Beer sales are finally on the up

28 May, 2010

Sales of beer in supermarkets and shops increased by 0.5% in the first three months of 2010, compared to a fall of 10.1% in the same period in 2009, according to the latest UK Quarterly Beer Barometer.

The British Beer & Pub Association’s research said total beer sales were down 5.1% on the first quarter of 2009 and blamed January’s cold snap for the drop.

The BBPA said pub beer sales fell by 8.8% in the quarter.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive, said: “The Budget in March raised our beer tax bill by a further £161 million. It means over the past two years beer taxes have increased 26% raising costs by £761 million during a time of deep recession.”?She said the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have said beer taxation needs reform.

“As a first step we are looking for the government to abolish the beer tax escalator. Secondly, if it does put up VAT, we are looking for a compensatory reduction in beer tax,” she said.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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