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  • Q3 2018 Beer Barometer – beer sales grow, but sector needs certainty on Brexit, says BBPA 

    03 December 2018

    Beer sales in the third quarter of 2018 were up 4.4% on the same period in 2017, according to the latest Beer Barometer sales data from the British Beer & Pub Association. Pubs (referred to as the On-Trade) in particular benefited from the much-needed boost, enjoying their first third quarter growth in over 15 years, with sales increasing by 0.9 percentage points. This increase in sales was driven by the success of England at the World Cup, which saw the national team reach the semi-finals of the tournament, driving footfall in pubs where fans watched the games. It was also driven in part by the good weather over the summer months, which encouraged people to visit their local and enjoy the pub garden. In supermarkets and off-licenses (referred to as the Off-Trade), beer sales in the third quarter of 2018 went up by 7.6% on the same period in 2017.  Although the World Cup was a welcome boost to pubs, it only comes around once every four years. This means pubs cannot rely on it for growth. To improve the long-term sales of beer and the viability of pubs, appropriate measures are required by the government. The Chancellor’s decision to freeze beer duty and cut business rates for thousands of pubs in his most recent Budget was a very welcome boost for the industry. Uncertainty around Brexit, however, is a major concern for the brewing and pub sector. With consumers unsure of what the final outcome of Brexit will be, pubs have started to see customers tighten their purse strings at the bar. Clarity on the transition period from March 29thonwards and a strong steer on the future relationship with the EU is needed to reassure brewers, publicans and consumers alike. Speaking on the Q3 2018 Beer Barometer, Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, said: “It’s certainly good to see that beer sales are doing better overall. England’s success at the World Cup and good weather undoubtedly helped.  “The Chancellor’s decision in the Budget to freeze beer tax and lower business rates for thousands of pubs will make a huge difference to the viability of the sector moving forward, but Brexit looms large though and brewers and publicans alike need certainty. Clarity on the transition period from March 29thonwards and a strong steer on the future relationship with the EU would be a boost to the trade and beer sales. A no deal Brexit should be avoided at all costs.” UK Quarterly Beer Barometer Q3 2018

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  • BBPA welcomes UK’s first carbon capture project, turning dirty fumes into delightful beer

    29 November 2018

    The British Beer & Pub Association has welcomed Government plans for the UK’s first carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) project, creating the ability to turn dirty fumes into delightful beer. The plans are in part a result of the BBPA calling for the Government to put a stop to the CO2 shortages experienced this summer, which affected some of the brewing and pub sector during the World Cup. Commenting on the announcement of the carbon capture project, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said:   “The BBPA has been working with the wider food and drink sector to look at the CO2 shortages we experienced over the summer. Given the demand for CO2 from a range of industries in the UK and the current state of the supply chain to provide it, there is a very real danger that such shortages could happen again. “We therefore welcome this Government investment for the capture of CO2. It will allow us to turn dirty fumes into delightful beer, ensuring CO2 shortages don’t affect the beer and pub industry in the future. Time is of the essence of course, so we need this new technology and investment as soon as possible.” ENDS   For further information, please contact: Nick Lawrie, Digital Communications Manager: 020 7627 9156/ 07824 359 013 David Wilson, Director of Public Affairs: 020 7627 9151/ 07557 405 815 Adam Beazley, Communications & Campaigns Officer: 020 7627 9155 / 07507 836 708   Notes to editors: 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.

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  • BBPA responds to commitment from DCMS on Tourism Sector Deal

    29 November 2018

    The BBPA has responded to a commitment from the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to deliver a Tourism Sector Deal. The deal will focus on ensuring tourism and hospitality is a career for life, keeping the UK as the most accessible tourism industry in the world and sharing data and increasing accommodation capacity. Responding to the commitment, British Beer and Pub Association Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds commented:  “After a lot of very hard work to secure this deal for our industry, this is a great vote of confidence from the Government in our sector. Pubs are third on the list of things to do for overseas visitors to the UK; seven out of ten visit a pub whilst they are here. “As we prepare to leave the European Union, we must concentrate on making our sector one of choice for employees. Recruitment and retention are vital when as it stands 24% of our employees come from overseas, which rises to over 80% in metropolitan areas. “The BBPA is already chairing a group across the tourism sector on retention, and there is much work to do to secure the deal, but on the anniversary of the introduction of the Industrial Strategy, it is good to see such support from Government and VisitBritain.”

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  • BBPA responds to ONS “Economies of ale” report on pubs

    26 November 2018

    Responding to a new report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) titled the Economies of ale, British Beer and Pub Association Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds commented: “This new report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reflects our own data and research which shows that many pubs are struggling. “Pubs face a number of cost pressures, from high taxes in the form of beer duty, VAT and business rates, to wage increases and food inflation. This means they are under increasing financial pressure from every angle, which is driving closures. “The pub sector is proud of its role as a major UK employer and so the ONS data showing that pubs are employing more people than ever before is welcome news. This reflects that many smaller pubs are closing and larger pubs will inevitably employ more people. Pubs are also diversifying their offer to create an experience that appeals to the changing needs of consumers, hence the transition towards more food and entertainment-led establishments. Pubs now serve one billion meals each year and have 50,000 bedrooms. They are a vital part of both our international and domestic tourism market. “Unless more is done to help alleviate the cost pressures pubs face however, they will continue to close and jobs will be lost. Under the beer duty escalator alone (2008-2013), beer tax rose by 42%. During that time beer sales fell by 24% in pubs. This caused 5,000 pubs to close. “The Chancellor’s decision in the Budget to freeze beer tax and lower business rates for thousands of pubs will make a real difference to the viability of the sector moving forward – particularly the local, community pubs that the ONS data shows are disappearing. “More still needs to be done though to save those pubs that are most at risk from closure. This is why we continue to support the Long Live the Local campaign, which celebrates the vital role local, community pubs play in our lives across the UK, and calls on the government to reduce the cost pressures they are under.”

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  • BBPA responds to Gambling Commission study

    15 November 2018

    Commenting on the Gambling Commission’s study announced today, which found high levels of underage gaming machine play in pubs, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We are committed to keeping the pub a safe and friendly environment for families, so we take these interim findings very seriously. “We have ensured that all of our members are aware of both the BBPA’s and Gambling Commission’s codes of practice and we are already taking steps to develop a social charter for responsible gambling, for use by licensees and pub companies.  “However, given the importance of this issue we are seeking urgent meetings with the Gambling Commission and local authorities to ensure appropriate action is taken.”

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  • BBPA ‘bitterly disappointed’ by low and no alcohol consultation outcome

    13 November 2018

    Commenting on the announcement from the Department of Health that there will be no changes to the descriptors for low and no alcohol products, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “It is bitterly disappointing that the Department of Health has missed this opportunity to give consumers greater clarity when it comes to the labelling of low alcohol beers.  “Changing the current definition of ‘alcohol free’ beer from 0.05% ABV to 0.5% ABV – as we suggested during the consultation process – would have brought the UK in line with the rest of Europe and other global markets. This creates the perverse situation whereby beers at 0.5% ABV produced in Europe can be sold in the UK as “alcohol free”, but British brewers brewing at the same strength must label their beer differently. This is discrimination and will create confusion for consumers.  “Whilst we have already seen significant growth in the low alcohol beer sector, the Government has failed to implement changes that would enable Britain’s brewers to further innovate and promote lower strength drinks to stimulate this growth further. “A decision by the Australian Government to introduce tax reductions for ‘lighter’ beer has already led to growth of such beers to occupy 25% of the market there. Sadly then, this decision by the UK Government represents a missed opportunity to provide a similar incentive here and gives no encouragement to those seeking to moderate their alcohol consumption. “There is plenty of evidence to show that moderate drinking brings health benefits, and beer, which is typically a low strength form of alcohol, is a great way to enjoy a well-earned drink whilst supporting your local pub.”

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