Spring overtakes festive sales?
Published:  04 February, 2011

For the first time, sales of take-home beer in the last three months of 2010 were lower than those in the second quarter of the year, according to figures from the British Beer & Pub Association.

Unusually warm spring weather saw 3.9 million barrels sold between April and June, compared with 3.6 million barrels from October to December.

Off-trade volumes in the last quarter of the year were down 1.3% on the same period in 2009.

Take-home beer sales for the whole of 2010 rose 0.6% year-on-year to 12.7 million barrels – halting a three-year decline for take-home, according to BBPA figures. Pub beer sales dropped 7.5% in 2010, which the BBPA blamed on duty rate hikes.

“Beer has always been a rich revenue source for government – but it may now be cooking the golden goose,” said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds.

Meanwhile, the BBPA is encouraging brewers to get involved in British Tourism Week 2011, which will run from March 12 to 20.

“The use of our brewing heritage as a magnet for visitors has become increasingly important,” said a spokesman for the BBPA.




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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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