Saturday, January 14, 2017

Whiskey and Wickedness

We attended a lecture (presentation) at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum this week. The topic was what you see in the title: Whiskey and Wickedness.

This event concerning our past was considered to be part of the our town's Canada 150 celebrations. Our young country is 150 years old this year, and there will be events and celebrations in all sorts of corners of the land.

Larry Cotton, the presenter, has written many volumes of this title, Whiskey and Wickedness, many about the days of whiskey and certain other beverages in the pioneer days of Eastern Ontario, The latest of his series features Carleton Place and places close by.

He explained how this region was settled, at least partly,  by retired soldiers, mainly of Irish and Scottish extraction. After the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 with America, Britain had thousands of vets that it had to deal with. It also had the need to populate this region to keep it under firm British control. So, soldiers were offered a pension and land to settle in these parts.

Part of the pension consisted of being allocated 5 vouchers per day to ... um ... keep up their spirits as it were. And since they were Scots and Irish, two drinking cultures,  to begin with, alcohol played a large part in the fabric of early settlements. Because of the need for water combined with the quick spoilage of their products, beer had to be manufactured locally, so breweries especially were often combined with pubs and more than one to a village.

The meeting concluded with a presentation by a new to Carleton Place, local brewery, Stalwart Brewing Co., which served samples, much to the delight of many.

Paul Cotton

Stalwart Brewing Company

Larry Cotton's Website

Stalwart Brewing Company Website


Marie Smith said...

Such an interesting history! Yay Canada.

Ginnie said...

With all those Scots and Irish settling early on it's a miracle that the homes and buildings they erected where not tipsy too.

Mara said...

Well, you've got Irish blood in you! Did you have a little tipple as well? Or did you stick to the beer?

Shammickite said...

I love these local history evenings, always something new to learn. And how nice to have a sample of beer to wash it all down.

Jenn Jilks said...

I've read a couple of these. They are gruesome! The 'good old days!' Seriously.

Tabor said...

Yes, good drinking water or the lack thereof I did like the beer in Germany and I am NOT a beer drinker. I think the non-dark beer there tasted like fresh bread! Your photography is good and compelling. Guess they did not mind you moving about and taking photos.

troutbirder said...

Indeed Stalwart folk those soldiers and pioneers...:)

Mage said...


Debbie said...

sounds like a good history lesson!! i am not a beer drinker - well, not since high school anyway!!!