While this may raise an eyebrow today, in the 1600’s it was not uncommon for people to drink beer with every meal. It is often mentioned that even children would drink beer, and while this is true, the strength of the beer that they drank would not have been on par with what adults were drinking. It wasn’t alcoholic enough for them to become intoxicated, but provided them with necessary calories. In those days, polluted water in England caused such a distrust of water in general that the water in newly-colonized America wasn’t trusted either.
According to Penn’s own letters, there was a Brew House here at Pennsbury Manor, and he wrote that they made beer, cider, and perry (a pear cider), all with an alcohol content. While we don’t know how much they brewed here, it probably was a fair amount and was mostly for the workers. Penn also bought beer from brewers in Philadelphia, which would have been for his table and to serve to guests.
Today, the recreated Pennsbury Manor, has a Brew Room inside the Kitchen House where we demonstrate the 17th century beer brewing process. Each month April through October we offer a beer brewing demonstration and focus on a different type of beer. Come out and watch as they discuss what they have brewin’. Make sure you wander into the Kitchen Garden to see our own hops plants growing along the Hops Wall. Check out the Calendar of Events for details.
On June 20th from 4 – 8 pm we will be holding our 3rd Annual Brews & Bites. Come out and Tap Into History and spend the day along the river at the 43-acre country estate. Enjoy beer, food, music, a 17th century beer brewing demonstration, and meet our own William Penn. For details please visit our website.