After originally puffing the smoking ban to high heaven, it’s good to see reality breaking out in October’s issue of What’s Brewing:
Smoking ban puts back real ale resurgence
A potential resurgence of cask ale could be delayed by the English smoking ban, but it’s not all doom and gloom, according to a market analyst.
Graham Page, from AC Nielsen, said there was potential for the cask ale market to move into growth, after several years of decline, but believed the poor trading of pubs as a result of a wet summer and the effect of the smoking ban might prevent this for the next few years.
He’s predicting total beer sales in pubs could drop by as much as seven per cent in 2008 – meaning up to 200 million fewer pints sold.
…the next few years… …as much as seven per cent… - now that is a serious setback to the pub trade, although one that was predicted by opponents of the ban.
I was also rather taken by this brief letter from one Peter Edwardson of Stockport (ahem!):
I assume all those campaigning for local real ale will also be advocating the banning of imports of Budweiser Budvar or having it brewed under licence in Northampton.