Beer, Food & the Law
Beer and changing drinking habits
During the war spirits ran out,so women changed from their usual drink of port and lemon and drank beer - although a few already did! The pubs opened according to the amount of beer they had and were therefore shut for half of the week. Beer had cost sixpence a pint but the Government decreed that it could be weakened with water and sold for ten pence.You were supposed to have two pints at ten pence before you added any water.Glasses ran out too,and young men would take a jam jar into to pub to hold their beer!

"The prosperity of the 1960's, the increase in size of the national breweries, the will to turn a back on the austere 1950's, improved technology eg. refrigeration, foreign package holidays and aggressive marketing by the breweries led to a change in beer drinking habits." (Haydon,1994).

'Keg' was pasteurised sterile beer, no secondary fermentation process occured in the keg.It was fizzy and could be raised from the cellar by gas pressure.It travelled well in bulk and was easier to handle than cask ales. Therefore it had obvious attractions to the modern landlord of the sixties. In 1959, only 1% of all beer consumption was keg but by 1976 this had risen to 40% (Haydon,1994).As one brewery introduced it, the others soon followed suit- Watneys, Ind Coope,Flowers and Whitbread. Modernization did not suit the taste of the 'Real Ale' drinker!

When landlord Tom Marks first came to the Red Lion , Mild and a couple of keg bitters were sold, including the infamous Red Barrel, but the pub has returned to cask ale, delivered as it is from Northampton and dropped down a chute into the cellar from the side of the road.

Lager breweries were first established in Britain pre 1900 but lager was not popularised until E.P.Taylor introduced his 'Carling' in the 1950's.In 1959, 2% of all beer sales were lager but by 1990 it accounted for 50% of the market. (Haydon,1994).

In the post-war period the government dictated the price of beer-a pint was a shilling (in living memory) and increases were small.Between 1979 and 1989 the price of a pint increased 15% over inflation (Haydon,1994).These days pubs can put their own prices on beer (after VAT) and some say the best days of the pub business are gone; but consider that the pubs in Crick could not support a family until the last 30 years.