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We’re Still Buying Less Beer in Pubs Despite the World Cup

It’s not looking good for your local boozer.
Photo via Flickr user Image Catalogue

Ah, the World Cup. What a happy time that was, filled with hope, camaraderie, and many, many beers. Workplaces were suddenly almost enjoyable, as people you’d never spoken to before would joke about “that Japan goal” and you’d smile along, with no idea what they were talking about. Ha ha, Dave, you’d say, that’s a good one. Everything was joyful and, as a result, many, many beers were consumed to celebrate the great Summer of 2018.


But not enough to boost declining pub sales, it seems. According to industry website The Morning Advertiser, pub beer sales have dropped in the second quarter of the year, despite the boost from the World Cup.

The British Beer and Pub Association released data this week that showed beer sales in pubs were down by 1 percent in the second quarter of 2018. Overall beer sales, however, which includes supermarkets, had risen by 3.6 percent. We seem to be consuming more bevs, but just in the comfort of our own home/the park/secretly at our desk decanted into a Ribena bottle, and not at the pub.

On the bright side, this 1 percent decrease is better than the usual Q2 drop—the average fall in the last ten years is 3.7 percent. So while all those pints downed during the World Cup games couldn’t quite affect a rise in sales, it has meant a less drastic drop. It has also been suggested that the summer weather had a hand in the lower-than-average decline. (See also: beer gardens.)

The new data isn’t wonderful news for an industry that has been struggling with closures in recent years. In 2016, it was estimated that UK pubs were closing at a rate of 21 a week, due to restrictive licensing laws, pricy rents, and customers preferring to drink at home.

All of which does not look great for your local. Time for a £6.20 pint!