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Budget 2016 - latest UK beer sales figures show pressing need for another cut in beer duty, says BBPA


Annual sales of beer in Britain declined by 1.5 per cent in 2015, showing the pressing need for another cut in beer duty in the Budget on 16th March to boost Britain’s pubs. The figures are from the BBPA’s quarterly Beer Barometer survey.

The decline represents a loss of 114 million pints from Britain’s pubs, bars and restaurants, as off-trade sales in shops and supermarkets held steady in 2015.

With the Budget looming on 16th March, campaigners say this is not time for the Chancellor to start reversing his three, historic cuts in beer duty in the last three Budgets – particularly as the sector faces big financial challenges in the year ahead. There will be rising costs from the National Living Wage, higher Business Rates, and the Apprenticeship Levy all hitting the bottom line for Britain’s hard pressed pubs.

UK beer drinkers already pay some of the highest beer taxes in the EU – twice the European average, and a staggering 13 times higher than in Germany, where beer duty is just 4p a pint compared to 54p here.

The British Beer & Pub Association, is campaigning hard with others, including CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), for a fourth penny cut, to safeguard jobs in the sector, mostly in Britain’s much loved community pubs.

BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds, comments:

“The figures are certainly not all bad news, as overall, Britain’s beer sales have stabilised over the past three years following years of sharp decline, due to the disastrous tax policy of the beer duty escalator, which saw beer tax rise by 42 per cent from 2008 to 2013.

“Since then, we have seen growing confidence in the sector, but the figures show this is no time for complacency, and any return to tax rises would wipe out this fragile recovery.

“We need another one penny cut in the Budget - to safeguard jobs and much-loved pubs, and to help Britain’s hard pressed beer drinkers.”

Notes to editors:

For further information, please contact:

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

Neil Williams, Head of Media: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

To view the full data, see spreadsheet in the resources section below.

The BBPA has produced a one-minute film, now available on YouTube, giving consumers and campaigners some of the most startling facts about beer tax rates in the UK and their huge impact on the economy. The film calls on viewers to write their MP about beer duty via the BBPA’s campaigning website

For the new joint BBPA, SIBA, CAMRA, Pubs of Ulster ‘Beer Story – Facts on Tap’ leaflet and infographics, see

Campaigners can also download a free campaign poster from the BBPA’s website here.

The British Beer & Pub Association is the leading body representing Britain’s brewers and pub companies. The Association is more than a century old and was originally founded as the Brewers’ Society in 1904. Our members account for some 90 per cent of beer brewed in Britain today, and own around 20,000 of the nation’s pubs.

The BBPA has a long-established and authoritative reputation for the publication of statistics on the UK’s brewing and pub sector. Data is sourced directly from the Association’s brewing members, and accounts for 100 per cent of all beer sold in the UK.

In addition to the data available with this news 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 purchasing other data from the BBPA, please contact



» UK Quarterly Beer Barometer Q4 2015


Community, Beer Duty, General, Statistics

For further information contact:

Neil Williams
Head of Media
Tel: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

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