Introduction to the June / July 2024 edition

have to ask: will the sequence of events which are damaging the pub trade and the brewing industry ever end? The pandemic lockdowns were followed by the cost of living crisis and then the increased interest rates. They were bad enough but now the weather has turned against us. The period October 2022 to March 2024 was the wettest 18 month period since records began. Consequently, the UK harvest of basic crops, including barley for making beer, is down by around 17.5%. The British Beer and Pub Association (the pubcos’ trade body) have warned that the industry would ‘strive to absorb some of these costs but, with margins already at historic lows, some costs will have to be passed on’. It is hoped that the supply problem can be eased with imports but there will still be cost implications. Let’s hope that nature is kind to us this year, even if we don’t deserve it.
Tony Hedger