Beer sales up on back of World Cup and hot summer

Beer sales are up 4.4% on the same quarter last year thanks to England’s success in the World Cup and the hot summer, figures show.

Pubs in particular benefited from the favourable conditions, with sales increasing by 0.9 percentage points – the sector’s first third quarter growth in more than 15 years, according to the data from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

Supermarkets and off-licences saw beer sales rise by 7.6% on the same period last year.

However the BBPA said pubs could not rely on the “welcome boost” for growth and warned that Brexit uncertainty was a major concern for the brewing and pub sector.

Pubs had started to see customers “tighten their purse strings” at the bar and needed clarity on the transition period and future relationship with the EU to reassure brewers, publicans and consumers alike, it said.

BBPS chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “It’s certainly good to see that beer sales are doing better overall. England’s success at the World Cup and good weather undoubtedly helped.

“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.

“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.”