The company said higher costs and a £300,000 increase in its marketing budget had also squeezed operating profits, which stood at £8.8 million, a fall of £100,000 on the previous year.
Beer company off-trade volumes rose 6% increase and exports were up 16%.
Group pre-tax profit was up 16% at £31 million on revenue of £241.9 million, 6% ahead.
Chairman Michael Turner said: “With wages in the UK running behind inflation, our customers’ incomes are being squeezed and we will have to work hard in the current year and beyond to earn their custom.
“We have the financial strength to invest further in new opportunities and should benefit from the ‘London factor’ as the calendar turns towards 2012.”