Food rationing continued and non-rationed items, such as beer, were in short supply. And large numbers of people remained in the armed forces.
Lookin at what servicemen were llowed on Christmas day gives you an idea of the tightness in food supply.
"TROOPS’ FARE AT CHRISTMASOne egg and one minced pie - they were really pushing the boat out. You can imagine what non-festive meal times were like.
Beer Prospects Good
Naafi, which announces good beer prospects for Christmas, has arranged for every Service man and woman dining in mess on Christmas Day to have:-
In the United Kingdom.— One egg for breakfast, at least 5oz. of poultry, 4oz. of Christmas pudding, and one mince pie.
Overseas. —Four ounces of poultry (canned), 4oz. of Christmas pudding, and 1oz. of mincemeat. There will be nuts and fresh fruit according to local supplies.
B.A.O.R. troops are to have an extra ration of chocolate. There will be no extra chocolate or sweets for home units.
Local breweries overseas are producing well, says Naafi. At home, bottled beer is expected to be short, chiefly due to bottle shortage, but it is hoped that draught beer will be adequate."
Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail - Saturday 03 November 1945, page 5.
The B.A.O.R, in case you're wondering is the British Army on the Rhine. Or the British forces occupying Germany.
In the part of Germany occupied by the British no brewing was allowed for a couple of years after the end of the war. The only exception being ones specially commissioned to brew beer for the Naafi. I'm sure that's what is meant by "local breweries" - German breweries brewing for the British forces.