26 days of beer

Q is for quarter

Devoting one blog post a day to a different letter in the Oxford Companion to Beer has its drawbacks.

Yes, Q is for quarter. But not this sort of quarter.

Yes, Q is for quarter. But not this sort of quarter.

The biggest one is when you hit one of those high-scoring letters in Scrabble like Q or X. There’s a reason they’re worth so much – because hardly anything starts with them. The Q section of the OCB has exactly two entries, neither of which are really exciting. It was a choice between ‘‘quality control and assurance’’ and ‘‘quarter’’. While quality control is quite important, it’s also quite dull, so quarter it is. Even though it’s still pretty dull itself.

A quarter is an old measure applied to English barley. Still in use today, apparently, it’s the standard measure for barley as bought by a maltster and it equates to 448lbs (or 203kg in the superior metric system). But that weight changes as the malt is dried even though it’s still referred to as ‘‘a quarter’’.

Which is just a bit confusing. And also a tad dull, if you ask me.

What’s the go here?: For those who have just stumbled across this post, I’m going through the Oxford Companion to Beer (OCB) and posting an entry for every letter. Why? Because I have a copy at home but hadn’t really gone through it page by page and I figured this would be an exercise that would force me to do that.

Categories: 26 days of beer, book, news

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