Ale and Leather. . . Let ‘s Drink to it.

If you sailed from England to the New World in the 1630s, before the age of coffee or tea, your beverage of choice would be cider or ale.  No one trusted the purity of onboard water. On the ship your drink would not be served in a fancy cut-glass tankard or an ornate-leaded vessel. It probably wouldn’t be made of clay, bronze, or a ram’s horn.


However you most likely would enjoy your drink from a handsomely made leather tankard. The quality of leather would match what we use for saddles, and it would be finely stitched. Inside, waterproofing would have been applied using pitch.

In the above photo (inside a reconstructed 1630s ship) wooden bowls and food plates sit next to more leather tankards. Most Europeans during these times ate with their fingers, spoons, and knives. Forks appeared in the 4th century but were largely unknown until hundreds of years later in Europe around the 18th century. Colonial America did not use forks until after the American Revolution. Starting with the 5th century and moving forward in time, people drank from clay goblets, Saxon decorated ram’s horns,  bronze,  brass, and pewter vessels. We all know about the lead goblets with the craziness that ensued in Rome. Perhaps Rome would not have burned if they had drank  not from lead, but from leather.

Now you’ll want your very own leather tankard. I found a link where you can buy one for £600:



About Char of inkydancestudios

Writer by nature and for the soul. Educator for life. Artist for love. Passion: All things good and true.
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