Wasted beer toll measures 560 million pints as coronavirus curbs threaten future of pubs

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A staggering 560 million pints of beer will be wasted due to limitations on pub opening rules and curbs on the sale of alcohol.

Pubs were forced to call time in England during lockdown and few are expected to open fully once the three-tier system begins after December 2.

Brewers and bar owners are still in the dark as to how lockdown and the tier system will affect their sales. Subsequently, kitchenware store, Oliver’s Kitchen, has used publicly available data to conduct research into how much beer is set to be wasted thanks to the guidelines.

Its research revealed that in 2019 over eight billion pints were sold in the UK, meaning that over England’s 30-day lockdown period an estimated 560 million pints could be going down the drain. That is the equivalent of 106 Olympic-sized swimming pools, over 1.6 million bathtubs or enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall three times over.

Additionally, studies show that the UK public spent over £5.7billion on beer in 2019, with England making up 84 per cent of the UK, this would suggest hospitality venues could lose out on almost £400 million, from one month of lockdown alone.

The research revealed that total alcohol sales in 2020 have slumped 20 per cent, while total alcohol sales in supermarkets and shops were up 35 per cent over the first lockdown period, suggesting that people are now more inclined to drink at home rather than picking up a takeaway pint or heading to the pub.

Restrictions placed on pubs in particular may be having an impact on more than just the economy; a survey conducted by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) found that 32 per cent of respondents identified the pub as the best place to meet friends, with the study also suggesting that the sense of community provided in a pub can be beneficial to one’s overall wellbeing.

Oliver Warburton, founder of Oliver’s Kitchen, said: “It really is a shame that so much beer is being wasted, not only for the owners of the venues who are losing money, but also for their regulars who rely on their local watering holes for socialisation.

“Pub culture is such an important part of the UK, whether you are a drinker or not, and to lose that would be totally detrimental to the wealth of the community both economically and socially.

“Now more than ever, the public must do all they can to follow government guidelines in the hope that life can get back to normal as soon as possible, for businesses and individuals alike.”



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