POOR weather and the effects of the latest Budget tax hike were blamed for a “sharp” fall in beer sales across the UK between April and June.
According to the BBPA’s latest Beer Barometer, strong trading around the Diamond Jubilee weekend and Euro 2012 football tournament failed to offset the impact of the duty increase and wet weather.
The volume of beer sold across the on and off-trades between April and June was down 5.3% on the same period last year, which the BBPA said equates to 115 million fewer pints of beer.
Sales in the off-trade took a bigger hit, down 5.9% in the quarter compared to the same three months in 2011, while on-trade sales fell 4.6%.
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said the latest decline means beer sales have fallen by 15% since the UK government introduced the duty escalator in March 2008.
“The chancellor can’t change the weather but he can stop the misguided beer tax hikes that are damaging the sector and doing virtually nothing to help tackle the deficit,” she said.
“The very marginal rise in beer duty revenues the government is achieving is being all but wiped out by a fall in income from employment and other taxes. There is growing public concern over its effect on brewing, pubs and jobs and we do need urgent action.”