Pub landlords turn their backs on fresh cask ales because drinkers staying at home due to cost of living crisis means thousands of pints could go to waste
- Cask ale’s short shelf-life has sparked fears thousands of pints will go to waste
- Demand for beer was more ‘subdued’ than expected over the summer months
- Brewing giant Adnams made a pre-tax loss of £1m in the first six months of 2021
Pub landlords are turning their backs on fresh cask ales because drinkers are staying at home due to the cost of living crisis.
The worst squeeze on incomes in three decades could mean thousands of pints could go to waste.
Demand for real ale and beer was more ‘subdued’ than expected over summer, according to brewing company Adnams, sparking fears that the hospitality trade could nosedive in the coming months.
The firm said it made a pre-tax loss of £1 million in the six months to June 30, significantly narrowing the £3.3 million in losses posted a year ago.
However the company said it received a small uptick in revenue after more Britons decided to holiday in the UK over the summer months amid airport disruption led to fewer foreign trips.
Chairman Jonathan Adnams said: “This situation is really the last thing our industry needed after the previous two years, and we are highly conscious as to how much cost can realistically be passed directly through to the customer before a visit to the pub becomes too expensive.”
Cask ale must be poured and drunk within three days of being tapped but landlords fear with fewer customers large amounts of the barrel will go to waste
Pub landlords are turning their backs on fresh cask ales because drinkers are staying at home due to the cost of living crisis
Cask ale must be poured and drunk within three days of being tapped but landlords fear with fewer customers large amounts of the barrel will go to waste.
Meanwhile keg and domestic lagers on draught come from a pressurised system, meaning they last much longer than cask ales and can be stocked up in the face of uncertain demand.
Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) chief executive Tom Stainer told the Telegraph it was ‘understandable that with the huge pressures pubs are facing, they may look to stock different products’.
He added: ‘CAMRA is urging the Government to urgently bring forward the promised changes to the way alcohol is taxed by cutting duty on draught beer and cider served in pubs to give pubs the confidence to give their customers what they want – fresh cask beer from local and independent brewers.’
Senior industry figures in June warned more than 10,000 pubs and restaurants could face closure thanks to a ‘perfect storm’ of inflation, soaring energy costs and rising rents.
The worst squeeze on incomes in three decades could mean thousands of pints could go to waste
Over the summer months it was predicted 20,000 of UK Hospitality members’ businesses are still operating below break-even and 30,000 have no cash reserves.
The chancellor announced today would scrap the planned rise in beer, cider and wine.
He told the House of Commons that ‘at this difficult time, we are not going to let alcohol duty rates rise” in line with the RPI measure of inflation.’
Mr Kwarteng added: ‘So I can announce that the planned increases in the duty rates for beer, for cider, for wine, and for spirits will all be cancelled.
The news comes as labour and energy costs have soared in recent months, Adnams said.
The brewery added it was wary of how much they could hike prices due to inflation before deterring regulars and casual drinkers.