Sunday 4 November 2018

What, no beer!

While beer wasn’t officially rationed during WW I, it was in short supply, especially during the later years. Which meant it was effectively rationed by breweries. They would limit the amount supplied to each public house. Pubs often ran out of beer.

Not a great situation either for drinkers or publicans. This passage makes that very clear:

The little bye-path inns on the outskirts of London, where prior to the war the casual pedestrian from the metropolis found solace and refreshment, are having a very bad time in these days when beer is hard to buy, and most of the wayfarers are foot-slogging elsewhere in khaki. To-day, in a well-inned area within easy tramp of a bus route terminus, I found a state of things that must bring sorrow to the heart of every lover of the quiet countryside round London. Some my favourite hostelries had put their shutters up for good, and not one of those that remained but had on the door of the parlour bar, where of old the good brown ale used to be found, a pathetic little notice with the legend "No beer." Mine hostess of a favourite inn declared that she had been allowed a scrimpy 18 gallons in month, "and how far do they think that will go, sir," she exclaimed indignantly, "with a sun that would melt you to a greasedrop, and the second hay making season its height?" After a pause she added, "Not that haymaking makes so much difference — it's all being done by German prisoners. Perhaps you Western Daily Press - Tuesday 13 August 1918, page 3.have seen them, sir?" I had, and very lazy and un-British lot of men they seemed to be."

Even in in a quiet pub, 18 gallons would only be enough for a couple of days. For a month, it works out to slightly less than five pints a day. Enough for a boozy lunch for one customer.

1 comment:

InSearchOfKnowledge said...

Bobbejaan Schoepen: "Café zonder bier"