There’s no evidence that IPAs are giving you man boobs. A provocatively titled article claiming the exact opposite made the rounds on social media a few days ago, but there is no evidence to back up this claim. Here are the facts.
As with any plant, hops contain a wide variety of chemical compounds. One of these compounds — 8-prenylnaringenin (8-PN) — is a phytoestrogen. A phytoestrogen is a plant compound (hence the prefix “phyto”) that binds to estrogen receptors. Specifically, 8-PN has been shown to bind tightly to estrogen receptors in rat uterus. Hops also contain isoxanthohumol, which can be converted to 8-PN in the intestines [ . . . ]
Things have been declining for decades. There were 67,800 pubs in Britain in 1982, and 60,100 as recently as 2002. By 2015, there were just 50,800.
Campaigners are calling for action to stop the trickle of pub closures turning into a flood. An average of 18 pubs a week are shutting down, according to research by Camra (Campaign for Real Ale), which puts much of the blame on a “triple whammy” tax burden. Rising business rates, which have also struck retailers on the high street, have combined with VAT and “one of the highest rates of beer duty across Europe” to put pub landlords under a strain they are finding it difficult to withstand, Camra says. Campaigners called for ministers to use Brexit as a chance to ease the burden.
“As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, the Government has a unique opportunity to update the tax system to better support pubs, which are a bastion of British culture and at the heart of communities across the country,” said Colin Valentine, Camra’s national chairman. We’ve heard the tax line before, notably from Wetherspoons’ Tim Martin. But is there really a problem? And how do we fix it? [ . . . ]
Across Great Britain, adults are drinking less often. So how are tastes changing and why are they cutting back?
But 18 pubs across the country closed every week in the second half of 2017, according to The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).
So how are UK drinking habits changing? What are the UK’s favourite drinks and how often are adults drinking?
1. Pubs are closing their doors
In 2016, 500 pubs across the UK called last orders for the final time.
Since 2000, the number of pubs in the UK has fallen by 17%, or 10,500 pubs, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).
The decline has been blamed on a number of reasons – high taxes on pints, the smoking ban, the price of food and drink going up, and the 2008 recession meaning that consumers had less to spend in their local.
But the BBPA say that the rate of pub closures is slowing down.
About 1,100 pubs closed their doors in 2015, but fewer than half that number closed in 2016.
2. More beer bought in shops than pubs
The volume of beer sold in supermarkets and off-licences (off-trade) in the UK topped the volume sold in pubs, clubs and restaurants (on-trade) for the first time in 2014 [ . . . ]
Albert Jack, who did exhaustive research for his book The Old Dog And Duck, The Secret Meanings Of Pub Names, says: “There’s something about a good honest boozer that can’t be beaten so I decided to find out where their names come from and what they mean.”
Some of the most interesting names are unique and don’t appear on the list.
For example, the longest pub name in the world is The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn in Stalybridge, near Manchester, named after a Victorian army corps. Oddly, the pub with the shortest name is also in Stalybridge – The Q Inn.
And in Hampshire there’s an inn called The Pub With No Name. It used to be called the White Horse but it’s said the locals tore down the sign to make it hard for strangers to find. Here’s the history of some of the most popular names [ . . . ]