Mass Observation was founded in 1937 with the aim of researching the everyday lives of ordinary people in Britain. One of its best-loved publications is The Pub and the People (1943), a unique study of one of Britain's best-loved pastimes, describing how people behaved in pubs, what and how much they drank, and the décor and layout of the average pre-war alehouse. Alongside sociological interest it offers amusing insights into an era when supping pints was only for the roughest customers, and beer was considered helpful not only to general health ('There is no bad ale, so Grandma said') but also (contra the porter in Macbeth) to the act of love.
'The authors of this book have unearthed much curious information.' George Orwell, Listener
'Anyone with an interest in the history of beer and pubs in Britain ought to read it.' Boak and Bailey's Beer Blog