Alcohol consumption in the UK has fallen by 18% since peaking in 2004, despite a massive surge in the opening of new breweries, according to new research from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).
The number of breweries in the UK grew sharply by 1,380 between 2000 and 2015, it says. However, the trade body also reports that UK beer duty is a massive 54% higher than it was in 2000, accounting for some of the decline. The UK’s duty rate is 14 times that of Germany, for example.
The BBPA says the data shows that more work still needs to be done to cut beer duty in the UK.
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive, of the BBPA said: 'Many of the figures detailed in our updated Stats Handbook are encouraging for our industry, but the UK's high duty rate on beer is still a cause for concern. We will continue to work with the government to bring our rate more in line with other European nations and help better support our industry.
'Our new handbook again underlines that with the right policies for the beer and pub sector, there is huge scope for us to help grow the economy, creating new jobs and careers, with great venues and beers.'
The report also found that cask ale continues to account for 8.2% of the total beer market, with the significant shift from ales and stouts to lagers, observed over the last 40 years, beginning to reverse.