This comes after research by Frontier Economics, produced for the British Beer & Pub Association, revealed pubs and breweries would be forced to close their businesses if they do not receive help with energy costs beyond April 2023.
CAMRA chairman Nik Antona said the report showed how the “perfect storm” of rising costs, soaring energy bills and customers tightening their belt was putting the future of UK locals – and the breweries that serve them – at risk.
Without help, pubs would be operating at a 20% loss, which, for Antona, was “frankly unsustainable”.
This adds to the spate of economic problems facing the sector including food inflation, a recruitment crisis and hiked wages.
“Pubs, clubs, breweries and cider producers are in an impossible position,” he said. “If the Government doesn’t extend support with energy costs when the current scheme finishes in April next year, we expect to see massive price hikes or pub closures to stem the costs.
“Just this weekend we have seen even more small brewers shutting up shop. This has devastating effects on consumer choice. Pubs are cornerstones of our communities, bringing people together and helping to tackle loneliness and social isolation.
“We can’t risk thousands of our locals closing for good because they can’t afford to pay their energy bills."
“That’s why CAMRA is calling on the Government to commit now to extending energy bill support for hospitality businesses beyond April to save our locals," he added.
Frontier Economics retail and consumer team associate director Tim Black believed recent economic shocks of Covid, Brexit and the war in Ukraine had put sustained pressure on businesses.
He said: “Our analysis shows the pub & brewery sector is facing a combination of surging costs – primarily energy, but also raw materials and wages – and falling demand, as consumers reduce their spending in the face of severe cost of living pressures.