I bring it up because tonight I'm engaging in a little "Neolithic Agents of Disease" (NAD) N=1 experiment, as I'll relate in my next post. So, as I'm sitting here drinking Dogfish Head Sah'tea and Westmalle Trappist Ale and listening to BWV 531, I'm reading about what I'm drinking and come across a New Yorker article with the following:
America used to be full of odd beers. In 1873, the country had some four thousand breweries, working in dozens of regional and ethnic styles. Brooklyn alone had nearly fifty. Beer was not only refreshing but nutritious, it was said—a “valuable substitute for vegetables,” as a member of the United States Sanitary Commission put it during the Civil War. The lagers brewed by Adolphus Busch and Frederick Pabst were among the best. In 1878, Maureen Ogle notes in her recent book “Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer,” Busch’s St. Louis Lager took on more than a hundred European beers at a competition in Paris. The lager came home with the gold, causing an “immense sensation,” in the words of a reporter from the Times.For those that don't remember, Prohibition in the US was the ban on the sale of alcohol from about 1920 to about 1935. Thus, the transition this article would be talking about to blasé modern American beers would have occurred in the post-Prohibition era of the 1930s and 1940s, just when America was undergoing some of the political changes Moldbug documents/asserts in his blog.
Then came Prohibition, followed hard by industrialization. Beer went from barrel to bottle and from saloon to home refrigerator, and only the largest companies could afford to manufacture and distribute it. A generation raised on Coca-Cola had a hard time readjusting to beer’s bitterness, and brewers diluted their recipes accordingly.
Really, it comes as no surprise to me that the rise of shallow, pointless modern political culture should have coincided with a rise in the taste for Coca-cola, or that progressivist agitators should have diminished Americans' lives by promoting an addictive, low-quality modern substitute for a subtle ages-old art form.
From an ancestral health, or archevoric eating, paradigm, I'm not sure returning to craft brewers like Dogfish Head is an absolute improvement over industrial sugar factories, but it is maybe a step in the right direction.