Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia 22.81

Ex iisdem fiunt et potus, zythum in Aegypto, caelia et cerea in Hispania, cervesia et plura genera in Gallia aliisque provinciis, quorum omnium spuma cutem feminarum in facie nutrit. Nam quod ad potum ipsum attinet, praestat ad vini transire mentionem . . .

“They make drinks from these very things [i.e. grains]: ‘zythos’ in Egypt, ‘caelia’ and ‘cerea’ in Spain, ‘cervesia’ and many other types in Gaul and the other provinces, and the yeast of all of these nourishes the skin on the faces of women. But with respect to drinks, it is preferable to pass to the mention of wine . . . 


An ancient beer blog requires at least one reference to the eponymous hero of Russian River’s specialty beer line – Pliny the Elder. Unfortunately, Pliny the Elder does not have much to say on the topic of IPAs . . . or beer, in general. At the very least, Pliny’s insights into the beauty regimens of the Gauls likely explains the maintenance of my cherubic, youthful visage. It is too bad that Pliny does not elaborate on the best types of yeast for “women’s skin” – ale yeast? lager yeast? spicy Belgian? wild yeast? Still, it is only a matter of time before the world is blessed with a Mikkeller/L’Oréal collaboration to help us drink our way to good face-hygiene.

New beer collab?

Author Note
Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD)
Naturalist, scientist. Pliny the Elder wrote the behemoth Natural History, an encyclopedia that attempts to chronicle all aspects of the natural world. He died while documenting the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. His nephew, Pliny the Younger, recorded his uncle’s final words: “My name rhymes with ‘tinny,’ not ‘tiny’!!!!!”

Featured Images
Pliny the Elder. Source: © Donald L. Wasson/
Mikkeller Beer & L’Oreal collab. Own work, with remixing of Mikkeller Logo and L’Oréal Logo.


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