The quarterly Beer Barometer survey by the British Beer & Pub Association showed a 15% drop in supermarket and shop sales of beer in the second quarter of the year, versus the same period in 2010.
The off-trade was hit even harder than the pub market which saw a 4.5% fall. Overall beer sales were down 9.8% in the second quarter and 7.1% in the year to June.
Chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Beer sales are a barometer of Britain’s economic confidence. With last year’s sales figures benefiting from the World Cup effect, which has historically boosted sales, sustaining volumes was always a challenge.”
She said sales had also been impacted by duty rises.
“Duty increases are fuelling inflation and stifling investment,” said Simmonds. “Taxing beer fairly would create thousands of new jobs and substantial extra tax revenues at a time when we are all looking for private-sector led recovery.”