Drinking rates in the UK have had their biggest dip for 60 years, according to new research.
The British Beer & Pub Association's (BBPA) Statistical Handbook 2010 reveals that last year there was a six per cent drop in alcohol consumption.
The figure represents the biggest fall since 1948 and shows that as a nation we are now drinking 13 per cent less than in 2004.
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: "These figures will compound many pundits, as yet again they confirm that as a nation, we are not drinking more.
"Those who suggest otherwise need to focus on the hard facts."
The handbook shows that in 2009 people drank an average of 8.4 litres of alcohol - down from 9.5 litres in 2004. Twenty years ago in 1980 the average consumption per person was 7.4 litres.
It also reveals that:
• the UK has the second highest duty rate in Europe
• Beer is still the nation's favourite drink - making up 60 per cent of all on-trade sales
• Last year £17bn was spent on beer - 41 per cent of all spending on alcohol.
• The average price of a pint of ale is £2.58 and lager £2.95
Simmonds added: "This handbook also reminds us of how vital a role beer and pubs play in the UK economy, in terms of turnover, jobs and tax revenue."
For more information or to order a copy of the handbook visit www.beerandpub.com