IF you had been alive and aware on Oct 17, 1814, and IF you happened to have found yourself in England, and IF by chance you were wandering around London (more specifically the parish of St. Giles), you might have witnessed the London Beer Flood. I kid you not.
On October 17, 1814, an enormous (and by enormous I mean 610,000 liters) vat full of beer broke. This in and of itself would have been sad and tragic. However, in the tradition of beer-related chain reaction events, other vats collapsed under the onslaught of beer and breakage, and almost a million and a half liters (1,470,000 liters to be more specific) burst their containers and erupted into the surrounding area.
The alcoholic tsunami wiped away two homes, washed out the wall of the Tavistock Arms Pub, swamped several streets, filled several basements and first floor rooms, interrupted a wake, and then set up a fuss because the international media didn’t interrupt coverage of the events of the day to set up 24 hour reports.
Rock and Roll artists didn’t even hold a fundraiser for the beer-diseased and displaced. All in all, the tsunami thought it was severely underrepresented.
Eight people died in the flood (none of them were college students who would have known how to drink their way out of beer-flooded environments).
The brewery was sued over the accident, but the judge and jury (who were plied heavily with the product in question) remained sober just long enough to rule the disaster an Act of God. God never weighed in on the decision, but hinted strongly in tabloids that there was human corruption and neglect involved. Since it was 1814, and since this was a really poor part of town, no one looked into the incident to carefully until recently when the beer tsunami memoires surfaced and we learned just how upset a tsunami can be.