Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Swings and roundabouts

The British Beer & Pub Association have published their latest Quarterly Beer Barometer statistics, bringing the series up to the end of 2017. These show an overall rise in annual beer sales of 0.7%, only the second positive figure since 2004, which must be good news for the brewing industry.

However, unsurprisingly, the total figure is made up of a 3.6% rise in off-trade sales, partially offset by a 2.4% fall in the on-trade. On-trade sales have never shown an annual rise over the entire twenty-year period covered by the figures, and now only account for 47% of the total, so that particular tipping point is long gone. Total on-trade sales are now 33% below the 2007 figure.

So it’s hardly surprising that we continue to see a steady drip drip drip of pub closures, as I recently reported in Stockport.


  1. yeh but there are more micro breweries churning out obscure home brew so swings and roundabouts yeh?

    don't you CAMRA wallas want beer & pubs to be a nice middle class vanity cottage industry?

    1. The other Mudgie !22 February 2018 at 16:15

      Yes, of course we do but cottages don't neatly fit into railway arches !

  2. The BBC publishes some interesting graphs here:

    If correct, then they would suggest that in 2000 there were about 60,000 pubs in the UK, of which around 3000 net had been lost by 2007 when the smoking ban came in. Between 2007 and 2015 a further 7,000 were lost, which would indicate that perhaps around 10,000 have been lost to date. So, pro-rata, it would appear that around 5,000 of these would have closed anyway, without the combined effects of the smoking ban, the financial crisis, and other factors.

    It shows that there would be rather fewer than 50,000 pubs today with perhaps around 55,000 if there had been no ban.

    I take it then, that the sidebar running total here refers to gross closures only, and does not subtract new pub businesses?

    Perhaps the inclusion of the word "gross" would make the figure more helpful?

    (I trust that folks will excuse the round figures).


  3. Perhaps that is something you would like to take up with the people responsible for the widget.


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