Mercer’s Meat Stout, 1940

Here’s a curious advert I stumbled across in The British Newspaper Archive – it’s for Mercer’s Meat Stout. “Tastes good, does you good.” Now, I’ve heard of milk stout (Ena Sharples springs to mind), but…..meat stout?

Mercer's Meat Stout, The Lancashire Daily Post, 1940

Mercer’s Meat Stout, The Lancashire Daily Post, 1940

Is it me, or does this look exactly like a mock advert from Viz? Meat and beer, together at last.

This wasn’t just a quirky name, it was stout that actually included meat extract in some form. It was sold (as every food-and-drink-stuff was, even chocolate) as being good for you. It was also advertised as a nourishing drink for invalids. Invalid cookery and care was a big deal pre-NHS and a special invalid recipe section was in nearly every cookbook up until around 1950. I’ve got some recipes here if you’re feeling a bit peaky.

The Zythophile blog has more information on Meat Stout. It turns out it might have had some offal chucked in during the brewing process. Mmmm. Well, one of the aforementioned invalid recipes was raw beef tea – raw mince steeped in lukewarm water – so I guess it might not have seemed so strange at the time.

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