Brewers warn of mass closures – send for Simon Jupp!

[Tough, “no hand-outs” Liz drinks fizz – Owl]

From Today’s Western Morning News

Cornish brewery giant St Austell Brewery has joined fellow industry leaders in warning of widespread closures of pubs and brewers as prices soar.

Bosses of six of the UK’s biggest pub and brewing companies have signed an open letter to the Government urging it to act in order to avoid “real and serious irreversible” damage to the sector.

St Austell Brewery are joining Greene King, JW Lees, Carlsberg Marston’s, Admiral Taverns and Drake & Morgan in sounding the alarm today, with fears of price hikes upwards of 300%.

Soaring energy bills have added to inflationary pressures on the sector, which like other industries is not protected by the regulated price cap that applies to domestic gas and electricity bills.

The bosses, who sit on the board of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), have demanded the Government implement an urgent support package that effectively caps the price of energy for businesses.

Brewers also face supply concerns over CO2, used in the production of some beer, after CF Fertilisers, one of the UK’s biggest CO2 producers, revealed it will halt production at its remaining UK ammonia site due to rocketing costs.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said the rise in energy costs “will cause more damage to our industry than the pandemic did”.

She added: “Consumers will now be thinking even more carefully about where they spend their money. There are pubs that weathered the storm of the past two years that now face closure because of rocketing energy bills.”