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101790 | GREAT BRITAIN. London. Gambrinus Restaurant bronze Token.

  • Details

    101790  |  GREAT BRITAIN. London. Gambrinus Restaurant bronze Token. Issued circa 1890 for Charles Manzel's "Lager Beer Hall" in Piccadilly Circus (30mm, 10.56 g, 12h). By Vaughton's in Birmingham.


    THE "LAGER BEER KING", man in frock coat, riding goat left and removing top hat; in two lines below in script: "Faithfully Yours / Chs. Manzel" / Ye Olde / "GAMBRINUS" / Lager-Beer Hall / 3 GLASSHOUSE ST / LONDON / W in six lines; all within wreath of barley grains and hop cones. Edge: Plain.


    About Uncirculated Details. Dark brown surfaces, with a few lightly scattered scuffs and marks. A fairly scarce and interesting piece of breweriana.


    As the turn of the century approached near the end of the Victorian era, the timelier shipping of food and drink allowed for an increase in the presence of imported goods for the English consumer. While beer—in the form of ale—was no stranger at any public house, its crisper cousin—in the form of lager—was not nearly as present, given that the latter was far more frequently (and rather expertly) brewed in Germany, Austria, and Bohemia. Its highly regarded and refined status was a treat for the English pub drinker, so much so that pubs and restaurants specializing in the import and tapping of lager barrels began to pop up. This advertising token points to the popularity of the time, as the name of “Gambrinus” refers to the legendary king of Flanders known for his mythical brewing abilities. Meanwhile, the goat on the obverse emanates from a type of beer brewed in Einbeck in Northern Germany, with the name of the city being pronounced as "Einbock" in Bavaria, einbock meaning "billy goat" in the native parlance. The establishment itself, along with this growing fondness for the "German beer," is evident in the 1898 publication London and its Environs: Handbook for Travellers, on page 14, in which it writes:


    "The traveller's [sic] thirst can at all times be conveniently quenched at a Public House, where a glass of bitter beer, ale, stout, or ‘half-and-half’ (i. e. ale or beer, and stout or porter, mixed) is to be had for 1-1/2-2d [pence]. (6d. or 8d. per quart). Good German Lager Bier (3-6d. per glass) is now very generally obtainable at the larger restaurants, in some of which it has almost entirely supplanted the heavier English ales. Wine (not recommended) may also be obtained. Genuine Munich Beer (‘Pschorr’) and Bohemian Beer (‘Bürgerliches Bräuhaus, Pilsen’) from the cask may be obtained at the Gambrinus Restaurants, 3 Glasshouse Street, Piccadilly Circus, and 3 Lawrence Lane, Cheapside; also German sausages, smoked eel, and similar ‘whets’. English-made lager-beer is supplied in an establishment in the basement of the Café Monico, Piccadilly Circus, fitted up in the ‘old German’ style."


    Upload: 16 January 2023.


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