An unusual Job Position in 14th Century AD Medieval England – The Ale Conner also was presented with a very dangerous one. The Position was appointed by the previously discussed Leet Court (those Legal Jurisdictions which established and passed a variety of Lower Governmental Laws and most often enforced them through fine or other Punishments).
Unlike Germany, England in the 14th Century had not ''Purity Laws'' in Brewery Production of Ales, Stouts and related Beers. Often, much was poorly or improperly made, stored and sold. Often, batches could kill if consumed. It was therefore the job of The Ale Conner to ''test'' various samples from various Inns, Taverns and Pubs within His jurisdiction.
Tasting such (if He survived the ordeal), would allow The Conner to report His findings to The Leet Court. A ''passing grade'' gave prestige to an Inn. The opposite (bad beer and ale), could result in losing an Inn and even imprisonment. Most Ale Conners were often bribed or offered other gifts to pass a Tavern. Obviously, if He was found out......
Another unusual custom in some portions of England, involves the Leather Trousers worn as part of the traditional uniform of an Ale Conner. To further test the ''stoutness'' of an Ale sold, a sample was poured onto the ''backsides'' of The Conner's trousers. He would next quickly take a ''soggy seat'' on a wooden stool (normally for 3 to 5-minutes). When The Conner stood, should His Trousers ''stick'' to The stool, it was a ''passable Ale''. If not, it was considered ''poor''.
The Custom is still practiced (as a ceremonial ''joke'') in some Inns and Taverns even today (seasonally).