Beer sales to plummet by six million pints during bank holiday weekend, pubs fear

Pubs will serve an estimated six million fewer pints this bank holiday than the same period in 2019, losing millions of pounds.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said its members expect to lose out on £25 million in revenue from pint sales, down 10 per cent on revenue for the same bank holiday in 2019 before the start of the Covid pandemic.

The BBPA is urging the Government to help the sector bridge the gap in revenues now the majority of restrictions have been lifted claiming the brewing and pub sectors are “grossly overtaxed.”

Earlier this week, the trade association said pubs will overpay on business rates by £570 million a year from March 2022 unless the system is reformed. The trade association is also calling for a permanent cut in VAT in pubs which extends to the beer sold in them, and a beer duty cut.

The BBPA is backing the Long Live The Local campaign, which is calling for Government investment in pubs as part of the recovery and to build back better, by reforming business rates and VAT and cutting beer duty.

So far more than 50,000 people have signed the petition calling for more support for pubs and breweries and nearly 40,000 have written to their MP directly to ask them to support pubs in their constituencies.

A BBPA spokesman said: “We reckon Brits supporting their local this bank holiday weekend will buy 60 million pints. Of course our sector is grateful to be fully open again and for all the trade it can get, but that is still six million pints down on 2019.

“Trading 10 per cent down is a huge gap in sales for pubs. Especially after 16 months of lockdown and heavy restrictions that destroyed trade.

“The Government must bridge the gap for pubs and invest in them. Reforming excessive business rates, permanently lowering VAT and cutting beer duty is clearly the answer. A pub adds significant value to the local economy, provides vital jobs and creates connected and vibrant communities, particularly in community and rural areas.

“If the Government is serious about levelling up the UK and building back better, it must invest in our pubs so that they can help lead the much-needed economic and social recovery.”

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