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Published on December 8th, 2015 | by Alastair Gilmour

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New brew has coffee ancestry

Wylam Brewery has launched a vegan-friendly beer with a whole history of drinking to its name. Slaughterhouse Stout (8.8% abv) is named after a coffee house in St Martin’s Lane in London called Old Slaughters. Opened in 1692 to cater for a new craze for coffee, it was where the capital’s leading intellectuals, dandies and artists would collect to experience its stimulating qualities. The likes of Hogarth, Gainsborough, Kent and Roubilac would be seen regularly in attendance. Water in those days was unfit to drink unless it was boiled – and if it was boiled you might as well make beer out of it, or this fashionable coffee stuff.

Coffee Houses were seen as more civilised than taverns; places where men could converse in male company (women were not allowed) and where great debate and business could be sparked. But to ensure its clientele was duly entertained, Old Slaughters developed The Club of Slaughters, an exclusive clique who were afforded access to a secret room. What went on there we might never know, but it might even have been vegan.


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Alastair Gilmour



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