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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with www.e-malt.com Italian
15 April, 2021

Brewing news UK: More than 200 pubs in Scotland have been “lost forever” and over 210 million pints left unsold

More than 200 pubs in Scotland have been “lost forever” and over 210 million pints have been left unsold as a result of the covid pandemic in the biggest crisis ever to hit hospitality, industry leaders have told MPs, the Scottish Daily Record reported on April 15.

Scottish pubs have lost up to £820 million in beer sales, the equivalent of over 210 million pints, since the start of the pandemic last year, with industry leaders concerned that the hospitality sector may not fully recover.

MPs on the Commons Scottish Affairs committee heard from representatives of the pub, hotel and restaurant industries about concerns how easing of restrictions will continue to impact the sector.

Paul Togneri, of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, said more than 200 pubs out of around 4,500 in Scotland had been “lost forever” as a result of the crisis.

He said: “The pandemic has been the biggest crisis ever to hit the beer and pub industry and the impacts are going to be long-lasting.

“Prior to the pandemic there was roughly 4,500 pubs in Scotland and 130 breweries contributing around £1.66 billion to the economy every year, and paying almost £800 million in wages.”

“What we have seen so far is that at least 200 pubs have been lost forever, 210 million pints in beer sales lost due to either the forced closure of the last year, or the trading under severe restrictions, and £820 million worth of trade value wiped from the sector in beer sales alone.”

Togneri said there had to be “support from both governments” in Holyrood and Westminster to return the sector to “the economic powerhouse it once was”.

The committee also heard about some of the “nonsensical” lockdown rules that restricted alcohol consumption during lockdown.

Willie Macleod, Executive Director for Scotland at UKHospitality, said some of the rules were “verging on the nonsensical”.

He said: “When hotels were opened last summer and there were restrictions on alcohol, and even no alcohol permitted with a meal, we were being given examples from hotels of people drinking in their room before they came for dinner, disappearing during a meal have to consume alcohol in the room and then come back down.

“Some of the regulations are just verging on the nonsensical really.”

Stephen Montgomery, from the Scottish Hospitality group, saids the industry existed on the “whim” of government guidance.


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