Pub landlords' rallying cry: Support your local by enjoying a festive pint or two
Breweries and pubs in Shropshire and the Black Country have shared their optimism for the festive period as those in the hospitality industry hope for a Christmas boost.
Their messages come as customers were urged to get behind their local pubs in the run-up to Christmas to help keep them alive.
Data from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has revealed West Midlands residents who enjoy a pint will be supporting 99,000 local jobs in breweries, bars and supply chains which pay £1.5 billion in wages and contribute £2.9 billion to the economy.
The figures are part of The BBPA’s Long Live the Local campaign which says pub-goers who raise a local brew, support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the region, including farmers growing hops, brewers developing new recipes, scientists working on quality control and logistics teams managing deliveries.
The campaign comes as recent YouGov polling in the West Midlands found 72 per cent of people feel pubs have a positive effect in communities.
In addition 85 per cent say pubs are important in bringing people together, and 73 per cent think pubs help combat loneliness and isolation in their local area.
Shane Parr, of Stonehouse Brewery Limited, in Weston, Oswestry, is among those upbeat about the future.
He said although inflation is still above the two per cent target, it is trending downward and he said it feels like consumer confidence is coming back.
"We’ve noticed an early start to Christmas sales, with our gift packs and bottles already flying out the door," said Shane.
"Trade sales over the last few months are above expectations, up 10 per cent on last year.
"We’re getting plenty of bookings for December in our Beer and BBQ restaurant here at the brewery. They are looking a lot higher than last year. We can see a definite increase and so it’s shaping up to be a great Christmas."
Shane said the business was still paying off lockdown debts but he believes there's light at the end of the tunnel.
"We have some big projects coming up next year," he said."For us to go ahead with investment and carry out those plans, we need to have confidence that the market is going in the right direction."
And he championed the importance of a thriving sector.