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The British pub is a much-loved institution, but recent decades demonstrate how vulnerable it is, being subject to the vicissitudes of fashion, markets, licensing, the economy and most of all the structure of the industry as the big brewers have abandoned their heritage and been supplanted by the Pub Companies and Pub retail groups like Wetherspoons. The book describes the frequent and dramatic changes within the beer industry. It carefully examines the issues and enigmas over the last 50 years in a manner which will enlighten those less familiar with the licensed trade and may alter the perspective of those with closer connections. From the perspective of pub brands, the book examines why they suddenly took hold, how the branding process dovetailed with Nineties inner-city regeneration and why it was supported by some licensing magistrates but opposed by others. How did brands differ from traditional pubs and why were they undermined by them? Tony Thornton looks at community ownership as a vehicle for saving pubs, along with its flaws, and examines the critical role of CAMRA. Returning to the overall market, the book focuses on the battles between the Regional brewers for survival and why these took place. It explains how the hedonism of the Nineties suddenly ended in the new millennium and why the high street operators faced their own crisis, which then merged with that of the retail industry. It also examines how the politicians have frequently misjudged pubs and the beer industry and done it few favours - and how the industry is still paying the price for their decisions. Equally controversially, it discusses why the Beer Tie, the glue that holds the industry together, is threatened if the Government introduces a Statutory Code. Moving to the present, the book considers the effects of the renaissance in brewing, the changes to food-led pubs and debates the impact of Craft beer. It looks at how pubs have changed because of the influence of food. Most crucially it concludes with the plight of the traditional, drinkers pub and looks for positive signs and trends for the future.