Brewing Nation: War, Taxes, and the Growth of the British Beer Industry in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
As a result of war with France, British tariffs were raised to protect domestic beverage production. This helped promote the beer industry during the infancy of industrial brewing in the 18th century. But protection also led to monopoly controls in order to promote easier taxation and greater regulatory oversight. This chapter shows that this severely distorted the consumption of alcohol and the production of domestic substitutes like beer in Britain, but that it also enabled the state to grow by providing it with a mechanism for dramatically raising taxes to fund the century's many wars. Reversing protection in the 19th century was complicated and fraught with interference from domestic lobbies that hampered the British move to free trade.