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Sales soar in the sunshine as beer lovers drink at home

By John Corser | Wolverhampton | Business | Published:

Beer sales are soaring as people enjoy the summer lockdown in their gardens.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Banks’s brewer Marston’s today revealed it is having to work flat out to cope with demand for cans and bottles.

The Wolverhampton-based brewer is sending beer to its plant in Burton upon Trent, where 5.5 million bottles and cans are now being sent out every week.

It says it has seen a 50 per cent increase in demand for beer from supermarket shelves.

The rise goes some way to make up for the closure of pubs and bars, which has cost the brewing industry globally hundreds of millions of pounds.

Beer produced at breweries is delivered to Burton upon Trent to be bottled up

Carlsberg, which is joining forces with Marston’s to create a new brewing partnership, recently revealed that it had seen a seven per cent decline in sales.

While it had seen shop sales increase by almost 11 per cent, sales internationally to the pub and bar trade were down 40 per cent as countries imposed their own lockdown restrictions.

Richard Westwood, the managing director of Marston’s Beer Company, said brewing at the Park Brewery in Wolverhampton was at “absolute full capacity” along with the Marston’s Brewery in Burton upon Trent and Wychwood in Oxfordshire.

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Hobgoblin Gold, which is brewed in Wolverhampton, is currently selling at three million bottles a week in supermarkets.

And the trend for people to drink at home is likely to grow as new ‘social bubble’ rules are brought in to allow people to meet up with others. Ministers are likely to encourage barbecues and garden parties as safe ways to socialise as the nation waits for pubs to reopen.

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Mr Westwood said it was running its canning and bottling plant 24 hours a day to keep up with demand.

He said: “All of the volume we are producing is going to Burton for bottling and canning and we now producing about 5.5 million bottles and cans a week.

“Hobgoblin Gold, which is brewed in Wolverhampton, has been a real success. The week before last it sold the equivalent of three million bottles in just one week.”

Before the Covid-19 crisis of the beer brewed at the six breweries in the Marston’s stable, 53 per cent that went to the off trade was going to supermarkets.

“As the pubs have closed we have seen in the last eight weeks the volume being sold in bottle and can in supermarkets has increased by 50 per cent,” said Mr Westwood.

“To cope with the growing demand from the supermarkets in the last eight weeks we have had to change shift structures and train up a complete new canning shift in Burton. The canning and bottling lines are now running 24/7.”

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter - @JohnCorser_Star

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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