Around 7.8 million pints were sold in 2012, compared to over 8.2 million in 2011 and over 8.4 million in 2010. And the effects are clear, with 26 pubs closing every week across the UK.
But, according to Camra, it wouldn’t take much to tip the scales the other way. In fact, beer drinkers buying just one extra pint a month in the pub is all it would take to push the British beer industry back into growth.
“Around 32 million people in the UK enjoy a beer at least once a year, but the number of people drinking in pubs has been on the decline, contributing to an overall fall in beer sales,” said Camra’s chief executive Mike Benner.
“But with the price of a pint getting a much needed duty cut in this year’s budget there’s never been a better time to get down the pub and help save the Great British pub. Just a pint a month extra is all it would take.”
The below table shows the significance that the extra one pint per drinker would make. (Figures from the British Beer and Pub Association).
Camra’s call to arms for British beer drinkers is in support of the national, cross-industry ‘Let There Be Beer’ campaign, which aims to get more Brits drinking our real ale.
Benner added: “Real Ale is a low strength drink that, in the main, can only be enjoyed in the sociable and responsible environment of the Great British Pub.
“Plus with more styles and varieties of Real Ale available than ever before, thanks to an ever growing number of breweries across the UK, there has never been more choice for drinkers. Why not take that extra pint a month as a chance to try a new real ale from your region?”
Weird & wonderful
The logo for ‘Let There Be Beer’ will be projected on to London Olympia today to celebrate the opening of the Great British Beer Festival and promote Camra’s support.
From traditional bitters and stouts to passion fruit-infused pale ales, and even a Chocolate and Bacon Porter, the Great British Beer Festival will feature both the weird and the wonderful, with around 400 real ales for the predicted 55,000 attendees to choose from.
Our sister title, the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, will be covering the Great British Beer Festival throughout the week.