The sun shining on England's World Cup adventure helped beer sales in the UK experience their biggest year-on-year growth since the 1970s.

 

Sales of beer were up 2.6 per cent in 2018, which is the biggest increase in 45 years, according to the British Beer & Pub Association's (BBPA) Beer Barometer figures.

The spike was largely felt in the off-trade which saw a 4.7 per cent upturn in figures but the on-trade also saw growth, albeit by just 0.1 per cent compared to 2017.

Things picked up for the sector in the summer after a difficult first quarter, which actually saw sales drop by 1.7 per cent. But the Three Lions making it to a World Cup semi-final for the first time in 28 years and a glorious summer resulted in more beer being ordered at the bar.

The BBPA added that the chancellor's decision to freeze beer duty in the Autumn 2017 Budget will also have boosted beer sales in 2018.

Pub saw a strong end to the year too with beer sales growing by 2.2 per cent in the final quarter. This was the first time Q4 beer sales grew in the on trade since 2011

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: "Considering the heavy cost burdens the industry faces from high beer duty, business rates and rising costs in general, it's great to see beer sales doing the best they have for some years."

She added: "As the UK's alcoholic drink of choice, which continues to have a much bigger, positive impact on the UK economy than any other drink, it is important that beer continues to do well and that the chancellor continues to support pubs