Once again on-trade sales dipped, this time by 2.2%, but surging retail sales made up for the poor performance in pubs, bars and restaurants.
It means the overall beer market grew 0.8% on the previous year, the equivalent of 15.3 million pints.
The figures came from the British Beer & Pub Associations quarterly Beer Barometer, and the trade body said the good news would be bolstered by Marston’s opening a new £7 million bottling plant this week.
Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: “These figures demonstrate that cutting beer duty helps increase beer sales, stimulates industry investment and saves jobs.
“We hope the Chancellor takes note and freezes beer duty in his next Budget to give a further boost to British beer and pubs.”