That Woman - The Beer Orders
Margaret Hilda Thatcher. Responsible for many things and, to quote Wikipedia "loathed by some as the personification of evil". In our context, allowed some berk to introduce the Beer Orders in 1989. This legislation forced every brewery with more than 2,000 pubs to get rid of them. Result? The replacement of large pub estates tied to breweries by even larger pub estates owned by investment banks or management companies.
An interesting paper by Professor Slade of the Royal Economic Society concluded that the forced sell off of 14,000 pubs (remember, from companies whose core business was brewing beer to companies whose core business wasn't) resulted in higher prices, fewer (and more dominant) national breweries and reduced consumer choice.