Friday, 20 March 2009

Have you been sucking the monkey again?

Informative beer blogger Zythophile has recently posted on the difference between porter and stout (nothing in case you're wondering). Part of the evidence he's gathered comes from a court case reported in the Times in 1803 when an ordered barrel of beer (described as both fine old porter and excellent brown stout) was found to be empty on arrival. Apparently someone had been 'sucking the monkey' and had surreptitiously drained the cask. Further research shows the term comes from sailors using straws to sneak booze out of the grog barrel. It's sad to see that an excellent phrase such as this has fallen into disuse so I'll be doing my best to re-introduce it to the English language at the earliest opportunity. 

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