Beer has been confirmed as Britain’s most popular alcoholic drink, after 8.5bn pints were sold in 2018.
The findings come from new research and data published by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) in its new 2019 Statistical Handbook.
Using data provided by HMRC, the BBPA conducted analysis which found that 8.5bn pints (48,559,000 hectolitres) of beer were sold in the UK in 2018 – more than any other alcoholic drink.
In comparison, 7.4bn 175ml glasses of wine (the equivalent to 12,901,700 hectoliters) and 1.2bn pints of cider (the equivalent to 6,804,000 hectolitres) were sold over the same period. Despite the difference in volume, some maintain that wine is in fact the most popular.
Data collated by the BBPA for its 2019 Statistical Handbook also found that 100 new breweries opened in the UK in 2018, taking the total number of UK breweries to 2,530 – an increase of 2,030 breweries since the year 2000.
The BBPA says that although beer is the best-selling and most popular alcoholic drink, it is overtaxed in the UK.
At present, Brits pay 11 times more beer duty than drinkers in Germany or Spain – paying 54p in beer duty on a 5% ABV pint of beer. This is despite beer being vital to the UK’s manufacturing sector, with 82% of the beer brewed in the UK being drunk in the UK.
Combined, pubs and brewing create almost 900,000 jobs in the UK. For pubs alone, seven in every 10 alcoholic drinks sold are beer, making beer tax a particular burden.