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Beer Sales Fall Foul of Credit Crunch

October 29, 2008 12:00 AM

Local MP Tim Farron has expressed concern that collapsing sales will heap more agony onto local pubs, after it was revealed that Britain's pubs are pulling almost a fifth fewer pints than they were three years ago.

Figures published on Monday by the British Beer and Pub Association showed that sale volumes in pubs had declined by 8.1% in the last three months.

Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns, which together own more than a third of British Pubs, have seen their share value decimated, slumping by 90% from peak levels during the summer last year.

The news comes as a hammer blow to many small pubs which are already being priced out of business by the unfair practices of giant pub companies.

Mr Farron has asked the Business and Enterprise Committee to consider the impact of falling share prices on smaller pubs when they report back on the impact of Pubcos on the brewing and pub industry in November.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"This is further evidence that the recession has hit the real economy and many pubs will face a long hard winter; but this shouldn't allow the Pubcos to escape from their responsibilities.

"These giant pub companies have behaved just as recklessly as the banks and just like in the financial sector it is the local businesses which have suffered.

"Smaller pubs play an important role in sustaining the local community and it's important that we are aware of the challenges that they are facing. That's why I'll be urging the select committee to protect that the rights of pub tenants when they report back next month. The most important thing they could do is to abolish the 'tie' which restricts tenants to only purchasing expensive goods from their pub company."