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Peak Booze: How Britain Cultivated Heaviest Drinkers’ Generation in Century

Peak Booze: How Britain Cultivated Heaviest Drinkers’ Generation in Century

In 2004, British drank more alcohol than they had done ever before. No other generation consumed so much booze in their twenties.

Alcoholic apogee came in 2004, but began far earlier, over half a century ago. In the last five years there is a trend in the UK toward the reduction of alcohol consumption—after drinking more than ever in 2004, people have made timid steps towards sober life. According to statistics, in 1950, every citizen in the UK drank about four liters of pure alcohol per year (one liter of pure alcohol is equivalent to, for example, 35 pints of strong beer). In 1960, the average consumption began to rise. By the late 1990s, the amount of alcohol per one Brit was already several times higher: that was a time of revolution in the alcohol industry. In 2004, an average Briton drank a hundred bottles of wine—9.5 liters of pure alcohol—per year.

The story of British drinking culture recorded by a few British observers who decided to study it in pubs. The book The Pub and the People was a result of them exploring drinking establishments and observing working class men drinking during the late 1930s. This is the story about who drinks, what do they drink, and where.

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