The international resort of Nice, France, which we visited recently, was host to the American armed forces in 1945, acting as a rest and recreation centre. The French called their newly-arrived guests les restées.
Hotels, restaurants, and terraces filled up with sun-glassed personnel, both men and women, seeking R&R after the European campaigns.
There is a brewing connection, as a brewery in Nice was enlisted to make American-type beer for the restées. A Coca-Cola bottling plant was set up, too. I wish I could find more information on the brewery.
Possibly – probably, I think – it was an operating plant before the war, leased from the French owner.
Maybe he put rice or corn in the mash, in the American way (and still for mass market beer), and Washington State hops in the kettle, but who knows.
All the colour, literally and otherwise, is in the story, published in the Sydney (Australia) press in late 1945. It has a trademark humour that perhaps combined American and Antipodean insouciance.
Hotel proprietors, maîtres d’hotel, and waiters, some of whom crossed the Mediterranean during the occupation, are coming back, too, and serving, with not so much grace as before the war, meals made from American Army rations to men and women. Dining is olive drab beneath high ormolu and gilt ceilings. It is significant that the president of all the chefs of Nice (M. Sauvan) is cooking for enlisted women. He isn’t even in supreme control. He is working under the direction of a woman sergeant …
N.B. Ormolu was new to us, but no longer due to this fascinating Wikipedia account.