Introduction to June/July 2023 edition

As reported in the Brewery News column, we continue to lose breweries, both locally and nationally. The situation as regards pubs is covered in News & Views. Most reports indicate that energy costs are the immediate problem, although other concerns such as business rates have not gone away. Energy costs are reported to be reducing but, for many breweries and pubs, it is a desperate race to survive until such time that energy costs are once again manageable.

Prompted by Black Sheep’s announcement that they were going into administration, CAMRA’s real ale cider and perry campaigns director, Gillian Hough, said, “The fact that one of the UK’s most recognisable independent family brewers has put out a notice to appoint administrators shows just how serious the cost-of-business crisis is for brewers and cider makers. Despite some support being available, CAMRA believes that government simply hasn’t done enough to ensure that brewers are not forced to close by events beyond their control.”

There is, of course, a human dimension to this. Many of these pubs and breweries represent the ambitions and dreams of a number of dedicated people and to see these come to an end through circumstances over which they have no control must be heartbreaking. Never has it been more important to support your local pubs and breweries, assuming, of course, that the cost of living crisis allows you to. For the adventurous, the extension of the £2 bus fare cap until October may offer some possibilities.
Tony Hedger