Confession: I’m not an archaeologist nor a historian—at least not in any meaningful sense, though I do delight in aspects of both. But I was lucky enough to see Barry Cunliffe speak about the Ancient Celts at the Oxford Literature Festival earlier this year and then to have front row seats to the recording of this podcast, and I wanted to share a little of what I’ve learned.
Beer has been a vitally important drink through much of human history, be it just as a drink that was safe to consume when water might not have been, through to having significant economic and even political significance. The earliest written laws included regulations on beer, tax income from beer funded centuries of British imperialist conquests, and beer is the subject of the oldest international trademark dispute.
The relationship, through history, between humans and the sea has been one of conflict and conquest. The dangers of traveling on such a fickle, treacherous, and alien environment could easily mean death for early seafarers and explorers (and indeed it still can today). What is even more impressive, and perhaps mind-boggling, is that those venturing to sea in pre-history did not know what they would find, if anything at all. So why did humans first take to the sea? What drove them to surf and sail into the unknown? One reason may be our inquisitive nature.
7 September is National Beer Lover’s Day, a day to celebrate a shared passion for a drink that has been brewed for over 5000 years. Why not enjoy your favourite lager or ale with some beer-related music to get you into the spirit of things. Our beer-infused song selection takes you from the cheery delights of The Housemartins’ to Julian Cope’s “As the Beer Flows Over Me”. We have plenty of anthems, and plain old drinking songs to provide the soundtrack to your Beer Lover’s Day celebrations.