single trade outlet, and using very traditional approaches to brewing. This movement, which in many ways reflects a reaction against the perceived increased blandness and sameness of the products of the major brewers, is common to the entire developed world.

Patterns of beer consumption and other alcoholic beverages have also been influential in shaping the modern industry. For example, in the United Kingdom during the years 1899 to 1993, total beer production has declined from 22.76 to 21.58 million hi per annum (Table 1.3). In the same period the strength of the beer has fallen from an average gravity of 1.055 to 1.037. Although the fall in total beer production may seem modest it should be noted that it was accompanied by a total population increase of 43% from just under 40 million to 58 million. Perhaps most dramatic has been the increase in competition from other alcoholic beverages. Thus, in the United Kingdom, annual consumption of all wines in 1899 was 0.78 million hi. This volume remained relatively unchanged throughout the first five decades of the twentieth century. However, from 1950 to 1993 wine consumption increased 14-fold from 0.53 to 7.7 million hi per annum.

Table 1.3 Beer production compared to wine consumption in the United Kingdom (from Thurman & Witheridge, 1995).


Total population

Beer production


Wine consumption

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Brew Your Own Beer

Discover How To Become Your Own Brew Master, With Brew Your Own Beer. It takes more than a recipe to make a great beer. Just using the right ingredients doesn't mean your beer will taste like it was meant to. Most of the time it’s the way a beer is made and served that makes it either an exceptional beer or one that gets dumped into the nearest flower pot.

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