Photo via Flickr user quite peculiar
While the much discussed craft beer boom of recent years means your off licence now stocks seven different types of pale ale and we all know what a lambic is, Britain's pubs are struggling. Increasing rents, tricky licensing laws, and changing drinking habits mean that many traditional boozers can't reap the rewards of our newfound interest in beer.And according to new figures released by Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), things show little sign of improving. The consumer group says that 21 pubs are now closing every week in the UK.
While this figure is down on the 27 shuttered boozers per week reported by CAMRA in February, its chairman Colin Valentine called the stats "alarming and unacceptably high."According to CAMRA's figures, the number of pubs in Britain declined from 52,750 in December last year to 52,201 in June.CAMRA also commissioned YouGov to survey 2,000 Britons for their take on why so many pubs are calling last orders. Eighty-two percent said supermarkets' cheap booze deals were luring people away from the local, echoing the findings of a survey last year, which showed that 52 percent of us would rather host or attend a gathering at a house than the pub.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents to CAMRA's survey blamed rent increases for the number of pub closures. Indeed just last month, London pub The Truscott Arms was forced to close after a private property landlord increased its yearly rent from from £75,000 to £250,000CAMRA, which campaigns to reduce taxes on beer, also pointed to the increased costs of buying drinks at the bar. Valentine said: "A pint in a local is becoming an unaffordable luxury, driving people away from the safe and social environment of the pub and encouraging them instead to drink cheap alcohol in their homes."If this rate of pub closures continues, a pint in a local may be a luxury we struggle to locate, too.