Bottled Ale

According to one historian, Wandsworth is the home not just of a brewery but of bottled ale itself.

The unlikely story goes that in the 1500s, the Dean of St Paul's was fishing in the river, bread and beer by his side, with the beer in a bottle for ease of transport. But mid-fish, he learnt that he was in danger of being arrested; so he fled, leaving his food where it lay.

Some time later he returned to London, and went down to the river again; where he was astonished to find his ale still resting in place. He opened the bottle to the unexpected sound of a huge bang, and the still more unexpected discovery that the beer was bubbly and drinkable still. And that, it's said, is how we discovered that you can bottle ale.

Read more stories about the sixteenth century.

Read more stories about Battersea.

Read more stories about food.

Read more stories about rivers.

Read more stories about persecution and prejudice.

Picture pending.
Story source: Edward Walford, Old and New London: Volume 6