The figures come as part of the British Beer & Pub Association’s (BBPA) latest quarterly ‘Beer Barometer’.
Total sales were up 0.8% in Q4 for 2013 and there was a big boost for off trade, with sales up 3.9%.
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “These figures demonstrate that cutting beer duty helps increase beer sales, stimulates industry investment and saves jobs.
“We hope the chancellor takes note and freezes beer duty in his next budget to give a further boost to British beer and pubs.”
The increase in sales follows the chancellor’s cut in Beer Duty in last year’s Budget – and strengthens calls for a duty freeze in the March budget, says the BBPA.
15.3 million extra pints bought
Overall beer sales rose by 0.8% in the quarter, some 15.3 million extra pints on the same period in 2012. Beer sales in pubs declined at a lower rate, falling by 2.2%. Sales in the off-trade continued to grow, with the final quarter increase of 3.9% contributing to 2013 off-trade sales beating 2012 levels.
The renewed confidence felt by brewers will be further evidenced this week with the opening on Friday of a new £7m bottling plant from Burton-based Marston’s.