UK consumption of alcohol per head is stable and sits 18% below its 2004 peak.
That’s according to new figures released by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) in its Annual Statistical Handbook 2016.
Across the European Union, alcohol consumption has remained broadly flat, with some countries, the UK included, seeing declines in per-head consumption. Estonia, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic consume the most alcohol per head of population.
When it comes to beer, UK consumption is below the EU average, of around 72 litres per head, per year.
The handbook also covers other key issues such as alcohol taxation. UK beer duty is 54% higher than it was in 2000, despite recent cuts to the duty rate, the BBPA said.
It added that the UK rate was still 14 times that of Germany.
Meanwhile the handbook shows an explosion in the number of UK breweries; between 2000 and 2015, the number rose by 1,380. On employment trends, it shows that 54% of pub staff in the UK are female.
When it comes to different types of beer and their sales, cask ale continued to make up 8.2 % of the total beer market, with shift from ales and stouts to lagers, observed over the last 40 years, beginning to reverse.
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive, BBPA, said: “Many of the figures detailed in our updated Stats Handbook are encouraging for our industry, but the UK’s high duty rate on beer is still a cause for concern. We will continue to work with the government to bring our rate more in line with other European nations and help better support our industry.
“Our new Handbook again underlines that with the right policies for the beer and pub sector, there is huge scope for us to help grow the economy, creating new jobs and careers, with great venues and beers.”