Beer sales in British pubs hit 70-year low

November 20th, 2007 | Posted by Real Beer

The British Beer and Pub Association reports beer sales in pubs have slumped to their lowest level since the 1930s.

The facts:

– 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.”

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One Response to “Beer sales in British pubs hit 70-year low”

  1. Stonch Says:

    Can I add another fact into the mix, that doesn’t fit with the picture of doom and gloom being painted by BBPA?

    The actual value of the market for small/independent British breweries is growing – yes, growing.

    Poor quality mass produced beer is losing ground to other things that make people drunk. Is that such a bad thing, for those of us that love beer?

    Frankly I’m fairly indifferent as to whether people drink Fosters or Smirnoff Ice. That’s why figures like this – that take in the whole beer market as opposed to just quality beer from honest brewers – aren’t depressing in the slightest.