On-trade beer sales in the third quarter of 2018 showed an encouraging 0.9% growth compared to the same period last year, according to a report by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). On-trade beer sales have been in steady decline over the past 18 years and this is the first quarter the BBPA has seen like-for-like growth since 2014.
With the ambiguities of Brexit continuing to loom however, and the overall on-trade sales figure predicted to turn negative by the end of the year, the beer industry is in need of certainties to secure prosperity.
‘It’s certainly good to see that beer sales are doing better overall. England’s success at the World Cup [...] undoubtedly helped,’ said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said. With the national football team reaching the semi-finals, the BBPA pointed out that supporters flocked to pubs to watch the games, driving beer sales up.
The weather had a positive effect on sales too, added Simmonds, as the unusual sunny summer encouraged people to visit pub gardens more often.
As the success of England’s football team and the weather are all welcomed yet uncontrollable factors, the BBPA is urging the government to adopt long-term measures to help the beer industry.
‘The Chancellor’s decision in the Budget to freeze beer tax and lower business rates for thousands of pubs will make a huge difference to the viability of the sector moving forward, but Brexit looms large though and brewers and publicans alike need certainty,’ commented Simmonds.
‘Clarity on the transition period from March 29th onwards and a strong steer on the future relationship with the EU would be a boost to the trade and beer sales. A no-deal Brexit should be avoided at all costs.’