Beer sales at British pubs fall to lowest level since Great Depression
The International Herald Tribune reports on the plight of the British pub: a smoking ban, inflation, supermarket competition, economic bad times, and a fashion for different drinks (such as hard cider) have led to a decline in beer sales at public houses. The British Beer and Pub Association (responsible for nearly all the beer brewed in the UK and nearly two-thirds of the pubs) worries about the closing of pubs and clubs. The Campaign for Real Ale says a majority of British villages now lack a pub; over 1400 pubs closed in 2007. Made desperate by the situation, about half of Britain's remaining 57,000 pubs have withdrawn from a voluntary code that bans "happy hour" and other sales promotions. For further details, see the website of the British Beer and Pub Association here.