17 Oct: The Exploding Tank of Beer

The London Beer Flood, which created a 15ft-high wave of booze, and claimed the lives of eight people, began on 17th October, 1814 – when an iron hoop came loose on a giant barrel at Meux’s famous Horse Shoe Brewery.

The barrel, in which over a million pints of fermenting porter were brewing, exploded – triggering a chain reaction that effectively blew up the factory and caused bricks to rain down over a nearby slum area.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly revisit the only surviving eyewitness account of the tragedy; explain how Daddy issues might have caused Meux to construct such giant barrels of beer in the first place; and weigh up whether anyone made merry with the opportunities offered by a cascading river of ale…  

Further Reading:

• ‘This 1814 Beer Flood Killed Eight People’ (Smithsonian Magazine, 2017): https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/1814-beer-flood-killed-eight-people-180964256/

• ‘The Lost Beers & Breweries of Britain by Brian Glover’ (Amberley Publishing, 2012): https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_Lost_Beers_Breweries_of_Britain/R1GoAwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=horseshoe+brewery&pg=PA49-IA44&printsec=frontcover

• ‘Strange Stories: The London Beer Flood of 1814’ (Simple History, 2020):

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