Tag Archives: Bars

Illinois: A 277% Upgrade

To this day I remember the awe in which I found myself when I moved to Illinois 10 years ago. “People here drink so much,” I thought to myself, “I love it!”

I confirmed my observations when I discovered a fun bars per capita statistic. When you compare the number of bars to the number of people in a given state you can draw some conclusions about how much public drinking people do there.

According to this chart I moved from 36th to 13th, and I believe this helps explain why I remained in Illinois, even though I finished school 6 years ago.

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Where did Americans Drink Before We Built Bars?

Have you ever happened upon a small bar that looked like it had originally been someone’s house? Originally, this was common place.

Before the Revolutionary War bars & taverns were convered from homes. It was not until after the war that buildings were built to be bars from the get-go.

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Guard Yourself Against Counterfeit Wine

In restaurants and wine bars after someone orders a whole bottle of wine a fair amount of pomp and circumstance follows. If by first hand or from a nearby table you have ever been privy to this show, when well done it makes for quite a tantalizing prelude to enjoying a wine.

For the second step of the process the waiter opens the bottle, removes the cork from their wine key, and presents it to whomever ordered said bottle. This actually allows the guest to confirm that the labelling on the cork matches the label on the bottle—which should all line up with the taste of the wine.

Be it a gaggle of dastardly servers thirsty for high end wine on the cheap, or a high end criminal meticulously crafting a false label, there are multiple ways of counterfeiting wine.

For the easiest method one simply opens a bottle of nice wine, drinks it, then refills it with swill & jams the cork back into the bottle. More impressively, dark artists will remove the label of a cheap wine before fastidiously duplicating and applying the label of an expensive wine.

To the astute and experienced wine consumer inspecting the printing on the cork along with sampling the wine guards against paying for counterfeit wine.

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Sumerian Beer Laws + Capital Punishment

In the history of human drinking only relatively recently have bars existed independent of hotels. In Ancient Sumeria inns were the only establishments that served booze.

According to the Hammurabi Code innkeepers were held to a very strict set of laws. For instance, the punishment for accepting money instead of corn at a price less than the value of corn-payment resulted was death.

Also, innkeepers who did not capture & deliver conspirators to the king would be drowned in their own beer.

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Bars Aplenty

In colonial America bars & taverns were a prominent part of everyday lifestyle. More than merely a place to get drunk they served the roles for which today we turn to hotels, voting places, where to get the news, and facebook.

In 1686 Boston boasted over 4,000 residents, and had 1 bar for every 20 adult males. That would be like having 3,236 bars in the Urbana-Champaign region.