Baylen Linnekin: Britain Trips Up and Props Up Its Declining Pubs


Britain faces declining pub numbers because of several issues, including declining beer consumption nationwide, real estate prices, and the country's unique pub ownership system—in which pubs often are "tied" to a brewer through ownership or contract. (A little more than one-third of pubs operate independently.) Those issues, though quite real, fall largely outside of the relationship between pubs and government. But other issues facing Britain's pubs are particularly interesting because they highlight this eternal question: How will government attempt to solve the problems it creates? The answer, writes Baylen Linnekin, typically—and especially, when it comes to food laws and polices—is more government.