Lunch Time at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich (1951)
In order to ensure that barley could be used to stretch bread and relieve the acute food shortages just after the war, the U.S. military government in Bavaria only permitted low-alcohol beer to be brewed, and at times banned brewing altogether. This watery brew, which the disgruntled population called Hopfenbrause (“fizzy hops”), was served until the summer of 1949, at which point the authorities allowed the resumption of normal beer brewing. The 1949 Oktoberfest, the first at which normal beer was reintroduced, signaled a fresh economic start, as did the resumption of beer brewing in general. Overall, beer production in the Federal Republic increased from 22,533,000 hectoliters in 1951 to 51,492,000 hectoliters in 1961 – and certainly contributed to widening waistlines. Photo by Hanns Hubmann.