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The United Kingdom is famous for many things; royalty, great actors and actresses, a rich and old history and also their iconic pubs.
Beer advocates and fans alike all know that British pubs are some of the most recognizable and comforting ways to drink a nice hoppy beer, however pubs and alehouses in Britain and across the U.K. are suffering greatly due to hard economic times and the rise of cheap supermarket alcohol.
USA Today reports that pubs are closing at a rate of about 18 per week. Reasons for this large increase of shutdowns include the high tax that is put on beer, called the “beer escalator.” Also, as said earlier, supermarkets are selling beer and alcohol at extremely cheap rates; sometimes selling beer cheaper than water.
Pub owners are now selling out to larger chains called “pubcos,” which require the small family owned pubs to purchase all of their products and sell them in their bar and eating area. According to The New York Times, these pubcos arose, in part, due to the fact that during Margaret Thatcher’s conservative and deregulatory government, she tried to control the brewers and the pubs by breaking up their monopolies.
Overall, the future of traditional brew pubs in the U.K. is becoming increasingly uncertain; a harsh reality for people all around the world who appreciate the history of the pub and wish to see it thrive rather than falter.
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Mike Kirby