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Big boost for British beer, as Q3 sales rise by 5.2 per cent


  • Total beer sales up 5.2 per cent – 103 million pints of beer
  • Pub beer sales down 1.2 per cent
  • Big boost for off trade, with sales up 12.5 per cent

UK beer sales rose by 5.2 per cent in the third quarter – the biggest quarter-on-quarter increase this century, according to the British Beer & Pub Association’s latest Beer Barometer, published today. The boost follows the fine summer weather, as well as optimism over the Chancellor’s popular Beer Tax cut in the March Budget, says the BBPA.

While there were some losses in the on-trade (pubs, bars and restaurants) of 1.2 per cent on the same quarter last year, it is still the most favourable on-trade third quarter since 2003. In contrast, the off-trade enjoyed a major boost, with a 12.5 per cent rise in sales – again, the best Q3 performance for this key British product in a decade.

The rise also means that Chancellor George Osborne collected £16 million more in beer taxes (duty and VAT) in the past quarter despite the two per cent cut in Beer Duty. The BBPA believes that the tax cut represents a big milestone for the industry, with renewed confidence boosting investment.

The sector’s confidence has also been boosted by Let There Be Beer – a major new industry campaign funded by the large brewers championing the entire category – the largest investment of its kind for many years.

Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, comments:

“After many years of disappointing figures it’s great to see a great British product reporting such a strong third quarter performance. There is a still a way to go, but with increased investment and a fairer tax regime, we can build for future success. With the Beer Duty escalator cancelled by George Osborne, and tax revenues up, there is a real opportunity, if we have another freeze next year.”

Notes to editors:

BBPA report: Cheers! Budget 2013 – The impact of the beer duty cut

The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector. Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and around half of Britain’s 50,000 pubs.

  1. Full Beer Barometer excel tables can be downloaded from the BBPA website via the link below.

  2. Beer sales support around one million jobs and generate nearly £8 billion in tax revenues.

  3. Beer is a leading British Manufactured good, with 87 per cent of beer consumed in the UK, brewed in the UK.

  4. Beer duty was due to rise by 5.2 per cent in the Budget, but was instead cut by 2 per cent. The Chancellor also abolished the controversial Beer Duty ‘escalator’, and thus also cancelled the above-inflation increase due in March 2014. Prior to the Budget on 20th March 2013, beer duty had risen by 42 per cent, following the introduction of the escalator by the previous government in March 2008.

  5. The BBPA has a long-established and authoritative reputation for the publication of statistics on the UK’s brewing and pub sector. The BBPA’s Beer Barometer is generally available within one month of quarter-end. Data is sourced directly from the Association’s brewing members, and accounts for 100 per cent of all beer sold in the UK.

  6. In addition to the data available with this press release more detailed data is available to purchase from the BBPA. This includes a more detailed look at category performance and monthly breakdowns. For information about the data that BBPA sells, please contact David Sheen.


» UK Quarterly Beer Barometer Q3 2013


Beer Duty, General

For further information contact:

David Wilson
Director of Public Affairs
Tel: 020 7627 9151 / 07557 436 033

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