The London Beer Flood

You know that feeling you get when you see the tragedy of spilled beer, then spare a thought for the citizens of London in 1814 where over a million litres of beer swept away, with disastrous effect.

Horse Shoe Brewery in Tottenham Court Road, 1830

Horse Shoe Brewery in Tottenham Court Road, 1830

One afternoon at the Horseshoe Brewery in Camden, one of the beer vat's ruptured, which led to the rupturing of the other vat's by domino effect, sending a tidal wave of 1.4 million litres of beer 15 feet high into the streets of London. The wave of beer proved devastating killing eight people and destroying several homes and the wall of the nearby tavern in the process.

The beer devastated the nearby slum of St Giles Rookery, where people scrambled upon furniture to survive,  a mother and her daughter were swept away by the beer, where people were gathering for her son's wake.

The incident led to people paying to see the destroyed vat in the days following, with hundreds in attendance.

The brewery owners were taken to court as a result of the incident, however the court determined that it was an 'Act of God', the brewers didn’t have to pay any of the victims, and even received a tax excise waiver from parliament for the lost beer.

It was estimated that over 8,000 barrels of beer were lost in the incident.