Pub sector toasts signs of recovery

Craft Beers

Although challenges remain for the pub sector, wet-led venues are regaining popularity and attracting more investment.

In the mid-1970s almost all alcohol consumed in Britain was bought in pubs but by 2015, more booze was consumed at home than it was in pubs.

Take this cultural shift, the introduction of the smoking ban in 2007, the rising price of a pint and cheap supermarket alternatives, the 2008 recession and a hike in business rates, and it is clear the pub trade has had a lot to deal with over the past decade.

A sharp post-crash decline in the number of wet-led venues trading in the UK led to a wave of doom-and-gloom headlines and pub purists bemoaning the end of an era.

However, the latest research from advisory firm BDO suggests that these fears may be overdone. The number of pubs is still declining, but the rate has slowed significantly and in some places, the number of licensed premises is going up. Pub companies have invested big money in bringing their portfolios up to date with extensive food menus and new tech. Furthermore, a new subsector, the microbrewery, has taken off.

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