Thursday 19 December 2019

Christmas Beer Will Be Rationed This Year

More about beer at Christmas in wartime. Just to get you in the mood for this year's Drinkalongathon.

First, a warning about a likely shortage of beer over the holidays:

"Christmas Beer Will Be Rationed This Year
WHILE festive drinks will remain "rationed" during the Christmas season, some of the brewery firms hope to maintain their present supplies.

The position was summarised to-day by a brewery official, who said : We are circularising our customers that no extra ration of beer, draught or bottle, will be supplied this Christmas.”

Another firm stated that it was the Government's desire that beer supnlies should be maintained. although breweries were rationed in materials and there was an acute shortage of labour."
Manchester Evening News - Tuesday 02 December 1941, page 4.

There's a reason why rationed is in inverted commas. Because alcoholic drinks were never officially rationed. At times there may not have been enough to go around, but it was first come first served. Unless the publican decided to limit how much beer each customer sould have. Or simply refuse to serve non-regulars. Breweries rationed the amount of beer each pub received, based on their pre-war sales.

It really pissed off the temperance twats that things like sugar and tea were rationed but beer wasn't. They pulled their usually crap about "destroying food" until Churchill told them to shut up.

On the other hand, the lucky old folks of Alphington were getting a free Christmas pint:

Old Folks Of Alphington Have Their "Free Pint" Elderly residents in the village Alphington, on the outskirts of Exeter, yesterday drank to the memory of Mr. John Courtenay Bonus, who, the son of a one-time Plymouth clergyman, lived at Alphington, and died about five years ago.

Under his will Mr. Bonus left £200 for investment in Government stock, the interest to be devoted to providing at Christmas a pint of free beer, stout, or cider to "poor persons of good character" aged 60 years and over who had been residents Alphington for at least five years.

In spite of restrictions, sufficient supplies were available yesterday to meet the terms of the bequest Stout was first favourite, followed by beer and cider.
Western Morning News - Tuesday 23 December 1941, page 5.

Interesting that Stout was the favourite choice. Was that because it was stronger? Or was Stout a drink preferred by oldies?

No comments: