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10, 20 and 30 Years Ago


So You Want to be a Beer Expert?It’s fun to look back.

This section is devoted to Inside Beer’s trip down Memory Lane, highlighting the major events that were shaping the brewing world 10, 20 and 30 years ago.

10 Years Ago
March 2008

A CAMRA survey discovers that two pubs are closing every day in the UK. The research is supported by figures from the British Beer and Pub Association that claims that the current rate of closure is seven times faster than in 2006 and fourteen times faster than in 2005.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling increases beer duty in the Budget by 4p a pint. CAMRA claims that this is likely to translate in a price rise per pint across the bar of up to 20p.

SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers, unveils two new drawings that it hopes will draw attention to the role of the pub in monitoring responsible drinking. The two sketches are updated versions of Hogarth’s Gin Lane and Beer Street, which were used to reflect the dangers of gin consumption versus sensible beer drinking in the eighteenth century. In the new drawings, Gin Lane is renamed Binge Street while Beer Street becomes Pub Street.

20 Years Ago
March 1998

Sussex brewery King & Barnes secures the contract to brew Worthington’s White Shield. The Horsham company takes up the reins of this classic bottle-conditioned ale after Bass announced in December 1997 that it was ceasing production of the beer due to declining sales.

Scottish Courage reveals that it will no longer brew the historic bottle-conditioned Imperial Russian Stout. The last brew was produced in 1993 at the John Smith’s brewery in Tadcaster and the company has struggled to sell the beer since. Two other bottled beers are also being delisted – Bulldog Pale Ale and Bulldog Strong Ale, although the latter will still be available for export markets.

30 Years Ago
March 1988

Oldham Brewery produces its last beer, closing a month earlier than previously announced by its owner Boddingtons. Oldham’s beers will now be produced at Boddingtons’ Strangeways brewery in Manchester.

Grand Metropolitan changes the way it runs pubs, introducing a new 20-year lease system called Inntrepreneur, to replace the traditional three-year tenancy. Under the new plans, which will initially apply to vacant properties, lessees will be responsible for the repairs and the insurance of their pubs, but will take all machine profits. Although ties will still be in place on beer and cider, spirits, wines and soft drinks will now be free of tie.