FAQ: How Did They Keep Beer Cold In The Old Days?

Some parts of the West had cold beer. Ice plants began cropping up in Western towns as early as the 1870s. Before then, brewers cut ice from frozen rivers in the winter and stored it underground during the summer to keep the brew cool. Beer was not bottled widely until pasteurization came in 1873.

How did they keep drinks cold in the 1800s?

Up in your part of the country, they’d harvest ice from the rivers in the winter time and store it in caves or rock cellars. It would usually last most of the summer. Down in Arizona, you’d see signs in front of saloons saying “Cool Beer,” not “Cold Beer.” Wet gunny sacks and sawdust would keep the beer fairly cool.

Did cowboys drink warm beer?

Beer was not as common as whiskey, yet there were those that drank it. Since pasteurization was not invented yet, a cowboy had to take his beer warm and drink it quick. If not, the beer would get warmer and go flat. Whiskey kept its taste and potency no matter the temperature.

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How was beer stored in the Old West?

Beer was often served at room temperature since refrigeration was mostly unavailable. Adolphus Busch introduced refrigeration and pasteurization of beer in 1880 with his Budweiser brand. Some saloons kept the beer in kegs stored on racks inside the saloon. Some saloons made their own beer.

How did they keep meat before refrigeration?

During the Middle Ages, people preserved meat by salting or smoking it. They would also dry many foods, including grains. Vegetables were often salted or pickled. Many fruits were dried or turned in preserves.

How did they keep beer cold in saloons?

Some parts of the West had cold beer. Ice plants began cropping up in Western towns as early as the 1870s. Before then, brewers cut ice from frozen rivers in the winter and stored it underground during the summer to keep the brew cool.

Did Cowboys really drink that much whiskey?

Cowboys never had a reputation for being very sophisticated connoisseurs. The whiskey they drank was simply fuel for the saloons’ many other pastimes, whatever those happened to be. Quality and flavor among whiskies in the late 1800s varied widely.

Why did saloons have batwing doors?

As for Hollywood’s depiction of saloon doors, set designers for Westerns made the batwing doors smaller than would be typically used in real life —likely in order to make heroes like John Wayne or Gary Cooper look larger and that much more imposing when they burst into the room searching for the yellow-bellied swamp rat

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Did cowboys wear socks?

Cowboys were wearing socks when they first became cowboys. For a cowboy, socks are important for preventing chaffing from his boots, as well as serving as insulation in cold weather and absorbing perspiration in warm weather.

Did they really drink that much in the Old West?

Rather, as historian W.J. Rorabaugh wrote in his research on American alcohol consumption for The OAH Magazine of History: By 1700, the colonists drank fermented peach juice, hard apple cider, and rum, which they imported from the West Indies or distilled from West Indian molasses.

How much did a beer cost in the Old West?

Saloons were a cheap form of entertainment. A glass of beer cost 5 cents, a shot of whiskey 25 cents (two bits) and a premium cigar another 5 cents.

What did a saloon girl do?

A saloon or dancehall girl’s job was to brighten the evenings of the many lonely men of the western towns. Starved for female companionship, the saloon girl would sing for the men, dance with them, and talk to them – inducing them to remain in the bar, buying drinks and patronizing the games.

How did they keep food cold in the 1500s?

In castles and large homes with cellars, an underground room could be used to keep foods packed in winter ice through the cooler spring months and into the summer. More common was the use of underground rooms to keep foods cool, the all-important last step of most of the above preservation methods.

How did they keep meat from spoiling without refrigeration?

The process involves salting the meat. Salt draws out all of the moisture in the meat which keeps the bugs off of it, and prevents it from spoiling immediately.

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What was life like before the refrigerator?

Community cooling houses were an integral part of many villages to keep meat, fruit and vegetables stored. At various points in time ice houses were built often underground or as insulated buildings – these were used to store ice and snow sourced during winter, to keep foods cold during the warmer months.

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