Monday, 18 February 2008

Brewers and beer retailers in 1838

The Beer Act of 1830, which abolished beer duty and allowed almost anyone to open a pub selling only beer, was a huge boost to the brewing industry. This table should give you some idea of the explosive growth in so-called "beerhouses".

The number of pubs per head of population has been in decline pretty much ever since the late 1830's. Initially, the reduction wwas brought about by being stricter about issuing new licences. By the last decades of the 19th century, licensing authorities were actively seeking to delicense small pubs. The idea was to have a smaller number of better-quality pubs, known as ïmproved public houses".

For comparison purposes, this table also includes figures from 2001. Note especially the switch between on and off licences.


Stonch said...

Relating this to the modern day (heavens, no, I hear you say), I think it tends to be smaller pubs that close these days.

Ron Pattinson said...

They are probably the last of the old beer houses.

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to find out when the last 1830 beerhouse closed/converted to a full licence - there was still one going on the edge of Stevenage, where I grew up, in 1975, the Fisherman, which was rebuilt to become a full-on licence outlet by Greene King as the New Town swept around it,

Ron Pattinson said...

It would be nice to know. I can remember being in pubs that still had beer-only licences in the late 1970's and early 1980's. The old Roscoe in Leeds was one for sure.

tankard said...

It was the Beer Act 1830 that caught my eye, esp as I have found out that according to census returns my g-grandfather was a beer-shop-keeper. Hooray That were I get it from.
btw, there was until recently, a pub round the back of Sloane Sq that was beer only. (A young's pub called the red lion? dunno).