Yesterday, October 17th, was the 200th anniversary of the London Beer Flood. It sounded humorous and I chuckled so I thought it would be a good subject for a random act of googling! But it turns out to be more of a tragedy than a comedy.
A London brewery, the Horse Shoe Brewery, had an enormous vat that held approximately 160,000 gallons of beer. A metal band snapped causing the vat to burst open. The resulting outpour broke open other vats which resulted in more than 250,000 gallons of beer to flood through the streets of the St. Giles neighborhood. Reports related that a 15-foot tall tidal wave crashed into buildings, knocking down walls and flooding ground floor rooms and cellars. A total of eight people were killed; some drowned, some were slammed into walls, and one was crushed by a collapsed wall.
The Horse Shoe Brewery was cleared of any liability and remained open for more than another hundred years.