Beer in wooden casks
In early times all beer was transported in wood. The wood, oak, pine or possibly alder wood, influenced the taste after a while. In the book 'Englands improvement' from 1677 the making of 'Brunswick Mum' in England is being analyzed. The author states it has been tried before but always with disappointing results and it can only be because of transport that the original Mum tastes better.
Englands improvement by sea and land to out-do the Dutch without fighting 1677
Andrew Yarranton, the author of this work, had been a captain in the English army and writes the 'Dutch' can't be overcome by force. It's better to beat them economically. Yarranton was an amazing chap, spent time in jail because of his political preferences and later acquired fame improving the navigability of rivers.
(I and others dated the work 1677 but there should be an earlier copy because it is mentioned in an earlier book. The diary of Samuel Pepys, Henry Benjamin Wheatley 1664 p.119)
The English are busy trying to copy a heavy, dark and durable hanseatic beer before the English Porter, but are not yet satisfied with the results.
Beer is getting better by transporting it in wooden casks
Not just the barrel delivers a better taste, there is now room for the somewhat sweet Mum to re-ferment in the barrel, which means less sweetness and more alcohol. In the book below it says that the Mum is better and healthier in the East. Drawback is it is incredibly expensive…
A Collection of Voyages and Travels 1704 p.660
The author of the citation below, Peter Kolbe, also mentions beer and wine getting better by being transported to the East.
'...zoo als hier in Europa door het vervoeren van diergelyke waren geƒchied, veel beter, als zy voorheen geweeƒt zyn; gelyk dan bier en wyn, welke men naar Ooƒt-Indie voert, klaarder en veel ƒchoonder en helderder van verƒ zyn, als ze hier ooyt zouden zyn.'
'…as happens here in Europe transporting these goods, much better, as they were before; both beer and wine, taken to the East, brighter and much prettier and clearer versed, than they'd be here.'
Naauwkeurige beschryving van de Kaap de Goede Hoop 1727
Again later in time we find a story about the positive effects of storing beer in different kinds of casks. This time it's about beer in wine barrels and the like, especially to gain a better taste.
Algemeen huishoudelijk-, natuur-, zedekundig-, en konst- woordenboek 1778
'you will get a very tasty and delicious beer'
All in all enough reason to try a barrel aged beer. In the old days they were very much appreciated anyway.
Algemeen huishoudelijk-, natuur-, zedekundig-, en konst- woordenboek: M-O
Joh. le Mair, 1778
waar bij aanmerkelijk is, dat dit bier onderweg eenige reizen verandert en zuur werd, voornamelijk als het de Linie passeert, en evenwel in Oost-Indiën koomende, zijn goede smaak en aangenaamheid wederom verkrijgt, ja men zegt, dat het door deeze lange reize en verandering nog aangenamer en sterker word
remarkable is, that this beer, while it is underway, changes and becomes sourish, especially when it crosses the equator, but upon arrival in East-India, regains its good taste and appeal, yes it is said, through this voyage it gets even better and stronger than before
Ueber das Bierbraurecht in Baiern
Franz Xaver ¬von Moshamm
Die Braunschweigische Mumme
ein bessern Geschmack, als vorhin
send to East-India... a better taste than before...
Beer in wooden casks