I’ve recently been re-reading The Brewing Industry 1950-1990 by Anthony Avis, a fascinating memoir to which I will devote a longer blogpost over the new few days. However, I was struck by these comments relating to beerhouses, that is drinking places with a beer-only licence, which the pub-owning brewers were striving to eliminate in the 1950s, and which had pretty much all disappeared by the end of the 1960s. They were:
...small homely places where the working man could take his ease and drink his honest ale in the company of his friends and neighbours...Now this strikes me as, in several respects, remarkably similar to present-day micropubs, especially those closely following the authentic Herne model.
...These outlets were small, usually the front rooms of private dwellinghouses, the beer often brewed on the premises, and many were run by women. They attracted a class of custom which liked ale to the exclusion of spirit, and consumed it in moderate quantity; they were places for the married workingman to escape to, and they tended to be men only establishments by custom...
...they often had primitive toilets, no proper beer cellars, no bar counters, and no proper washing up facilities.