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Pubs in danger: Six charts on how the British drink

Pubs in danger: Six charts on how the British drink
From BBC - March 26, 2018

Across the UK, people are spending more money on gin and craft beer, and there are more breweries open today than there were in the 1930s.

But 18 pubs across the country closed every week in the second half of 2017, according to The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).

So how are UK drinking habits changing? What are the UK's favourite drinks and how often are adults drinking?

1. Pubs are closing their doors

In 2016, 500 pubs across the UK called last orders for the final time.

Since 2000, the number of pubs in the UK has fallen by 17%, or 10,500 pubs, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

The decline has been blamed on a number of reasons - high taxes on pints, the smoking ban, the price of food and drink going up, and the 2008 recession meaning that consumers had less to spend in their local.

But the BBPA say that the rate of pub closures is slowing down.

About 1,100 pubs closed their doors in 2015, but fewer than half that number closed in 2016.

2. More beer bought in shops than pubs

The volume of beer sold in supermarkets and off-licences (off-trade) in the UK topped the volume sold in pubs, clubs and restaurants (on-trade) for the first time in 2014.

Since 2000, the amount of beer people are buying in supermarkets and shops has increased by 27%.

The affordability of beer in supermarkets and off-licences has risen by 188% since 1987, according to a study by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS).

Measuring affordability using an index which adjusts prices for inflation and income growth, the IAS reports that the affordability of wine and spirits has gone up by 131%.

But prices in pubs have been rising steadily.

According to the BBPA, the average pub price of a pint of draught lager cost 3.58 on average in 2017, up 36% on 2007.

3. Adults are drinking less often

The number of adults who say they drink alcohol is at its lowest level since surveys began in 2005, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In 2016, 57% of British adults said they drank alcohol in the week before being interviewed.

Since 2005, there has also been a 2% increase in the number of adults who say they do not drink alcohol at all - around 10.6 million people in the population of Great Britain.

Young people are the least likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week, and 27% of 16-24 year olds describe themselves as teetotal. But that age group is also the most likely to "binge drink" on their heaviest drinking day.

Most women surveyed (27%) reported drinking between three and six units of alcohol on their heaviest drinking day - down from 33% a decade before.

Among men in Great Britain, most (33%) drank between four and eight units of alcohol on their heaviest day. This was a drop from 40% in 2006.

4. Drinking habits vary across the UK

5. Tastes are changing

6. Pubs are more family-friendly

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