Out for a bargain: Police sell ‘sly-grog’ at auction

The auction of confiscated illegal liquor attracted big crowds, including local publicans, in Melbourne during the 1920s. Liquor that was confiscated by the law during raids on ‘sly-grog shops’ were often brought to auction by the Victorian Government to boost the state’s revenue.

confiscated liquor 1924


Here they are, eighteen hundred of ’em; — a fine clutch of sly-grog chickens that came home to roost through the activities of the Licensing Police, who are out to “scotch” the illicit practice. Sold at auction yesterday, at the Central Police Station, this great quantity of confiscated liquor realised on the average 6/- per dozen bottles, which is about 500 per cent cheaper than the sly-grogger’s price. This picture shows the crowd of eager buyers

– Sydney Sun 31 August 1924

police seize liquor

BROAD smiles at the incongruity of the proceedings were witnessed, at the sale of confiscated liquor conducted by Sergeant R. Nicol at the West Melbourne police station yesterday.  The whole of the offerings, consisting of various brands of bottled ale, were “knocked down”, at the attractive price of sixpence a bottle, to the licensee of the Flagstaff Hotel, West Melbourne.

– The Melbourne Argus Saturday 28 April 1923



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Categories: Melbourne Hotels, sly grog, Victoria hotels

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