He quit drinking for a couple of weeks. He restarted with the second drink being a can of Carlsberg special Brew. He was excited by the intense taste of beer, after his little break. Special brew is a very strong beer at 9%. Many people in the UK, think that only tramps drink special brew. I sometimes used to drink one can a session when I lived in Glasgow. It seemed too dangerous to try more. Amis suggested mixing Special Brew with standard Carlsberg to make a cocktail. Wikipedia tells me that Carlsberg brewed Special Brew especially for Sir Winston Churchill in the 50s -- you see it really is the beer of choice for alcoholics.
One of the great quotes in the book is: "Food is the curse of the drinking classes" Here he is complaining about the decline of pubs, with music, children, and the smell of food getting in the way of conversation and drinking.
Some readers of this blog may worry that I, of all people, should not be reading books about drinking. When I was around 18, I was explaining to someone's parent, that I was drinking some type of home brew wine, because its was the favorite drink of Dylan Thomas. The parent retorted that "look what happened to him." I took another small sip of wine as a reply.
After reading the book, I am going to make a point of only drinking red wine with fish. Why? This will make a statement that I am not part of the establishment -- this is particularly important now that the public school educated have disgraced themselves in their greed in (mis-)running the country.