According to a report by CGA Strategy, the UK’s pub and bar sector will lose another 5,000 sites by 2017, and beer volume will decline by 7.1%. Now, that may sound a depressing prospect, but actually it’s considerably better than the previous five years, during which over 10,000 pubs have been lost, and on-trade beer volumes in the five years to June 2012 (i.e. going back to the last quarter before the you-know-what) have fallen, according to the BBPA, by a whacking 26%.
If anything, I’d say those predictions were a tad optimistic, especially the one for beer volumes. Realistically, the tide of anti-alcohol sentiment in society and official policy is likely, if anything, to intensify, and that will continue to be reflected in a reduced enthusiasm for drinking alcohol, especially in public spaces. The rate of decline may not be as steep as over the past five years, but there is no sign of things bottoming out.