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No lies, damned lies, just a load of statistics on beer and pubs

On 18/10/13

The BBPA is proud of its numbers! We have a long history of building a credible evidence base in the arguments we make. We work with a wealth of statistics in our day-to-day operations, so it makes sense for us to pull these together in one place for others to use, and help them understand the industry we support. The result is our Statistical Handbook (available for purchase here), a compendium of facts and figures, of which I am currently the editor. It's a lot of work, and is a real team effort, but hopefully readers/users find it worthwhile.

The Handbook is a longstanding institution in the world of beer and pubs. It has been produced since 1973 and brings together a vast array of data on the industry in which we operate, and the wider world. I believe it is truly informative and authoritative about the market.We've issued some of the media friendly stats to the outside world in our news release but there is a wealth of additional information contained inside, for the beer geek, the industry analyst, policymakers and the general onlooker.

The Handbook is also designed to be impartial - it presents the statistics as they are. And this, hopefully, gives it credibility. It is frequently quoted by supporters and critics of the industry alike, so this suggests the balance is about right.

This year's book has seen a number of changes. For the first time the 'book' will be available electronically. The tables in the Handbook itself will be available on a data stick, enabling users to more easily analyse and interrogate the data. The electronic version will also include additional tables that are not in the Handbook. These tend to be more 'specialist' tables for industry users. An example is the weather - the data stick includes hours of sunshine, temperature and levels of rainfall for those that want to study and predict the impact of the weather on beer sales. This is further enhanced by more detailed information on the location of breweries, a diary of significant events and data on beer's raw materials.

We strongly believe in evidence-based decisions, and hope this 'bible' helps add to the debate about a complicated but brilliant industry, one that is so important to people's lives.

And we're always keen to improve so if you have any comments, queries, additions, criticisms or whatever else please get in touch - and we'll see what we can do to help.

Cheers, and happy reading!


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