South East residents raising a Christmas pint should enjoy the taste of supporting 143,000 local jobs in breweries, bars and supply chains which pay £2 billion in wages and contribute £3.8 billion to the economy, data from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) reveals.
The BBPA’s Long Live the Local campaign is shining a light on the nearly one million people behind the pint who make the festive season merry.
As South East pubgoers raise a local brew, they support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the region: including farmers growing hops, brewers developing new recipes, scientists working on quality control and logistics teams managing deliveries.
‘The local’ is often the heart of community life and a major source of local employment and economic growth. Its social value is most apparent at Christmas, bringing people together and combatting loneliness during the festive season. Recent YouGov polling in the South East found:
80% of people feel pubs have a positive effect in communities
81% say pubs are important in bringing people together
70% think pubs help combat loneliness and isolation in their local area
Pubs and brewers have faced major increases to their costs over the last few years while struggling to limit price rises. The Autumn Statement provided vital support with an extension to business rates relief and the freeze on beer duty, but the next budget must provide surer footing for brewers and pubs by:
Cutting tax on beer in the next Budget and pledging to bring beer duty down to the European average over the course of the next Parliament. The EU average duty on a pint of beer is currently 20p, whereas in the UK it is 54p for draught beer and 59p for packaged beer – nearly triple the European average and 12 times more than Germany.
Reforming business rates so pubs and brewers can invest in the future, with the 75% relief maintained and a cap to the planned increase in the 2024 business rates multiplier until this is implemented
Lowering VAT rate to 12.5% for pubs to help publicans and customers with cost of living increases
The Long Live the Local campaign invites Brits to buy an extra round this Christmas to support the people behind the pint and join the campaign to secure the future of their local.
Chris Porter, who runs a community pub called The Harrow in Stockbury, says:
“When we heard our local pub was closing in 2016, we knew we had to save it. It’s a real institution and the heart of the village. We started with a few people, publicised it extensively, and ended up with 165 shareholders. Now, we own the pub. It’s a business we own and run for the benefit of everybody.
“In this village, the pub is really the centre of the community and the only place people can go without needing to drive to the next town. Without it, the village would be quite empty, which would be devastating.
“We have a huge variety of patrons and many reasons for them to visit. Whether they are lonely, hosting events, or even just looking for somewhere to pass the time, the pub is open to anybody. Every day, it reinforces why we had to save it.”
Emma McClarkin, CEO of the British Beer and Pub Association says:
“So many of life’s milestones are marked by sharing a beer, whether in commiseration or joy. Behind the glass, there are nearly a million people across the cities and regions who make this possible: including brewers, technicians, delivery drivers, farmers and the pub staff at the counter.
“The great British pint is woven into the fabric of our communities, economies and regional identities. Local pubs are some of our most beloved tourist attractions, while our breweries produce some of the finest beers in the world.
“But the industry needs our support to survive. Britain remains one of the most expensive places in the world to have a pint, with beer duty more than double the average across Europe. The next Parliament must make bringing beer duty in line with Europe a priority – taking at least 34 pence off the price of a pint – as well as reforming business rates so that brewers and pubs can continue investing in the future, providing quality jobs and training for people across the whole of the UK.”