Brew Biz: Werts and All

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

Fine examples of Beaker culture beer bearing vessels

Written by Ken Carman

Topic this edition: The Beakers, the Carmans and BEER!!!

Every time one of the homebrew clubs I am a member of comes bearing beer to a public event I think of my super great Grandpa, whoever the hell he was. We do know that a lot of the Carman heritage dates back to England and, specifically: Wales. Apparently one relative went to Wales and found we had all escaped religious persecution (Perhaps not all, but maybe most?) and there was “no one home.”

I was reading The History of Wales by John Davies where he mentioned the Beaker People who immigrated to Wales and England in general around 2500BC. Before that the residents had elongated faces, but the Beakers had rounded faces.


Some speculation exists they may have been tall. Oopsie. And a bit flat headed… well compared with some: maybe. One wonders if they might have been a bit bullheaded and the genetic similarities would have down right spooky.

My brother speculates we may have come to England, perhaps via the Vikings. This, according to my sources, was somewhere around 1,000 A.D. 1,000 AD vs. 2500BC. No significant gap there, right?

But if not the Vikings, some of the similar genetic markers and facial traits like rounded would be logical. And if some of our clan were Vikings, intermarriage certainly would still account for some of my speculation in this edition of Brew Biz. Perhaps related by marriage? And Beaker culture may have influenced those Vikings long before they sailed to Wales.

Note: whether “Beaker Folk” were a distinct people has been hotly debated for many years. Ah, hot debates. Another family tradition, right brother Jim?

I did notice that various sources said Beakers, if they existed, came from the Netherlands and Scandinavia.


All this is, of course, is speculation… just like it was once speculated that the Beakers drank a beverage laced with cannabis and alcohol that was hallucinogenic. Instead, after sampling the remains of what had been in the fine vessels the Beakers bore: hence the name “beaker,” they found it was a beer like beverage that also bore some resemblance to mead.

So did the Carmans help “conquer” Wales armed, not with weapons, but beer?

As a homebrewer, a beer judge and one interested in most things “beer,” I find this a fascinating story that may be mere fantasy… or not.

These vessels were also placed in graves with hope that the deceased might have something to drink if they got thirsty. How thoughtful. Just like a Carman. Well…

The Old World was rife with conquerors and cruelty. But conquering the world with beer filled vessels? Homebrew clubs, just ask. I’ll be there to help. After all: I may have a new/old fantasy family tradition to live up to. And I am determined to live up to it, even if it’s no tradition at all.

Ssh!!! If not… I don’t want to know. Like another beer? At the top of the page you’ll find a Beaker vessel. If you find it filled with beer? Go ahead…

Goblet up.


Brew Biz: Werts and All, is a column dedicated to reviewing, discussing and commenting on all things beer including, but not limited to: marketing, homebrewing and homebrew/beer related events, how society perceives all things beer. Also: reviews of beer related businesses, opinions about trends in the beer business, and all the various homebrew, judging and organizations related to beer. Essentially, all things “beer.”

©Copyright 2010
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved

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