The All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group (APPBG) has launched an inquiry into the future of cask beer in the UK, inviting businesses, organisations and individuals with an interest to submit evidence. A cross-party panel of MPs and Peers will scrutinise the evidence and hear from expert witnesses, before publishing a report in the Spring with recommendations for Government action.
The panel is particularly interested to explore the impact of the Covid -19 pandemic on sales of cask ale, and the pressures the sector faces as UK pubs reopen over the coming months.
Launching the inquiry, APPBG chair Mike Wood MP (Con, Dudley South) said: “Real Ale is unique to the UK, central to our brewing heritage and extraordinarily dependent on pubs for its sales. The lockdown caused an unprecedented fall in volumes, which were down over 60% in 2020. This has had a widespread impact, as for many brewers, cask ale makes up a large proportion of their output. The revival of sales is vital to their commercial future and we want to understand how best this can be ensured.”
“The fortunes of cask beer are dependent on two things: pubs reopening successfully and consumers being confident that it safe to go out. We look forward to hearing from operators on the pressures they face, and to considering what actions will best enable cask beer to recover from this national crisis.”
Anyone wishing to submit written evidence to the inquiry should email Paul Hegarty, Hon Secretary, APPBG at [email protected] by 31st March 2021.