Bank holiday bonanza for pubs

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beer British beer & pub association

Daybreak's Kate Garraway at the Cottage in Upper Bucklebury
Daybreak's Kate Garraway at the Cottage in Upper Bucklebury
Pubs across the country received a welcome boost as the feel-good factor returned to Britain — thanks to Easter and the Royal Wedding.

Pubs across the country received a welcome boost as the feel-good factor returned to Britain, thanks to the bumper Easter and royal wedding weekends and the glorious sunshine.

The British Beer & Pub Association estimated that an extra 100m pints were sold over the 12-day period with an expected £500m boost to the nation's pubs and shops.

Pubs celebrated in style with an array of parties, live music, sports days, picnics and beer festivals as punters toasted the best of British.

"It has been a couple of monster weeks — two record breakers in a row," said Mitch Adams, of the Thatchers Arms in Mount Bures, Essex, who held a 12-day London beer festival, featuring 26 of the capital's brews.

"Over the Easter weekend we served 610 meals — 50% up on a usual weekend. We sold more than 2,500 pints of real ale at the festival."

Phil Sutton, general manager at Capital Pub Company's Florence pub in Herne Hill, London, reported a sales increase of around 20% for the period. "People were queueing up at 10am for the wedding — the pub was packed and we threw in free cakes and pastries for the real early birds. The garden spontaneously broke into the national anthem at three in the afternoon.

"The party spirit seemed to continue for the rest of the weekend, with us ending up with our busiest ever bank holiday Monday."

Party atmosphere

John Haywood, Enterprise lessee at the Green Man in Ash, Kent, held a picnic and sports day with live music in the evening for the royal wedding. "Everyone was in a party mood. Over the four days we were about 40% up on a normal weekend and 20% up on the same time last year."

Gerry Price, licensee at the Inn @ West End, Surrey, recorded a 30% uplift in sales for the wedding weekend. "We may have missed a trick," he said. "I underestimated the strength of feeling for the wedding and we could have done a 'street party' in the garden and it would have been well supported."

Brewers boost

Tony Jones, of the Bird in Hand in Guilden Sutton, Chester, said trade was up around 30% for the two bank holiday weekends, despite not putting on a wedding event due to a local street party. "I think it was more the weather that drew people into the pub," he said. "Once the wedding died off, we saw more people coming in — some in groups of 40."

The Cottage in Upper Bucklebury — Kate Middleton's hometown — played host to the world's media, including ITV with Daybreak's Kate Garraway, right, Australia's Channel 7 and American channel CNBC

Six pubs also took part in the Long Itchington beer festival, in Warwickshire, which sold 25,000 pints across the period.

Brewers also reported great success — English lager Freedom recorded a 40% uplift in sales for April, with Argyll-based Fyne Ales up 62% for the month and Horsham-based microbrewery WJ King up 80%.

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