UK beer sales tumble; pubs hit hardest

Taxes are being blamed as beer sales in the United Kingdom, particularly in bars and pubs, continue to fall.

Total sales were off 3.9% in 2010, while pub sales tumbled 7.5%. Trade in supermarkets and stores rose .6%.

The totals indicate 333 million fewer pints were sold in pubs in 2010. On-trade beer sales have now fallen 20.2%.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of British Beer & Pub Association, said the figures revealed the government was “cooking the golden goose” because lower sales meant the government collected £257m less in tax revenue.

She called for plans to further boost taxes to be abandoned. “Huge tax rises are having a big impact on beer sales,” she said. “The government should abandon plans for above inflation hikes in beer tax in the budget, as further rises are simply unsustainable.”