Brits are drinking 35m fewer pints of beer than this time last year

 
Lynsey Barber
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Beer sales have fallen (Source: Getty)

Britons are drinking less than they were this time last year - downing 35m fewer pints, to be exact.

Sales in pubs, bars and restaurants have fallen by 3.6 per cent in the three months to the end of September compared to the same period in 2016, new figures from the British Beer and Pub Association reveal.

Read more: Why the price of wine and festive tipples could go up by Christmas

The group has laid the blame on a continued rise in taxes and warned that the hike on business rates would push more pubs towards closure.

"When the Government was cutting or freezing beer duty from 2013-15, sales of British beer stabilised, after years of steep decline," said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds.

Read more: Brits are pouring £100 a month on booze as the craft trend takes hold

"With sales down this quarter, following the Budget tax hike, urgent action from the Chancellor is needed. Beer has had a 39 per cnet tax rise in the past decade. With tax rates 14 times higher than in Germany, these levels are unsustainable."

She added: "We need fair taxes for British beer, so that brewers and pub operators can invest in thriving pubs, and take advantage of new opportunities to export more beer around the world as we leave the EU."

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