Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was no doubt right when he told a Conservative party rally in July 1957 that most British people had “never had it so good”, and that the country was in “a state of prosperity such as [it had] never had in [his] lifetime”. While, however, a nation emerging from post-War austerity was indulging a developing taste for consumer durables and foreign holidays, one UK industry remained in the doldrums: namely, brewing. Thus beer production, which in the last year of the War (12 months to March 1945) amounted to 31.3 million barrels, had by 1950/51 fallen by over 20 per cent, to 24.9 million barrels. It remained at around this level for the next eight years, reaching a nadir in 1958/59 of 23.8 million barrels, down by almost a quarter on 1944/45.
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