Alcohol consumption has fallen 6 per cent in the last five years and overall spend on drink within the hospitality sector is at its lowest in 37 years according to statistics published in the British Beer & Pub Association's latest handbook.
Britons drank 8.9 litres of 100 per cent alcohol per head in 2008, compared to 9.2 litres in 2007 showing that consumption is falling, but sales of beer in cans and bottles overtook draught sales for the first time last year indicating that people are drinking more alcohol at home than out.
The data, gathered from surveys of BBPA members also found that hte average price of a pint of lager was found to have risen by five pence in the last year to £2.81 while a typical pint of bitter now costs £2.49 – up eight pence on 2008. There was found to be no difference in price between independents and tenanted or leased pubs.
Britons also drink less than the French, Germans, and Spanish, with the Czechs drinking the most per head, at 12.4 litres of alcohol,
BBPA acting chief executive, David Long, said: “Our new Statistical Handbook will confound many of the myths surrounding trends in the UK drinks industry. Year on year, we are not drinking more. Nor is British beer getting stronger, with two thirds of our beer at or below 4.2 per cent strength, compared to the continental standard of 5 per cent. These facts, along with thousands of others, make this publication an essential tool for anyone with an interest in an industry that is so vital to the UK economy.”