Sunday, 1 August 2010

Glimmers in the darkness

According to the British Beer and Pub Association, total UK beer sales actually grew by 2.9% in April-June 2010, compared with the same quarter last year, the first such like-for-like increase for four years. However, beer sales in pubs continued to fall, being 6.3% down on the previous year. They were higher than in January-March, but surely that happens every year, as the post-Christmas period is traditionally one of sales doldrums, and more people go out once the weather warms up a bit. The widespread snowfalls in January won’t have helped either. That can hardly be regarded as cause for celebration.

So, mildly encouraging news that people are ignoring the Righteous anti-drink hysteria and actually getting a bit more beer down their necks, but scant consolation for the pub trade, which continues to suffer from a tide of legislative and social trends running strongly against it. If volumes continue to decline at 6.3% a year, they will halve in ten years.

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