Monday 30 July 2007

Beer Floods

PZ Myers has a relatively uncontroversial (for once) post today where he links to this wonderful post on the Great London Beer Flood of 1814. I have had some experience with Beer Floods as some of you may know but for those who don't...

Early on in my professional career when I was working in construction in South Africa I spent some time on a project in a fairly large Brewery. This was waay back in the days when RTE was still showing the Sally O'Brien Harp ads and you absolutely could have fried an egg on the stones there. Anyway on one very hot and unfortunate day I was involved in an incident where we managed to dump a quarter of a million litres* of beer from a tank that we were convinced was empty. It actually made a very pretty fountain as I recall but the passing thoughts of "wow ain't that cool" quickly evaporated as it dawned on the three of us that the incident would probably get us fired. Luckily for us fate intervened for once and we were saved by the fact that the client's own engineers made an identical but even bigger error that very same day. Where we had accidentally emptied one tank they emptied 5 (if I recall correctly) which at 1.25 million litres almost matched London's Great Beer Flood of 1814. I had the privilege of being only about 20m away when the error was discovered by the senior consultant opening the doors to the bright beer cellar that contained the 5 (now empty) tanks. The sight of that poor man getting carried away on a small tidal wave of beer is one of my most treasured memories.

*To put that in perspective if the three of us who were responsible were to drink 10 pints each every day it would take just over 40 years to drink that amount. And we dumped it all in about 30 seconds.

1 comment:

Ithiad said...

Oh man! That is nice...