July 24, 1487

On July 24, 1487, the citizens of Leeuwarden, Netherlands proved to the world that they had their priorities right. Prior to July 24, the aldermen of Leeuwarden had banned the sale of any beer not brewed in Leeuwarden, which included the higher quality and better tasting beer brewed in Haarlem. Why? Because the Leeuwarden brewmasters had a very strong guild and were able to force through the ban to pad their profits. One innkeeper in Leeuwarden kept selling the better Haarlem beer and when the police came by to confiscate the illegal brew, a fight broke out. The “Give me better beer” protesters fled to Pieter Cammingha’s house where they holed up while Cammingha’s brother went to the surrounding towns and gathered an army of  8,000 “Give me better beer” people. This army marched on Leeuwarden and demanded that Haarlem beer be sold and free trade. Their demands were turned down and the army promptly sacked the city. Soon afterwards the ban on “Better Beer” was lifted.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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