ROUNDUP / Association: Lockdowns have spoiled British appetite for beer
The flag of Great Britain. pixabay.com
LONDON (dpa-AFX) – The most beautiful place is always at the counter: The refrain of this popular hit from the 1950s describes well the attitude towards life of many people in Great Britain. They obviously found that beer only tasted really good in pubs and during the lockdowns last year they increasingly resorted to wine and spirits. This is the result of a current analysis by the British Beer and Pub Association.
“The lockdowns and the closure of the pubs in 2020 meant that the British drank more wine and liquor than in previous years, but less beer,” said association boss Emma McClarkin. Overall, British alcohol consumption through both wine and schnapps rose by two percentage points, while that in the form of beer fell by four percentage points. According to the information, beer sales overall fell by almost 15 percent last year.
According to the association’s data, this means that, for the first time in the United Kingdom, more pure alcohol was consumed through wine and spirits than through beer last year. Not good news for brewers and pubs, because beer is the main thing in the pubs. Of ten beverages sold there, seven are beer, according to the association’s announcement. The brewers could not make up for the lost business at the taps during the pandemic in the supermarket.
As they emphasize, this is by no means just about money for the stakeholders. It is also about health, because beer is only 4.2 percent alcohol “ideal for moderate consumption,” said McClarkin. Whether the pub-goers, who have been able to get unlimited beer in British pubs since the summer, actually consume less alcohol, seems at least questionable.
In any case, the association sees itself confirmed in its argumentation by the announcement by the British finance minister a few weeks ago that the tax on beer would be lowered, but that on high-proof alcohol would be increased. However, it is uncertain whether this will stop the decline of pub and beer culture in Great Britain. The share of wine in British alcohol consumption has been rising steadily since the 1970s, while that of beer has been falling for decades. The same goes for the pubs. Even before the pandemic, there was often talk of a pub dying. The lockdowns accelerated this development./cmy/DP/ngu
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