LONDON €" According to The British Beer & Pub Association, beer consumption in the U.K. has reached a 14-year low, with 212 million fewer pints being sold in the last three months compared to the same period last year, The Telegraph reports.
The decrease represents a 9.8 percent decrease, the largest quarterly drop in Britain since 1997 when the association began collecting data.
The trade body attributed some of the blame to the British government, maintaining higher taxes have led to its decline from supermarkets (down 15 percent) and pubs (off 4.5 percent).
"Beer sales are a barometer of Britain€™s economic confidence," said Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association. "[B]eer tax rises are now hitting our brewers hard and undermining recovery . . . We warned the Chancellor that further beer tax rises would hinder job growth in our sector.
Since March 2008, the tax on beer in the U.K. has risen 35.4 percent, with the average price for a pint of beer costing £3.05 ($5.00 US), up from £2.41 ($3.96 US) in 2008.