Beer, Food & the Law
"The man who tries to regulate drink is either a fool or a fanatic" (Haydon,1994).

1297 saw the first 'Assize of Bread and Ale' where Parliament sought to control the price and quality of beer, but

"as fast as the authorities tried to find a way to standardise and control the trade brewers, landlords and drinkers found a way round it"(Wilson,1995).

When porter was liable for duty, the brewer changed to lighter ale and when legislation focussed on this brew, the brewers changed to something in between. It has always been difficult to regulate an industry which by its nature always tries to deregulate itself.(Wilson,1995).

The Children's Act,1908 was intended to stop children running errands as it forbade under 14's entering pubs; but history shows that it actually prevented women from entering pubs and led to the creation of what became known as the 'Jug and Bottle Department '."Far from banning children from pubs they could still buy beer but only in a properly labelled pint container, with the stopper hammered firmly home and a gummed label to act as a childproof seal(Wilson,1995)."

Click on the picture of the hatch still remaining at the Royal Oak pub to listen to Elsie Warland of Crick remembering the Jug and Bottle department.