Thursday, November 6, 2008


As I understand it, beer was invented in 1818 by Thomas Carling shortly after emigrating from Yorkshire, England to Ontario, Canada. Carling intended to start a farm and history tells us that he began brewing "beer" at home for "stumping bees".

As a younger man, I wondered if this meant that Mr. Carling drank a lot of beer and then went around ill-advisedly stomping on bees. Or perhaps that this early proto-beer was made using honey and involved stomping on honeycomb like stomping on grapes to make wine.

It was only after I went away to college and became a beer drinker myself that I realized that Carling actually used the beer - set out in bowls - to intoxicate (or "stump") the bees (probably wasps, actually) to keep them from stinging.

Eventually Carling painstakingly developed the formula for Carling's Black Label Lager. Though many countries now produce beer, it is widely accepted that Carling's Black Label still surpasses all other beers. And you will note that when you open a can of Black Label outdoors on a sunny day, the bees still come from miles around.

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