Ale-Connor

An official appointed by a manor, borough, or town to assay the quality of ale served within a particular jurisdiction.

Also known as the "Gustator Cervisiae," it was the ale-connor's job to go from ale house to ale house, tasting the beers and certifying them to be of good enough quality to drink. If the ale-connor judged the ale to be undrinkable, he could take the offending brewer to the manor court to make restitution.

According to one possibly apocryphal story, ale-connors wore specially made leather britches and would sometimes test the quality of the beer by pouring some into a puddle on a wooden bench and then sitting in the puddle. If the beer stuck his britches to the bench when he stood up about half an hour later, then it was considered a sign the beer was improperly brewed.

Ale-connors are still a thing - London appoints four ale-connors every year.