December beer sales set to be 90% lower than ‘normal’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Beer sales: pubs stand to serve 270m fewer pints than in previous Decembers due to coronavirus restrictions
Beer sales: pubs stand to serve 270m fewer pints than in previous Decembers due to coronavirus restrictions

Related tags Beer British beer & pub association Emma McClarkin Christmas

Beer sales in pubs are expected to be 90% lower than ‘normal’ this month – a drop of 270m pints, one trade association has estimated.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has analysed its beer sales volume survey, finding typically during December, pubs sell almost 300m pints of beer.

Due to restrictions under the tier system, the BBPA predicted just 30m pints of beer will be sold in pubs this month.

It calculated as a result of the lower beer sales, the pub and brewing sector will see a reduction of £935m in turnover in pints sold.

Financial aid

The trade association has called on the Government to review and reduce the tier restrictions in place or provide a “full and proper grant support system” to help them survive the winter and reopen properly in 2021.

It also said the support would need to be provided to brewers as sales in the off-trade were not making up anywhere near the volume and value of the 270m pints they won’t be selling in pubs this month or any other month since the first national lockdown in March.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “These stark numbers show this Christmas could be the last for many of our pubs."

No compensation

She added: “The one-off payment for pubs of £1,000 doesn’t come anywhere close to compensating for up to 270m lost pint sales or almost £1bn hit to their turnover.

“Currently, in England there is no compensation available for our hard-hit breweries unlike in Wales and Scotland, where it has at least been recognised that they too are suffering as a result of these tighter restrictions being placed on the whole hospitality sector.  

“The saddest thing of all is that our pubs should be properly open this Christmas. Christmas isn’t the same without a pint at the local with friends and family. These 270 million lost pints reflect 270 million lost opportunities for friends, families and communities to be together enjoying their local pub this Christmas. A key part of the Christmas spirit is going to be lost this year with so many pubs closed.”  

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