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10, 20 and 30 Years Ago


It’s fun to look back.

Clear BrewThis section is devoted to Inside Beer’s trip down Memory Lane, highlighting the major events that were shaping the brewing world 10, 20 and 30 years ago.

10 Years Ago
March 2007

Midlands mild drinkers are disappointed by Marston’s decision to axe Hanson’s Mild. The beer, which is produced at the Banks’s brewery in Wolverhampton, will not be produced after the end of April.

Peter Amor of Wye Valley Brewery becomes chairman of SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers. Amor takes over the role from Titanic’s Keith Bott, who becomes the organisation’s president.

Randalls Brewery reveals plans for a new brewhouse. The Guernsey brewery will leave the site it has occupied since 1868 for a new location in former sawmills.

20 Years Ago
March 1997

Two Welsh breweries are to merge. Brains of Cardiff will join forces with Crown Buckley of Llanelli. Local drinkers fear this may mean closure for the Buckley’s brewery.

The Campaign for Real Ale celebrates victory in a tussle with the European Commission over guest beer rights in British pubs. The EC has now abandoned plans to challenge the status quo, which helps small brewers find access to the pub market. At the same time, the Government announces an extension to the guest beer law that will allow pubs to stock a guest bottle-conditioned beer in addition to a guest cask-conditioned beer.

Tributes are paid to former Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries chairman Edwin Thompson, who had died aged seventy-five. His son, David Thompson, is currently the brewery’s managing director.

30 Years Ago
March 1987

The European Court of Justice rules that foreign beers for sale in Germany no longer have to conform to the strictures of the Reinheitsgebot, the purity law that states that beer in Germany can only be made using malt, wheat, hops, yeast and water. However, beer brewed in Germany for domestic consumption will still need to follow the rules that have been in place since the sixteenth century.

More flexible licensing hours have been approved by Parliament. A new act that comes into force in May will allow pubs and restaurants to continue serving alcohol with meals through the afternoon but any pubs wishing to take advantage of the new law will have to have a separate dining area.

Grand Metropolitan announces that brewing capacity at its Ruddles brewery is to be expanded. The company is to spend £5 million to more than double the potential output of the Rutland site, following the success of the introduction of Ruddles County into Grand Met pub estate.

US giant Anheuser-Busch announces that it is to begin production of Budweiser in Ireland. An agreement with Guinness will see the famous lager brewed at Smithwick’s Brewery in Kilkenny.