The operator launched the festival with a World Record Attempt for the most people drinking Hobgoblin at the same time – with drinkers in all 40 pubs taking part in the festival were raising a glass before settling down to the England v Fiji game.
Chief operating officer Nigel Wright said, “The makeup of the TCG estate with many strong, drinks-led sites, really comes into its own for big sports occasions and sales across our sites showing the rugby were well ahead of last year, not just on Friday but over the whole weekend.
"Our flagship sports pub, the F3K in Fulham, more than doubled last year’s sales, thanks to fantastic planning by the team and an international customer base which meant there were good crowds for matches other than just the England v Fiji game. The Comedy in Leicester Square also benefited from a global sports following, achieving a 35% uplift.
“Elsewhere, Henry’s in Cardiff saw sales up by 64% on the back of both the Ireland and Wales matches at the Millennium Stadium, and Finnegan’s Wake in Edinburgh was up by 38%. Many of our local pubs performed well, including the Steam Passage in Camden which had a record week, Molly Millar in Wokingham and Sefton Arms in St Helens, both up in excess of 30%.
“Achieving these impressive results is down to our excellent pub and bar teams who worked hard to ensure everyone who came in to watch the match had a great experience and will hopefully be back for more."
Wright also said Japan's victory over South Africa - probably the greatest upset in the history of the sport - was good news for the tournament overall, as it meant more interest in non-England matches. He also said towns hosting matches were witnessing 'World Cup fever'.
He said: “We chose to launch our annual ‘Proud of Our Ale’ festival on Friday 18: with a high proportion of rugby fans being ale drinkers, it made sense to showcase what we offer on both."