Cardinal Wolsey did not drink bottled beer. Why? Because he had been dead for 39 years when Dr Alexander Nowell, Dean of St Paul's is reputed to have discovered the benefits of bottled beer by accident.
According the the History of the Pint,
the Dean had decanted some beer into a bottle for a fishing expedition in 1568. He lost a bottle in the grass and, "when he came upon it again quite by chance a few days later, found it was still perfectly drinkable".
The Mary Rose website discusses the importance of copious supplies of beer to the Tudor navy : seven gallons per man was the norm.
Some interesting"annotations" on the subject of beer in the 17th century have been contributed by readers of the Samuel Pepys Diary blog . Pepys himself records the unfortunate consequences of drinking bad beer in the diary...
"Drinking of cold small beer here I fell ill, and was forced to go out and vomit, and so was well again and went home by and by to bed."(16 March, 1662).
["Small beer" was lower in alcohol than "Strong beer", and so more liable to contamination! ]