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Small to medium-sized, privately-owned breweries shaped beer, first traditional styles, later new craft beers. The conglomerates? Your call.

Of government-owned breweries, two in the non-communist world have made good beer and profited. Reports vary on what happened in communist states.

The Bavarian state took over brewing from an abbey in 1805. The labels read Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan. The brewery competes in the market with topnotch beers and makes money that helps support brewing research at the Weihenstephan Institute.

In 1916, the British government nationalised a Carlisle brewery, along with its tied pubs, cut abv and raised prices, aiming to control drinking, not to make money, and yet postwar operations became profitable even as prices fell into line with those of private brewers. Alcohol contents in popular British draught beers fell to about the same levels as in Carlisle.

https://historicengland.org.uk/rese...ontrolBoardandtheStateManagementScheme1916-73

In the 1970s the Heath government privatised the brewery, claiming it was going to become unprofitable. The move was unpopular in Carlisle pubs. I was there. The beers weren't innovative but were excellent.

Communist states nationalised breweries, closed many small operations, and reprivatised in the 1980s and 1990s. Controversy surrounds what happened to quality, and when. Re the Pilsen brewery, see https://beerandbrewing.com/dictionary/Z78QwKUrib/https://beerandbrewing.com/dictionary/Z78QwKUrib/ I'll comment on China's Tsingtao, started by expat Germans. To my tastes the state-owned beer sold in the US in the 1980s had the bittering, hop and malt flavours of a good German pilsner. The private corporation that took over in the early 1990s has had Anheuser Inbev and Asahi as stockholders and consultants. The predictable result has been the use of adjuncts and a reduction in bittering and hop aroma.
 

Feldon

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Where did the original Soviet beer come from?
by Anna Sorokina, Russian Kitchen, 9 June 2021

These days, the popular Soviet beer Zhigulevskoye is brewed in many places throughout Russia and abroad. But what are its origins?

The shop and bar at the Zhigulevsky brewery in the city of Samara on the Volga River is always busy. At any given time, customers are enjoying a few beers, either inside or near the takeaway window outside, or they are milling around waiting for a fresh batch of their favorite brew to be served. The beer is delivered to the store via an underground pipe, and locals say that it is far superior to what is available in shops elsewhere since proper Zhigulevskoye beer cannot be stored for more than a couple of days.

Despite a long queue, customers at the brewery shop are served quickly. Each customer eagerly removes the top from an empty bottle they have brought with them and hands it over to the shop assistant, who fills it with beer from a hose. The customer then quickly replaces the top before the foam begins to rise, and the shop assistant is already serving the next customer.

continues at: Where did the original Soviet beer come from?

Also see this story on beer in Russia: Soviet hangover: How people drank beer in the USSR
 
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MHB

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I think it’s hard to overestimate the impact Napoleon had on brewing, especially in the Germanys’.
Under the Napoleonic code, the churches were divested of all their monopolies, most of which devolved to the various states who either kept them, sold them or started licensing new breweries.
The churches was very happy with the status quo and were very slow to change (like most monopolies), the new brewers caused something of a revolution in brewing. We are still seeing the impact of these transformative changes today.
Mark
 
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I think it’s hard to overestimate the impact Napoleon had on brewing, especially in the Germanys’.
Under the Napoleonic code, the churches were divested of all their monopolies, most of which devolved to the various states who either kept them, sold them or started licensing new breweries.
The churches was very happy with the status quo and were very slow to change (like most monopolies), the new brewers caused something of a revolution in brewing. We are still seeing the impact of these transformative changes today.
Mark
And he came from a wine-drinking island.
 

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