Sales through the off-trade fell 3.1% in 2009, the biggest decline since records began in 1978, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). However, the decline was less than that experienced in Britain’s 54,000 pubs where sales fell 5.2%, contributing to an overall reduction in beer sales of 4.2%.
Still there is a silver lining in this cloud in that the decline in beer sales is slowing. The BBPA has revealed details of its Quarterly Beer Barometer which shows that while sales are still declining the rate of fall has dropped. For the last three months of 2009 sales were down 3.6 per cent – the lowest fourth quarter fall since 2006.
This of course could all be derailed by duty increases and increases passed on to the drinker by PubCos and brewers. In my own neck of the woods, beer sales as in "money off" are appearing, but one thing the figures show is that the recession has affected even cheap at home drinkers and shows that to some at least, at the poorest end of the market, that price affects consumption, unless of course they've all switched to cheap supermarket voddy.
Nonetheless it confirms in my mind, not that it needed much confirming, that minimum pricing will largely affect the poorest amongst us. But of course, they shouldn't be drinking anyway, should they?
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
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