Cheers! Beer is Britain’s most popular pub drink

Cheers. Beer is still Britain’s most popular alcoholic drink.

More than 8.5 billion pints were sold last year.

Wine was second, with 7.5 billion glasses bought, according to figures from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Cider drinkers knocked back 1.2 billion pints.

The totals are published in the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) handbook.

The BBPA highlights 100 new breweries opened in Britain in 2018, taking the total to 2,530 – an increase of 2,030 since 2000.

The BBPA said, however, that beer in the UK was overtaxed – drinkers paying 11 times more duty than those in Germany and Spain.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said:

“It is clear from these numbers that beer is the most popular alcoholic drink, but it is without doubt overtaxed.

“Should tax on a pint continue to rise then drinking in the pub will no longer be affordable for many British beer drinkers, meaning pubs will continue to close.”

According to The Campaign for Real Ale, 854 British pubs finally called time in 2018.

The decline has slowed slightly since 2017, when 980 closed.


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

Back to Top ↑