Tijdschrift voor sociale en economische geschiedenis vol:6 issue:1 pages:3-25
This article focuses on the challenges the traditional beer-selling innkeepers faced when in the course of the eighteenth century consumer preferences gradually shifted from beer to distilled liquors and hot, colonial beverages. Due to the emergence of gin- and coffeehouses, public houses were flourishing in the county of Flanders and the duchy of Brabant, but not in the town of Hasselt. Although the consumption of gin also increased sharply after 1770, corporate regulation and the emergence of an important distilling industry prevented innkeepers from incorporating the new drinks in their businesses. The decreasing demand for beer among the lower classes combined with the town governments policy of beer price regulation caused the overall number of inns to decline.