Tier restrictions set to push beer sales down by 90%

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Tier restrictions set to push beer sales down by 90%

Related tags: Coronavirus tier system, Beer sales, Coronavirus, British beer & pub association

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) says it expects pub beer sales this December to be as much as 90% lower than normal, with 270 million fewer pints ordered.

The finding is from data the trade association has analysed from its beer sales volume survey, which it has conducted monthly for the last 20 years.

According to the analysis, almost 300 million pints of beer are typically sold during the month of December by pubs.

However, based on data gathered under the new tighter tier systems that have kept the majority of pubs closed and the rest open but only able to serve alcohol with a substantial meal, this December the trade association forecasts as few as 30 million pints of beer will be sold.

The BBPA says the forecast shows the extreme impact the tier system is having on the viability of pubs and breweries this Christmas.

It has calculated that the much lower pint sales in December would result in as much as £935m in turnover being wiped-out from the pub and brewing sector this month in beer sales alone.

The trade body is calling on the Government to review and reduce the tier restrictions pubs face, or else provide them with the full and proper grant support they need to survive the winter and ensure they remain viable to reopen properly in 2021.

It adds that such support would also need to be provided to brewers whose sales in supermarkets and off-licenses are not making up anywhere near the volume and value of the 270 million pints they aren’t selling in pubs this month or in previous months since March.

“These stark numbers show that this Christmas could be the last for many of our pubs," says Emma McClarkin, CEO of the BBPA.

"With trade up to 90% lower than usual, many pubs simply won’t survive without Government either easing the restrictions or providing more support for pubs and brewers.”

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