British 'Beer Spirit' Dips

by Medindia Content Team on Nov 21 2007 1:29 PM

Sale of beer across Britain has hit an all time low since the 30's.Wine and spirit currently lead the sales in the world of alcohol consumption.

The number of pints per day sold in British pubs peaked in 1979, but has slumped by 22 percent -- or seven million pints -- since then, according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

The group claims that from 1997 to 2006 beer duties grew by 27 percent, against 16 percent for wine, 11 percent for cider and three percent for spirits -- cutting brewers' profits by 78 percent between 2004 and 2006 alone.

The BBPA, which also lamented soaring costs of raw products such as barley, malt, glass and aluminium, called on the government and lawmakers to agree a freeze on tax on beer sales.

"We believe the benefits that have been enjoyed by other drinks from a tax freeze should be extended to Britain's national drink -- beer," BBPA chief executive Rob Hayward wrote in an open letter to lawmakers.

"We are calling for government policy to encourage and support Britain's businesses. British brewers and beers are of world renown. Please join us in our call to the chancellor to freeze beer duty."

The BBPA's members account for 98 percent of beer brewed in Britain and nearly two thirds of Britain's 58,000 pubs.

Earlier this year a report suggested that Britons are set to become the biggest spenders on wine in Europe.

While Britons drink fewer bottles than the French, Germans or Italians, Britain is expected to overtake its European neighbours in terms of money spent on wine by 2010, said the report revealed at the Vinexpo wine trade exhibition.