You know the story. Brewers in the exotic Highlands of Scotland using peat to kiln their malt. I've never believed a word of it. People mixing up whisky and beer. Fun in a glass, annoying on the page.
It wasn't just for your amusement and delight that I compiled that map of Scottish breweries in 1837. I wanted to get a feel for where Scottish breweries were locates and concentrated. It worked even better than I had anticipated. The picture is unmistakable.
Guess where this is going? I quickly searched the web for two companion maps. One showing the distribution of peat in Scotland, the other showing the coalfields. Looking at the three maps together is very revealing
Do you see what I mean? The vast majority of breweries are in areas where there's little or no peat. But slap on top of Scotland's coal fields.
Why the hell would they drag bulky, soggy, stinky peat into central Scotland when there was all that coal?
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