The British Beer and Pub Association reports beer sales in pubs have slumped to their lowest level since the 1930s.
– Total beer sales – in pubs, off licences and supermarkets – have fallen from 12 billion pints a year in 1979 to 9.5 billion in 2007, according to BBPA figures.
– Pubs have been particularly affected. Some 29 million pints were sold each day in pubs 28 years ago, compared with 15 million pints a day this year.
– Tax on beer has increased by 27% since 1997 – compared to 16% for wine, 3% for spirits and 11% for cider.
– The BBPA also said the smoking ban had had an effect, with a 7% drop in pub beer sales this year alone.
The BBPA has called for a freeze on beer taxes, and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) offers its support.
A spokesman said: “It is no coincidence that Britain has the highest level of excise duty in the EU and sales in the on-trade are falling, and yet binge-drinking is on the increase as supermarkets cynically exploit the consumer by offering cut-price booze to drink at home. A pub is the proper place to enjoy a drink in a responsible and regulated atmosphere.”