In the early part of the 18th century, London saw the start of a period known as the 'Gin Craze', when the consumption of Gin became increasingly popular in the lower classes, with bootleggers distilling and selling gin of dubious quality. As a measure to curb the excesses of this situation, a tax of £50 was imposed on every distiller under the 1736 'Fifty Pounds' Gin Act. After 6 years, only two distilleries paid the tax. Leaping ahead to the early part of the 21st century, a small, south-east London-based distillation company, Thames Distillers, has privately maintained an original 'London Dry' recipe. This recipe, despite the hard work required to produce its high quality, was ironically known as 'Fifty Pounds' amongst its distillers in honour of the 1736 Gin Act. The distillery at Thames Distillers has been distilling Gin for more than two centuries, and belongs to a family with an extremely long history of distilling. Their master distiller is in fact president of the English distillers' association.