Senator Schumer is launching an “I love NY brew” campaign. Great! Of course, the alliance of beer and politics goes back centuries.*
All over northern Europe, city hall chambers upstairs have a barrel-vaulted basements devoted to refreshments. After all, the cellar had good constant temperatures–perfect for storing beer–and other things. The other typical use for city hall basement was the jail.
All over the German-speaking world, the “Keller” (cellar) below the “Ratskammer” (council chambers) is the “Rat(h)skeller.” In Dutch and Flemish, it is the “raadskelder,” and so on.
In fact, in lots of smaller cities throughout northern Europe, these city hall basements now house fancy restaurants, presumably paying a nice rent back to the city.
*We are NOT saying the Senator is proposing we all start to brew craft beer in our city hall basements! But, as long as it has worked so well on the other side of the pond, why rule it out?
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