Clean Your Newborns with Beer

BENDER (singing) Hush little brewsky don’t you leak. Daddy wants to drink for at least a week.  Oh my God! I think it’s time!Bender's Beer Baby

Once upon a time or- so the story goes-  in Colonial America, alewives would brew a special beer called “Groaning Ale”. The alewife would make a high ABV ale about 7 to 8 months before hand and store it until the big day when the mother would go into labor. The ale would then be tapped and shared among everyone that was present, including the mother to be and the midwife. After the baby was born they would wash the newborn in the groaning ale. Most likely because beer was cleaner than water.

You might be asking yourself, is “Groaning Ale” just a myth or is it true? Like many stories  handed down through the ages there is both truth and myth. But I say who cares it is a great story. It was true that beer was cleaner than water so they might have cleaned their baby in beer. I do wonder about the ale being brewed 7 to 8 months before the child was expected.

Unfortunately, they don’t allow beer in the delivery room. Since my wife is pregnant this affects me. I admit that I am skittish when it comes to listening to labor stories or anything medical so I am not sure how I will get through actually being in the delivery room. A strong ale could help me get through it. I would rather side with caution and not dunk our baby in a Strong Scotch Ale which is the beer style I picture them using back in the early 19th century. Besides water is a better choice for cleaning babies in now. 

3 thoughts on “Clean Your Newborns with Beer

  1. I’ve heard of strong birthing ale before, but never looked too deep into it. Wouldn’t the baby come out all sticky if you washed it with beer?

    My wife is about 39 weeks pregnant right now with our third child, and I’ve got plenty of birthing ale candidates, should it come to that. After two hospital births, we’re going hippie and doing a homebirth this time, so nobody can stop me from downing the suds (except for maybe my wife). I also wouldn’t want the midwife drinking strong ale throughout labor. What if it was a long ten hour labor? Everyone would be hammered by the end.

    By the way, congrats on the pregnancy. But the “smell of what anyone else is drinking” was a dead giveaway weeks ago. I am not the best with medical situations, either, but it’s worth it to have a baby.

  2. Pingback: Brewing for Baby | Michigan Beer Buzz

  3. Pingback: Summer’s Last Hurrah | Michigan Beer Buzz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *