Beer sales recover from slump during pandemic, study suggests

Around 4.6 billion litres of beer were sold last year according to a study

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Beer sales are recovering from the pandemic slump as pubs reopen, although sales of spirits are falling, new research suggests.

Around 4.6 billion litres of beer were sold last year, up from 4.1 billion in 2020, according to a study by accountants UHY Hacker Young.

The report said people drinking at home during the height of the pandemic replaced beer with wine or spirits, resulting in a 13% fall in beer sales in 2020.

Beer sales are recovering from the pandemic slump as pubs reopen, although sales of spirits are falling, new research suggests.
Beer sales are recovering from the pandemic slump as pubs reopen, although sales of spirits are falling, new research suggests.

Now pubs have reopened, beer sales have swiftly recovered to 98% of their pre-pandemic 2019 level, said the report.

During lockdown, wine and spirits sales increased, but they both suffered from pubs reopening, with a drop in sales equivalent to 5.2 million bottles of wine and 1.8 million bottles of spirits in 2021 compared to 2020, said UHY Hacker Young.

Spokesman James Simmonds said: “The pandemic saw a sudden shift in people’s drinking habits, with a move away from beer. That seems to have been temporary – we are now seeing consumers flooding back to beer.”