beer and food Beer history quotes

Carter’s Lunch, Manchester, c.1904

“Our local carters working the [Manchester] warehouses seldom took food with them. Public houses, avid for trade, put on some kind of a free snack with their 1½d ‘carters’ pints’. Certain pubs went further and supplied potato pie, cheese and pickles, a pint of beer and a piece of thick twist tobacco — all for 4½d. A carter had to prove his bona fides, though, by bearing a whip in hand or around his neck.”

Robert Roberts, The Classic Slum: Salford life in the first quarter of the century, Penguin, 1971, repr. 1974.

Beer history pubs quotes

Ghissile is Arf of Ale

“Ghissarf,” said another customer.

“What the hell’s that?” I laughed.

The barman translated.

“Half o’ bitter.”

“Oh…? How do you know he doesn’t want ale?”

“He’d have said ‘ghissile’ if he wanted ‘arf o’ ale,” smiled the barman. “‘Ghissarf’ means ‘arf o’ bitter.”

“I see. And suppose he wanted a pint of bitter?”

“Then he’d say ‘Pinta bi’er’, o’ course. If he wanted a pint of ale he’d say ‘Pint’. ‘Ghissile’ is arf of ale, and ‘ghissarf’ is ‘arf o’ bitter.”

From We Keep A Pub by Tom Berkley, 1955.

Beer history Germany quotes

Capacious Bavarian Beer Bellies, 1873

“In South Germany Bavaria takes the lead. Perhaps it is the greatest beer-consuming nation that exists. They drink at all times and in great quantities and always the pretty strong drink known as Bavarian beer. Glass after glass disappears down their large throats into a most capacious stomach, and they always get the ‘drier wi’ the drinking o’t’…  [We] have never met a Bavarian yet who was content with less than three glasses of his own stronger quality, and women and children are alike good and brave drinkers.”

‘The Consumption of Beer in Germany’, Brewers’ Guardian, 14 January 1873, p7.

beer in fiction / tv quotes

Six Pints for Less Than a Fiver, 1978

From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (radio version, 1978):

Six pints of bitter and quickly, please. The world’s about to end.

There you are sir — six pints.

Keep the change.

What from a fiver? Thank you, sir!

Beer history pubs quotes

The Decline of Mild

“I think that lighter beers… people used to drink with their eyes — if one person lifted a pint and looked through it, everybody did. Another stepping stone was the introduction of lager. When we talk about mild drinkers, they’re probably the lager drinkers now. Didn’t like bitter beer, enjoyed the mild beer, and now gone on to lager.”

Don Nixon, pub landlord 1960-1989, in Public Houses, Private Livesan oral history of Life in York pubs in the mid-20th century. (With some corrections to punctuation.)