8
Jul 04

Meaux’s Horse Shoe Brewery tragedy of October 1814

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 389 views

Meaux’s Horse Shoe Brewery tragedy of October 1814
(sorry it’s not about breakfast)

As promised, further info on death by beer…

“The brewery’s vat, which stood on the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street, held over a million pints of porter. It was made of wood and held together by twenty-nine gigantic iron hoops. One day a workman noticed a crack in one of the hoops. As each hoop weighed over 500 pounds he thought a little crack was nothing to worry about, and he forgot about it. A few hours later there was an explosion so loud it was heard five miles away. The vat had burst, and the force of the jet stream of beer crushed the second vat. This meant that more beer than you can possibly imagine jetted out under very high pressure. The twenty-five foot high, one foot thick, solid brick wall of the brewery stood no chance. It was flattened and a tidal wave of beer raged into the surrounding streets.
The first to die were those drowned by the initial wave. Others were crushed to death in the stampede as they threw themselves into the gutters to drink as much free beer as they were physically able, hampering any hope of rescue for those trapped in the rubble. Some of those who survived the crush subsequently died of alcohol poisoning.

From Man Walks into a Pub by Pete Brown, which comes highly recommended.

Further details here (scroll down to p372).

So the next time you’re browsing through Virgin’s sale racks (or, heaven forbid, having a pint in the Tottenham), think of the MILLION GALLONS OF BEER that was once made there.

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