Repeal Era Beer Propaganda Cartoons
Notice the phrase "Legend Holds." They also didn't "cut
short" their voyage to Virginia; they were lost.
As noted earlier, the original group of Pilgrims found
the water in New England quite drinkable, so the
idea that newcomers needed to harden their bodies
to the drinking of fresh and pure water is nonsense.

Letters sent back to England, however, were filled
with a little bit too much enticing puffery on life in
New England. On one hand, there was a need to
convince investors back in London that things were
going well and a return on their stake would soon be
forthcoming. The boasting, however, of a land of
milk and honey, was causing problems for the
communal nature of the existence in the New World
of the original settlers. As a result, new settlers
were arriving with nothing more than the shirts on
their backs, and this was causing a strain on the
"Originals," who had worked so hard to get to
where they were.

What was truly needed was new blood that would
come fully prepared, bringing with them tools to
build their houses, farming implements, and a
sufficient inventory of food and drink (including
beer) to hold them over until they could establish
themselves. The "Originals" had experienced the
results of their own naiveté and needed new settlers
who were ready to hit the ground running, not a
bunch of freeloaders.

Beer & Food: An American History;

"Securing room for large amounts of beer on board
[new ships], along with necessary foodstuffs,
tools, and other provisions and supplies for the
survival of the struggling Virginia colonists, was
starting to prove an unprofitable drain on the
interests of the Virginia Company. This financial
encumbrance was heightened by management’s
growing realization that the colonists’ efforts in the
New World were becoming less than industrious,
eventually charging that the settlers had become
“an idle crue.”

Hearing the exaggerated claims of well-being
boasted by Captain Thorpe and others in their
reports back to London, new settlers were arriving
in the Virginia settlement “without victuals,”
assuming that they were headed to the land of
milk and honey—with a generous side order of
corn-brewed beer also at hand. But after the new
recruits discovered that the glowing praise and
easy life of everyday Virginia, described in the
company’s advertising literature back home, was
not as portrayed, some of these newest settlers
resorted to stealing the colony’s meager supply of
tools and equipment. These pilfered items weren’t
used to build shelters or till a plot of vegetables, but
instead became bartering chips traded with
arriving sailors for a portion of their ship’s Beere
supply and other foodstuff provisions.

An idle crue, indeed."