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Gloucestershire Business News

Pubs warn of beer shortage with no clear opening time

The Government has been urged to give breweries at least three weeks notice of when pubs can reopen - or there will be enough beer to go round.

The British Beer & Pub Association has warned that is the minimum notice to allow them sufficient time to prepare for reopening, but ideally they need one week more.

That would mean confirmation by June 13 if pubs are going to reopen on July 4, as indicated on the Government's schedule for the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions.

The association said pubs need that time to provide furloughed staff with notice they are required to return, as well as ensuring equipment is offering and cellars are cleared of out-of-date stock.

Brewers would also need time to scale up operations and resume refilling those cellars with fresh beer as real ale takes three weeks to brew and lager usually takes longer.

The association's chief executive Emma McClarkin said: "We must get Britain brewing again to ensure our pubs reopen serving the fresh draught beer we love so much.

"It would be tragic if pubs were to reopen without sufficient draught beer that so many beer drinkers and pub goers have missed these last few months.

"The Government must give sufficient notice to our sector by confirming a definitive date when pubs will be allowed to reopen."

She continued: "Our pubs and breweries are desperately in need of this clarity.

"Beer sales in pubs were zero in April meaning that total beer sales were down by 24 per cent in April, so it's imperative we get brewing our world class beer again and reopen pubs as soon as possible.

"This will save pubs from permanent closure and protect the vital local jobs pubs and breweries support across the UK."

The closure of pubs has seen many breweries stop making kegs of lager and casks of ale during the lockdown, focusing on bottle and can production instead.

Brewers will need to pick up the empty kegs and casks kick start their keg and cask production again imminently.

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