Buoyant beer sales in the retail channel during Euro 2016 drove a 4.8% growth in the category in the second quarter of 2016.

On-trade sales dropped 1.9% in Q2 as drinkers stayed at home to watch the football, but the superb off-trade performance left beer sales up 1.5% overall in the UK.

This is equivalent to Brits drinking an extra 31 million pints from April to June compared to the same period in 2015.

The figures are published in the British Beer & Pub Associations Quarterly Beer Barometer.

It follows the Treasury cutting duty on beer by 1p in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and then freezing duty in 2016 after scrapping the duty much-maligned duty escalator.  

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “These are yet more encouraging figures, and the football has given a real boost to sales. It is quite clear we owe a huge debt of thanks to the cuts in beer duty from 2013. I hope the Government continues with this pioneering change in approach, and we continue to see support for fairer taxes for British beer.”

David Cunningham, programme director for There`s A Beer For That, the marketing campaign backed by British brewers to boost knowledge of beer, added: “We can see that the campaign messages of quality, diversity and versatility of beer and our focus on encouraging people to pair different styles of beer with their meals, is beginning to have a positive impact on consumer perception behaviour. This in turn is playing a part in the recovery of the category.”