United Kingdom

Pubs warn they face a BEER shortage ahead of indoor reopening of bars

Pubs face a beer shortage ahead of Monday's big reopening as brewers struggle to keep up with the huge influx in demand, an industry chief has today warned.

Britons are expected to pile back into pubs tomorrow when the Government lifts its ban on indoor hospitality for the first time this year.

Experts earlier this week revealed pub-goers would need to knock back a staggering 124 pints this summer to help watering holes recover from more than a year of closures and restrictions.

But, according to the boss of pub chain Young's, a sudden spike in demand could spark a new problem for the lockdown-ravaged industry - a beer shortage - ahead of Monday's big reopening.

It comes after pubs reported a shortage of Amstel and Birra Morretti when outdoor hospitality areas were allowed to reopen last month. 

Patrick Dardis told the Sunday Telegraph: 'I wrote to all the CEOs of all the brewers saying that 'we've been through enough now, we are at the end of tunnel and the last thing we need is a problem with supply, so get your act together and brew like you've never brewed before, because it's just not acceptable'. 

Pubs face a beer shortage ahead of Monday's big reopening, as brewers struggle to keep up with the huge influx in demand, according to industry chiefs. Pictured: A barman pours a pint of beer in a pub

It comes after pubs reported a shortage of Amstel and Birra Morretti (pictured) when outdoor hospitality areas were allowed to reopen last month

Heineken UK told MailOnline last week that demand for Amstel (pictured)and Moretti had 'totally surpassed our most optimistic forecasts' and their breweries are 'working round the clock' to deal with the surge

He added: 'As soon as the pubs start again we expect supply to be there.'

Patrick Dardis told the Sunday Telegraph he had written to brewers warning them about potential beer shortages in pubs

Pubs were allowed to reopen outdoor areas from April 12. But pubs without outdoor areas, and those with areas too small to worth reopening, have remained closed.

Some 45,000 pubs will reopen indoor areas tomorrow for the first time since December when the next raft of lockdown measures are lifted.

Alongside pubs and bars, restaurants will be allowed to welcome customers back from tomorrow for indoor sittings.

It will be a huge boost for hospitality businesses, which have suffered long bouts of wet and windy weather since pubs were given the green light to reopen last month.

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Theatres, cinemas and art galleries will be allowed to open across the country for the first time this year when more lockdown measures are eased tomorrow.

Restaurants and pubs will also be able to serve customers indoors for the first time since December.

Ahead of the big unlock, venues have already begun selling out.

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And Grayson Perry's Manchester Art Gallery exhibition is also said to booked out throughout May and into June.

But delivering a stark reality check, the Health Secretary today warned about the 'risk' of meeting indoors.

The warning comes as fears continue over the spread of the Indian Covid variant in the UK.

Speaking to Sky News this morning, Mr Hancock said: 'We should all be careful, we all know the risks, outside is safer than inside - so even though you can, from tomorrow, meet up inside, it's still better to meet up outside.

But many Britons - around 10million - still braved the weather to enjoy a pint.

And such was the thirst for a taste of lockdown freedom, that pubs actually ran short of Amstel and Birra Moretti. 

Industry sources revealed to MailOnline last month that Moretti's owner Heineken was temporarily limiting UK pubs to ordering only three kegs per week to cope with supply issues.

Heineken UK told MailOnline last week that demand had 'totally surpassed our most optimistic forecasts' and their breweries are 'working round the clock' to deal with the surge 

The issue is particularly potent for the 2,500 Star Pubs & Bars - owned by Heineken - offered them alternatives while increasing production of in-demand brands.  

A Heineken UK spokesman told MailOnline last month: 'Over ten million adults in England have headed back to the great British pub, with many treating themselves to a much missed draught pint.

'Demand for Birra Moretti and Amstel has totally surpassed our most optimistic forecasts, and our breweries are working round the clock to deal with this high level of demand.

'We are working with our customers to offer alternative beers from the extensive Heineken UK range of brands as we increase production.'

It comes as earlier this week fiance firm Company Debt revealed every Britain would need to drink 124 pints across the summer to return the industry to pre-pandemic levels.

According to the finance experts, the industry needs £25.66billion to get back to where it was before the Covid crisis.

The company said: 'With the latest estimates suggesting that the UK's food and beverage industry lost at least £25.66bn due to Covid-19 we wondered how much every person in the UK would need to spend in order to reach pre-pandemic levels. 

'In particular we wondered how far that money would go in pubs, one of the most beleaguered sectors. 

Groups of people enjoy a drink on a Saturday evening in London's Soho over the weekend 

People sit in a pub garden in Canonbury, North London, in the sunshine last Friday

 'We came up with a figure of 124 per pints per adult, based on a figure of 52million adults in the UK.' 

Meanwhile punters last month complained how the price of a pint has risen to £7 at some bars in London with pubs hiking prices by as much as £1.10 to claw back losses made during lockdown.

One punter said a single pint of Peroni has rocked by 60p from £6.40 to £7 in Roehampton, South West London, since the reopening on April 12.

Social media users also blasted the 'shocking' increase, claiming a Sam Smiths beverage has risen by £1.10.

The price hike follows breweries adding more than 12p a pint to brands including Budweiser, Stella Artois and Becks.

One consultant from a beer outlet said an increase of 4p to 5p is expected year on year, but labelled a rise of 9p as 'absolutely ridiculous', adding that over 12p is 'just scandalous'.

In a letter seen by the MailOnline, drinks distributors G+G Gallo Enterprises listed price increases from suppliers that came into effect on April 5.

Among the lagers listed, Budweiser and Stella Four had the highest increase in price at 12.7p per pint, followed by Becks and Stella at 12p and Blue Moon at 9.5p (excluding VAT).

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