June 15th marks National Beer Day – A day where Britain’s beers and pubs are celebrated and recognised as national treasures! National Beer Day even has its own anthem; ‘cheers to beer’ which will be sung around the country at 7pm. Unfortunately, National Beer Day falls on a Thursday this year, but why should that stop us celebrating? After all, around 0.7% of the world is drunk right now, that’s over 52 million people!
With the UK set to leave the European Union in the not too distant future the value of the Pound has fallen against other currencies. While this shouldn’t affect brewers of traditional ales (as they often use domestic raw materials), it will certainly increase the price of imported hops and malt for brewers – ingredients that are popular in high quality craft beers and a few larger brands.
While some of this price increase is absorbed by the brewer, it is only a matter of time before the price increase is passed onto the consumer. In fact, Heineken recently increased the price of their beer by an average of 2.6% due to “significant cost challenges”, this may not sound like much at the moment, but some analysts expect this increase to soar up to 15% if the pound continues to weaken. This could add around 50p to the price of a typical pint – not good!
It’s not all doom and gloom!
The Guardian report that the weaker pound is providing a boost to tourism and subsequently increasing the number of tourists that visit UK pubs, allowing us to showcase our local beers to the rest of the world. Also, it is likely that the increase in import costs will provide UK businesses with a greater incentive to source raw materials locally if possible. Local Sourcing is beneficial because:
- It will likely be cheaper than importing post-Brexit.
- It shortens the supply chain, meaning that suppliers can react faster to demands.
- Distribution costs tend to be lower for all parties if materials are sourced locally.
- Public Relations are often improved if the business is seen to be supporting other local businesses.
- It reduces environmental impact and helps the business become more sustainable.
Also, the weakness of the Pound means there is a greater potential to profit from exports. With some successful breweries in Scotland (members of the Craft Beer Clan) targeting new markets in places such as Asia, Scandinavia, Dubai, Japan and North America. Maybe one day people all over the world will be celebrating National Beer Day with us!
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