Beer orders: the changing landscape in the 1990s

James Nicholls

in The Politics of Alcohol

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780719077050
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702758 | DOI:
Beer orders: the changing landscape in the 1990s

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While the public health lobby became more influential in the 1970s and 1980s, it struggled to have an impact on policy. The political mood, which had swung towards the liberalisation of the drinks trade in the early 1960s, did not change under Margaret Thatcher's Conservative administration. If anything, it became more firmly established. This is not to say that there were no concerns over drink and drunkenness. In 1989, the Monopolies and Mergers Commission published a report on the supply of beer which looked specifically at the question of tied houses. The report formed the basis of the Supply of Beer (Tied Estate) Order — otherwise known as the ‘Beer Orders’. The historic tie between brewers and retailers collapsed following the Beer Orders; the principle of ‘need’ collapsed under pressure from both central government and the magistrates' own advisory bodies. For the first time, the alcohol industry began to market drunkenness as a primary aim of drinking as they sought to compete with other psychoactive youth markets.

Keywords: Beer Orders; alcohol industry; drunkenness; tied houses; Monopolies and Mergers Commission; drinking; drink; brewers; retailers; beer

Chapter.  7508 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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