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05th Feb 2021

87 million pints to be wasted by Covid pub closures


The amount of beer wasted would have exceeded £300m in sales

Pub closures during Covid-19 lockdowns will see up to 87 million pints of beer wasted across the UK, according to the calculations of an industry body.

The pub industry has been hit incredibly hard by the closures. Using industry feedback, The British Beer and Pub Association worked out that around 70 million pints of beer were disposed of during the first lockdown last year.

Cautious at the prospect of future restrictions, pub owners bought less stocker after the reopening last summer, meaning just seven million pints were wasted during the autumn restrictions.

Another 10 million is expected to be thrown away during the current lockdown, the BPPA have found, with the total of beer wasted during the restrictions amounting to a staggering £331m in lost sales.

Most lagers and other pasteurised beers need to be returned to breweries for disposal if not sold by its best-before date. This is typically about three to four months after barrels are delivered to pubs. This is different for unpasteurised beer and real ales, where it has just six to nine weeks before its best-before expires.

BPPA chief executive Emma McClarkin has again called on the government to offer more help to publicans in the Budget.

“Pubs and breweries are effectively having to pour their businesses down the drain,” she told the BBC.