The Strategist

2020 beer sales in UK pubs fall to their lowest in 100 years

02/11/2021 - 08:52

The UK Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) reported that last year pub beer sales fell 56% from 2019 to £7.8 billion, the lowest level since the 1920s, according to the UK media estimates.

Such a sharp decline in sales was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the authorities' tough measures to combat it, including lengthy lockdowns and closures of catering outlets, stores, pubs, etc. 

In the second quarter, for example, bar beer sales were down 96% from the second quarter of 2019, and in the fourth quarter - when pubs were able to open but with a number of strict opening hours restrictions - sales were down 77%.

Given the magnitude of the losses, BBPA members have urged the authorities to take steps to get local businesses - pub owners, local breweries, etc. - out of an acute crisis. 

Such measures include opening pubs at the same time as stores and hotels open as the population is vaccinated, the temporary removal of restrictions for pubs, such as the ban on selling beer without food or any snacks. 

In addition, the association noted that the government should continue to provide financial assistance to members of the pub industry to save them from bankruptcy and job losses.