On a late afternoon in October 1814, in one of the craziest events in the history of beer, a small slum neighborhood located in the heart of London was tragically struck by a 570-ton wave of beer when a three-story vat in a brewery exploded nearby. It left a literal river of wreckage in its wake. The Meux and Co. Brewery, which had been operating at the same location in the St. Giles Rookery for nearly 50 years, had become the city's fifth largest producer of beer - and they had the stock to show it.
Due to improper containment of pressure, a vat of the fermenting beverage exploded. It set off a quintessential domino effect, causing vat after vat to explode until 1,470,000 liters of beer were sent rushing into the poverty-stricken streets of downtown London. At least eight women and children were drowned, crushed, or otherwise killed in the tsunami-like wave of beer as walls crumbled, homes collapsed, and basements were flooded. With no proper drainage systems in place in the city, people had no other option but to wade through the depths of the muddied brew in search of their loved ones.