UK alcohol consumption remains stable

The British Beer & Pub Association has published its Annual Statistical Handbook showing that overall UK consumption of alcohol per head remains stable, 18% down on its 2004 peak.

Across the European Union, alcohol consumption has remained broadly flat, with some countries, the UK included, seeing declines in per capita consumption. Estonia, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic consume the most alcohol per head of population.

When it comes to beer, at 68 litres per head per year, UK consumption is below the EU average of around 72. Ireland’s figure here is 79.

Alongside UK consumption trends, the handbook covers other key issues such as alcohol taxation, showing that UK beer duty is 54% higher than it was in 2000 despite recent cuts to the duty rate. The BBPA says the data here shows that much more work needs to be done to cut beer duty in the UK with duty there still 14 times that of Germany.

The Handbook also points to the astonishing growth in the number of UK breweries; between 2000 and 2015 the number rose by 1,380.

It looks at employment trends and finds that females comprise 54% of pub staff in the UK.

Cask ale makes up 8.2% of the total beer market with the very significant shift from ales and stouts to lagers observed over the last 40 years beginning to reverse, notes the BBPA.

“Many of the figures detailed in our updated Stats Handbook are encouraging for our industry” comments BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds, “but the UK’s high duty rate on beer is still a cause for concern. We will continue to work with the Government to bring our rate more in line with other European nations and help better support our industry.

“Our new Handbook again underlines that with the right policies for the beer and pub sector, there’s huge scope for us to help grow the economy, creating new jobs and careers, with great venues and beers.”



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