Coronavirus: growth in off-trade won’t save brewers, says BBPA

Emma McClarkin

The UK brewing industry’s largest trade association has warned that increased sales in the off-trade alone cannot stave off devastation for the country’s brewers.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has urged the government to defer payments of Beer Duty due on 25 April relating to beer produced in March when pubs were forced to shut down overnight, wiping out 70% of the UK market.

It also called for a deferment of beer duty for the whole of the next quarter (April to June) – a total of £750m when combined with duty for beer sold in March – to support the brewing industry.

It claimed this would let brewers get back on their feet and be ready to supply pubs when they eventually reopen.

Emma McClarkin (pictured), Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, commented: “The UK Government has rightly announced various measures to help our sector, which we warmly welcome. However, with pubs being forced to close overnight, 70% of the UK’s beer market by value has been shut off – devastating breweries across the UK. Sales of beer in off licenses and supermarkets simply cannot make that gap up.

“The Chancellor has said he will do ‘whatever it takes’ – for brewers this means an immediate deferment of the April beer duty payment for beer produced in March, and a deferment for the whole of the next of the quarter too.”