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Overall beer sales also dropped by 2.2%, according to the latest Beer Barometer sales data from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). Sales in the off-trade were also down on the same quarter in 2018 by 1.7%.
The BBPA highlighted the decline was against a particularly strong quarter in 2018 where sales were bolstered by a long period of good weather and the group stages of the football World Cup.
However, the BBPA stated beer sales in the on-trade remain under considerable pressure, with pub numbers continuing to decline as a result of high taxes, including beer duty.
The trade body has called for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to cut or at least freeze beer duty in the Budget in a bid to help many community pubs survive.
It stated, at the moment, public finances include an inflation linked to beer duty and the BBPA is continuing to support the Long Live the Local campaign, which is calling for a beer duty cut. The BBPA is also supporting action on business rates, which it claims are overdue for reform.
Cuts and freezes
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Britain’s beer industry is a world-class manufacturing sector. Together, brewing and pubs support 900,000 jobs in towns and villages across the UK. As the nation’s favourite alcoholic drink, it is important that the Chancellor supports beer and the pubs that serve it in their local communities.
“We know that cuts and freezes to beer duty make a big difference in helping pubs and boosting beer sales. There is a very real threat, however, that Chancellor Sajid Javid will increase beer duty at the next Budget.
“After two back-to-back beer duty freezes in 2017 and 2018, an increase would be a big step back. What we really need is a beer duty cut to give pubs a big boost.”