attracted an army of commentators down the centuries. But over time a mountain of misunderstanding, myth, fiction and fantasy has been put into print by writers on the drink’s history, all of which continues to be repeated today by the lazy.

Some of these errors, like the easily disproved claim that the Latin word for beer, cervesia, comes from the Roman goddess Ceres, have been around for millennia. Others, like the writer who asserted that porter got its name because it was popular with railway porters at Victoria Station in London (although railway porters arrived 120 years after porter-the-beer), have been minted only recently.

The Zythophile blog will periodically feature in the False Ale Quotes pages a series of the commonest myths about the history of beer, together with a matching rebuttal. Eventually it should be a resource that will act as a small bulwark against the great tide of inaccuracy the unwary can find themselves unknowingly helping to spread.

4 thoughts on “FAQ – False Ale Quotes

  1. What about the claim that the name Alt doesn’t derive from the German word for old, but from the Latin word Altus meaning “high”? You can see this absurd claim repeated here:

    http://www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de/article_en2.php?folderID=10273&sub1_folderID=10278&articleID=476&PHPSESSID=13cb59bd499ac59af

    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style/86

    http://halfvalue.com/wiki.jsp?topic=Altbier

    Why go for a simple explanation when a complicated one will do?

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