Sydney’s beer guzzle: What do you think about it?

swill 1

COMING OVER: Often the rush is so great that beer is handed over the heads of people lining the bar. Customers don’t resent this refinement in hotel service.

We leave you to be the judges:


WE ran a story last week about Sydney’s beer drinking standards.

This week we tell you the story in pictures – just to drive the point home.

Fills you full of civic pride, doesn’t it? Or does it underline the familiar saying that

Australians – particularly Sydney Australians – will take almost anything?

We leave you to be the judges.

– Smiths Weekly (Sydney) February 11 1950.

swill 2

FRESH AIR: Sometimes the customers have to come up for air. This edifying scene is outside a crowded Sydney pub.

swill 3

THE OTHER WAY: Beer-drinking need not be an ugly, uncivilised scramble. Here we see a corner of the Beer Garden at the Petersham Inn, Parramatta Road. The general atmopshere, by contrast, doesn’t suggest that the customers are dying of thirst.

swill 4

PAY-OFF: The 6 o’clock swill is too much for some stomachs, as evidenced by this young man who tried to beat the clock.

swill 5

SPILL OVER: Footpath drinkers are also a familiar sight between 5pm and 6pm – a not very engaging spectacle for home- going suburbanites.

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“TIME PLEASE”- This is a typical scene just before closing time — and not a very aesthetic one!

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MAKING SURE: With a schooner in each hand and an eye on the clock this wharfie copes with the 6 o’clock rush at a waterside hotel.

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ONE WAY: To avoid the crowded bar parlors some women prefer to take a beer through the window of a parked car.

swill 9

EXPERIENCED: Seasoned drinkers who know the ? hazards line their beer up on the shelves around the bar. This is one way of cheating the “all-out” call.


If you would like to support my work, you can leave a small ‘bar tip’ here of $2, or several small tips, just increase the amount as you like. Your generous patronage of my work and research, however small it appears to you, will greatly help me with my continuing costs.


Categories: six o'clock swill, Sydney hotels

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