The first bank holiday weekend of the year (Thursday to Monday, 6-10 April) saw drinkers consume 64.2m pints across the UK, which was an increase of 5.4% versus 2022.
In individual pub terms that equates to an extra 86 pints sold per pub versus the same period in 2022, meaning additional cash in the till of £349 for cash-strapped licensees, according to market intelligence business Oxford Partnership.
Strong sales on Saturday
Saturday was the biggest day by far, the insight expert said, and not only did it overtake 2022 sales but it also surpassed 2019, despite the overall weekend being behind 2019 by 5.8%, which was driven predominantly by sales on Sunday and Monday.
The average pub served 1,695 pints of draught beer and cider during the entire Easter period, helped by sunny weather, and these sales equated to a £6,864 income generator.
Total beer sales were up 5.7% v 2022 with the key growth driven by stout, world lager, ale and apple cider. Stout was the stand-out winning category with an impressive 36.2% increase against 2022 figures followed by world lager, which performed well with its performance up by 16.1% versus last year.
However, core lager, premium 4% and flavoured cider styles performed behind 2022 sales levels, with premium lager also marginally down.
Oxford Partnership’s chief executive Alison Jordan said: “Strong sales on the first bank holiday weekend of the year suggests pubs can look forward, with some degree of confidence, to a couple of successful May bank holidays, including the many celebrations planned to take place during the King’s coronation weekend.”
Statistics from Oxford Partnership over the past couple of months showed rises in beer and cider sales at pubs throughout the Six nations tournament but sales really excelled on St Patrick’s Day on 17 March.