The British Beer and Pub Association (BPPA) is hoping more than five million pints will be downed in pubs during the England-Germany Euro 2020 match.
Including the run-up to the match and the post-match celebrations/commiserations, the pub trade is hoping to sell 8mln pints in total today.
Some fans have reportedly been down the boozer since 7.00am to get the best spots in front of the telly and many will be off their faces by the time of the face-off.
Welcome though the boost to trade will be, the BPPA noted that thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, such as spacing and table service only, the number of pints likely to be consumed will be around 1.3mln lower than it would be in “normal” circumstances.
That’s a loss of more than GBP5mln in revenue, according to the BPPA, which suggests that not many of these lost sales are in London pubs …
In a BBPA survey of 1,000 pub-goers conducted at the end of May, around half said they would be more likely to go down the pub to watch “the big game” if all restrictions are lifted.
Those hopes were kiboshed by the Delta variant of COVID-19 and the rise in coronavirus cases, which prompted the government not to relax the lockdown on 21 June, as had been originally intended.
On the plus side, the game is almost certain to go to penalties (if Gary Lineker’s truism is to be believed), which will give another half an hour or so of drinking time, after which sales of German lagers might drop off.
The trade association said many of its members have reported that beer sales have been lower than expected during the European football tournament, which was originally scheduled to take place last year.
“No matter the occasion, England versus Germany is always a big match. We hope England fans will buy over five million pints when watching the Three Lions take on Germany in this nail-biting knockout fixture,” said Emma McClarkin, the chief executive of the BPPA and the possessor of a suspiciously Scottish-sounding surname.
“Whilst that is a very welcome boost to our trade, it is over 1 million fewer pints sold than if all the restrictions on pubs had been lifted on 21st June as per the original roadmap.
“We know many pubs haven’t experienced the boost to their trade which they’d hoped for from the Euros. No standing and limits on group sizes, as well as social distancing, are severely reducing the number of people who can enjoy the Euros at the pub,” she said.
“With that said, there is still no better place to watch live sport on the telly than at the pub. I implore Three Lions fans to support England and the pub by cheering on the Three Lions at their local!”
Perhaps she’s not Scottish after all …