Pub chiefs call on Government to confirm boozers will re-open on July 4 – or punters will have no beer to drink

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PUB bosses have called on the Government to confirm pubs can re-open on July 4 – or punters will have no beer or only stale beer to drink.

They need “a minimum of three weeks – but ideally four weeks” notice to ensure fresh beer.

Brewers will need the time to scale-up their operations to start re-supplying pubs with fresh beer. Real ale, a style unique to the UK, takes around three weeks to brew. Lager typically takes longer than ale.

The UK’s 2,000 breweries need notice to brew fresh beer and get it into pubs, The British Beer & Pub Association said.

The trade association has said that pubs will need a minimum of three weeks – but ideally four weeks – notice to allow them sufficient time to prepare to re-open.

Failure by the Government to give clear and definitive notice could risk pubs reopening without enough fresh draught beer.

New figures unveiled by the British Beer & Pub Association today show that overall beer sales in the UK for the month of April fell 24 per cent on the year before.

Beer sales in pubs were down 100 per cent. Although off-license beer sales from shops and supermarkets increased by 39 per cent for the month on the year before, this was not enough to make up for the complete shutdown of the pub trade.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We must get Britain brewing again to ensure our pubs re-open serving the fresh draught beer we love so much!

"It would tragic if pubs were to re-open without sufficient draught beer that so many beer drinkers and pub goers have missed these last few months.

“The Government must give sufficient notice to our sector by confirming a definitive date when pubs will be allowed to re-open.

"At least three weeks’ notice is needed, ideally four, to ensure enough draft beer can be brewed and be ready to go into pubs for when they re-open.

The closure of pubs has seen many breweries stop making kegs of lager and casks of ale during the lockdown – focussing on bottle and can production instead.

However, for pubs to re-open with fresh draught beer, brewers will need to pick up the empty kegs and casks kick start their keg and cask production again imminently.

"That means the Government must confirm by June 13 if pubs can definitely re-open on July 4 as indicated in their roadmap for unlocking the economy.

“Our pubs and breweries are desperately in need of this clarity. Beer sales in pubs were zero in April meaning that total beer sales were down by 24 per cent in April, so it’s imperative we get brewing our world class beer again and re-open pubs as soon as possible.

This will save pubs from permanent closure and protect the vital local jobs pubs and breweries support across the UK.”

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