BRITISH beer sales have increased for two consecutive quarters – the first time in 10 years – according to the latest quarterly ‘Beer Barometer’ figures from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).
The increase in sales follows the Chancellor’s cut in beer duty in last year’s budget – and strengthens calls for a duty freeze in the March Budget, says the BBPA.
Overall beer sales rose by 0.8 per cent in the quarter, some 15.3 million extra pints on the same period in 2012.
Beer sales in pubs declined at a lower rate, falling by 2.2 per cent.
Sales in the off-trade continued to grow, with the final quarter increase of 3.9 per cent contributing to 2013 off-trade sales beating 2012 levels.
The renewed confidence felt by brewers will be further evidenced this week with the opening on Friday of a new £7 million bottling plant from Burton-based Marston’s.
Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: “These figures demonstrate that cutting beer duty helps increase beer sales, stimulates industry investment and saves jobs. We hope the Chancellor takes note.”