While annual beer sales for the year ending 30 September were up 1.4%, this was driven by the 3.6% growth in the off-trade. Even so, comparing Q3 directly with last year total sales were down 3.8%, with the on-trade falling 1.6%.
The BBPA pointed out that Q3 sales this year were still higher than 2012 and said unused stocks of beer from the World Cup had skewed the figures.
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive, said: “We are seeing a very encouraging recovery in UK beer sales, but there is certainly a way to go, after a long period of declining volumes.
“We’ve seen a boost in investment and jobs as a result of the last two budgets with their one pence duty cuts, and major industry campaigns, such as ‘There’s a Beer for That’ show that the UK beer category is increasingly on the front foot.
"Another beer duty cut in March would really help the industry to continue this recovery.”