It’s no surprise that the money raised from alcohol increased during the war. That’s the way UK governments always financed wars. Alcohol is an easy choice since demand is fairly elastic. The table below shows just how much of that came from beer. And how the percentage raised from beer rose from 60% in 1937 to 80% in 1945 and 1946.
Between 1939 and 1947, the revenue from spirits only just more than doubled. While that from beer quadrupled.
You might have expected the income from imported beer to have totally evaporated at the height of the war. There’s a simple reason it didn’t: Guinness. Which continued to export – with some small interruptions you’ll read about later – large quantities of beer to the UK.
There’s an impressive surge in imported wine revenue after 1947. Way higher than the pre-war level.
Please ponder the numbers. As I can't be arsed to explain everything. Stare long enough and they'll make some sort of sense. Or you'll fall into a zombie-like state. That's me most evenings. Get home, staring then zombieing.
|UK Excise and customs revenue from alcoholic drink (£ millions)|
|Year||UK||Imports||total||UK||Imports||total||UK||Imports||total||Duty Receipts in Total|
|"Drink in Great Britain 1900-1979" by GP Williams and GT Brake, 1980, Edsdall London, page 380.|