"They have not sold fermented hops"

"I THINK it absurd to make it an objection to brewers that they sell beer. My only objection to many brewers is that they don't. Having sampled the stuff they do sell in a large number of their tied houses, I have come to the conclusion that the brewers must have an even more passionate and mystical objection to the substance called beer than the teetotalers. Perhaps it is a part of some secret religious scruple of theirs that whatever they have sold, at least they have not sold fermented hops; or, as some call it, 'the accursed thing.' I can imagine some modern brewers defending themselves with passion at some great bar of judgment, and saying, 'We defy you to find so much as a trace of the abominable thing called beer in the liquor which we have sold. Vinegar you may find, salt, methylated spirit, innocent mud, blameless backing, glue, gunpowder ─ a thousand other harmless things, but beer ─ no ─ it is a slander.' "

~G.K. Chesterton: Illustrated London News, Oct. 12, 1907.