Culture & Tourism / General / Statistics / 08 October 2018

Back of the net for beer and pubs

With the nation gripped with ‘football fever’ as Gareth Southgate and the England team rekindled the nation’s love affair with its favourite sport as well as the hottest summer on record for 40 years, breweries and pubs across the nation worked tirelessly to meet the demand of thirsty punters.

BBPA predicted that England reaching the semi-finals would boost the beer trade by an extra 40 million pints. However, even the optimists among us wouldn’t have predicted the results for the industry. Perhaps it was the soaring temperatures, or maybe the new trend to throw pints in the air in celebration (and with the number of goals England scored against Panama in the Group stage, this could well be the case), but ‘football fever’ led to an increase in 130 million more pints this Summer (June to August) than the same period the year before according to the BBPA’s Sales Volume Survey of its members. To put this into perspective, that is enough beer to fill 30 Olympic sized swimming pools or half a million bath tubs.

Not only is this a significant boost to the beer industry, but the UK economy no doubt benefited as well. BBPA estimates this to be an additional £390 million to GDP, as well as a £71 million contribution in taxes through beer duty, as well as another £37 million in VAT.

Speaking to our members highlighted the undoubtable benefits of tournaments such as this.

Julian Momen, MD, Carlsberg UK

“Taken together, this lovely British summer with England’s creditable performance in the World Cup has been a rare treat; one that’s worked wonders for the beer category. Good for UK brewers, good for stores and good for the great British Pub. But most importantly, good for the beer drinkers across the UK, regular or new, who have been able to enjoy an ice cold lager or maybe a hoppy craft IPA – out in sun, at the BBQ, or watching the footy on the big screen.”

Heydon Mizon, Joint Managing Director, McMullen & Sons

“The world cup was a tremendous event for our more wet led pubs. Belief in the English team was perhaps initially lacking but as confidence grew so did the positive atmosphere and sales with many sites setting a new sales record for the day. We loved each goal as guests seemed to enjoy dispensing their beer into the air in celebration, which is certainly something we wish to encourage.”

Tom Davies, Chief Executive, Brakspear

“It’s been a summer to remember across the Brakspear estate. Our lovely riverside home town, Henley-on-Thames, has been at its very best in the sunshine, and our many rural pubs with gardens have been packed with thirsty customers enjoying the weather. The success of the England team in the World Cup did take a few pubs by surprise and many who’d not planned to show it changed their minds as the home team kept winning! All in all, these have been ideal trading conditions for the majority of our pubs and we could certainly get used it!”

Hearing from pub owners also demonstrated the outstanding benefits of the World Cup and the hot summer for pubs.

Paul Williams, the Duke of Wellington, Twyford

The Duke of Wellington can only hold around 80 people inside and in previous World Cups this was a barrier. This time round, Paul transformed his pub’s car park into a temporary garden with a large outdoor screen. The total cost for this transformation amounted to £1,900, but after promoting the changes on social media the investment paid off. “Trade was up significantly. On a normal weekday we night take £1,000 but during England games we were hitting £6,000”.

Not only did it boost profits on the England games but Paul reported the longer term positive effects of the tournament, particularly that it has significantly helped to market the pub generally as well as introducing to new customers. “We now attract customers from a wider area and continue to use the outside screen when weather permits for Premier League games. We’ve had an overall increase in trade since the World Cup with many new faces enjoying the atmosphere and vibe of our pub.”

“We have a great drinks offering and good support from Brakspear too, but we’ve thrived on the events side. Putting experience of that and other businesses we’ve run previously is how we’ve grown trade. It’s the understanding of your community that I think is key to any offering.”

Paul is looking forward to benefit from future sporting events such as the next big boxing match in September which will benefit from the outdoor screen area, as well as community sporting events such as hosting events for darts teams, cribbage and their sponsored football team.

Simon Chudley, the London Inn, Okehampton

When speaking with Simon, the owner of a freehold pub with a niche sports offering, he explained that he was not anticipating the World Cup. Prior to the tournament, he did not do any specific promotions for the tournament as he was already known by locals as the sports pub.

Simon installed a 16ft screen in the pub’s function room, doubling the area which customers can fit into, and the impact was outstanding. “The first game was a bit slow, but as the enthusiasm grew with England’s success, our sales took off and the pub filled more and more with each game. Over the month, drinks sales were up 200% on the previous June”. Simon reported that during the England vs. Colombia match, his profits were the same as they would be in a week.

Simon discussed the long term effects of the World Cup. “Not only were sales up during the tournament itself, but the hot weather has continued to drive high profits, with a number of new returning customers wanting to drink in the garden. There has also been an influx of people coming to the pub after work to enjoy the weather”.

Simon is looking forward to the rest of the year, the new season of football, the Six Nations rugby and England rugby’s international games.

Written by

Paul Oakley

Head of Research and Analysis

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