The Battle for Beer

A Picture story: Back from long war service to the old home city that had nine to nine beer when he last knew it, a post-war John Citizen finds things puzzling, tough. He reads that despite ample malt, hops, labour here, total beer gallonage is “restricted merely to prevent Western Australia being better served than Eastern States”; he reads the Premier’s statement that sufficient beer could be made here to increase hotel supplies . . . None of which helps him, however, as he sets out for a few quick ones in comfort and perhaps a bottle or so for the people coming to bridge tonight.

beer shortage perth 1 1945

1. This is where it comes from. But until huge brewery vats are allowed to approach normal gallonage, the battle will go on. 2. The seeker sets forth with bag, confidence. A tyro, he should also be equipped with a roster of hotels’ beer hours. 3. Setback number one: To this hotel, and many, the shortage means restricted trading hours. The man with the bag finds its doors shut.

beer shortage Perth 2 1945

4. But here’s one open, with beer — and a jamming, jostling crowd. It’s every man for himself while the supply briefly lasts. 5. He can get a drink in quiet and comfort here now — if he abandons the beer hunt and takes spirits. A bottle? Sorry, no. 6. And so, nothing in the bag. He’s fought a losing battle anyway. It’s a grim outlook for tonight — and Christmas.

– Perth Daily News, Saturday 17 November 1945

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