Off-trade beer sales up: BBPA

Off-trade beer sales grew 9.1% in the last quarter, according to the latest report by the BBPA.

The increase spurred overall beer sales on 1.6% despite a poor performance in pubs, which saw sales drop 4.3% compared to the third quarter of 2010.

But the BBPA said the growth was against a particularly poor third quarter last year, when surplus stocks were being run down after the football World Cup.

Chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “It is good to see some growth in the beer market overall, and we are seeing some new pubs opening, with successful operators innovating, and broadening their offer to consumers. 

“However, there is no doubt that pubs continue to bear the brunt of Britain’s punitive tax policies on beer. We’ve seen beer tax rise by 35% since March 2008, with Britons now paying an astonishing 40% of all the beer taxes collected in the entire European Union. This is still shutting pubs and costing jobs, in a sector that could create growth in the economy. 

“We certainly don’t need the further beer tax rises the government is planning under a misguided tax escalator policy.” 

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