The 40th edition of the guide, which is launched on Thursday and is edited by beer writer Roger Protz, claims that community pubs will continue to close unless they receive increased support from the Government. And it accuses the coalition of failing in its promise to be a pub-friendly government.
“It is vital for the Government to introduce measures to control the supermarkets and support pubs. If not, then the real-ale revival will hit the buffers,” says the guide’s introduction. “If pub numbers continue to decline, sales of real ale will fall and small breweries without pub estates will inevitably go out of business.”
The guide has also reiterated CAMRA’s calls for the Government to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol, believing it would not affect beer prices in pubs. It argues for minimum pricing to include costs as well as duty and VAT, which would lead to the price of a supermarket pint increasing by 35p to 40p.
It also calls for the scrapping of the beer duty escalator and the tightening of planning laws to stop viable pubs being closed and turned into other premises such as fast-food outlets. The guide also urges the Government to encourage people to use their local pubs.
“One way to tackle alcohol abuse and the impact on the NHS is to laud the pub as a licensed and controlled environment where beer can be enjoyed sensibly and moderately,” it argues.