Sunday, 24 June 2012

Soldiers drinking

Jesskidden very kindly sent me some photos culled from the US Brewers' Association Year Book for 1915. Photos of soldiers - British and German - drinking beer.

It's all a bit odd because they bear no relationship to any of the articles in the book. I suppose they were making some sort of anti-prohibition point.

Here's one:

I was able to pick up a few things from the picture. First off, I can see "AFX" written on one of the barrels facing the camera. I think I can guess what that stands for: Armed Forces X. Or Mild specially brewed for the military. The casks side on to the camera look like barrels, the ones facing the camera kilderkins.

Then there's the beer itself. Despite being in a tiny glass it looks pitch black. My guess is that it's Porter or Stout. As we've already learned, there was a long tradition of Porter following the British army around the world. And though it wasn't as popular as it had been in the 19th century, there was still plenty of Porter drunk in London.

On a non beer-related matter, the soldier on the left looks like he's got goggles pushed up on his hat. Motor cyclist, perhaps?


Lady Luck Brewing said...

Why are British and German drinking beer together?

Ron Pattinson said...

They aren't. They're British soldiers.

Martyn Cornell said...

The one seen in the centre appears to be wearing a US Army-style "Campaign hat" (ie "Smokey the Bear" hat), which would be odd, of course, as the US didn't enter the war for another two years.

Lady Luck Brewing said...

That makes more sense. I took your comment wrong about the German soldiers.

Gary Gillman said...

Maybe the U.S. had advisors over there before 1917..?

More likely I think the soldier is with an Empire unit, perhaps a Canadian or NZ force.

The "gullied" cloth hat is familiar to Canadians via the Mounties (federal mounted police corps). It was used I believe by the Canadian army too or parts of it in WW I and Wikipedia states that some NZ units also used it, so that could explain the photo as well.

The Australians and some British Indian army regiments used a cloth hat too but I don't think that's the one pictured, the brim and crown suggest the Campaign Hat, IMO.