Among thousands of fascinating new figures, the average price of a pint of bitter in Britain’s pubs has broken through the three-pound barrier for the first time, with a six pence rise, from £2.99 last year, to £3.05 in 2017.
The figure will fuel concerns over Treasury plans to raise beer duty for a second time this year, in the Budget on 22nd November. The 2017 price rise for bitter was the biggest since 2014, and the price of a pint of lager rose even more, by ten pence, from, £3.48, to £3.58 in 2017.
Despite the increase, beer remains the pubgoers’ drink of choice, accounting for 54.3 per cent of alcohol sales in the on-trade in 2016 (pubs, hotels and restaurants), down slightly from 55 per cent in 2015. Beer’s share is even higher in much-loved, community locals, and its continued dominance in pubs makes them particularly sensitive to beer tax hikes, says the BBPA. UK beer duty is 60 per cent higher than in 2000, and among the highest in the European Union.
Wine, on the other hand, remains the top choice of the home drinker, with a 38 per cent share, down slightly from a peak of 40 per cent in 2013.
Britain has seen a huge explosion in the number of breweries, which topped 2,000 for the first time in 2016, at 2,250. Between 2000 and 2016 there has been an astonishing increase of 1,750 in the total number of UK breweries.
However, the BBPA Stats Handbook also finds that the top 20 brewers produce 71 per cent of all the beer enjoyed by beer lovers around the world.
New per capita consumption figures for beer show that average consumption of 67 litres per head is below the EU average of round 72 litres, and well below the Czech Republic, where consumers enjoy an average 147 litres per head, per year.
Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive, BBPA, comments:
“Our latest Stats Handbook shows that the taxes on UK beer are still a huge cause for concern, and we cannot afford another beer duty hike in the November Budget, if we are to keep a pint in the pub affordable for British beer drinkers.
“However, a wealth of other data, shows that with the right policies, the beer and pub industry, which supports 900,000 jobs, can continue to help grow the economy, creating new jobs and more opportunities for the people who work in our sector.”
The BBPA Statistical Handbook is a widely used and respected guide to detailed trends in the UK beer and pub markets including both regional data within the UK alongside international data on beer and alcohol consumption. There are sections on household expenditure, income and prices as well as taxation, the structure of the industry and alcohol-related harm. It is also available with a memory stick containing key data featured in the handbook, and can be purchased via www.beerandpub.com/shop