Britain’s pubs are expecting a significant boost to trade as drinkers celebrate the Queen’s six decades on the throne by lifting a glass or three.
The British Beer and Pub Association, the industry body, expects an extra 60 million to 80 million pints of beer to be sold over what it dubs the “ju-beer-lee” weekend.
Fuller Smith and Turner PLC, the Chiswick-based brewer, has tried to cash in on the patriotic fervour by launching an ale called Hope & Glory, brewed with barley malt grown on a farm owned by the Prince of Wales.
“We have a lot of people working overtime in the brewery,” said Simon Emeny, Fuller’s group managing director.
Enterprise Inns PLC, the U.K.’s largest tenanted pub company, has said the Queen’s diamond jubilee should help arrest a four-year run of like-for-like sales declines.
“There’s no question that like-for-like sales were helped last year by the royal wedding and we expect to have a similarly good jubilee,” said Ted Tuppen, Enterprise’s chief executive officer.
Pubs in the capital are expected to do best, particularly those close to the riverside pomp and ceremony.
“We have 14 pubs along the Thames so they’ll be packed during the pageant [on the river]as long as it’s not raining,” said Stephen Goodyear, chief executive officer of Young and Co.'s Brewery PLC, the Wandsworth-based pub company.
However, there is more ambivalence in the industry toward the Olympics – especially as beer deliveries will have to be almost exclusively made at night using the special lanes reserved for athletes by day.
Many publicans say an Olympics boost will depend on the progress made by Team Great Britain.
In London, Young’s expects any trade increase to be primarily down to tourists.
“It will be tourist driven – Londoners won’t come to work [during]that time,” says Mr. Goodyear. “But with the opportunity to see athletes like Usain Bolt, people will go to pubs – it takes your mind off some of the more ghastly things [going on]”
But JD Wetherspoon PLC is taking a contrary approach. The High Street pub company points out that all TVs in its 850 pubs will remain on mute during the games.
“We hope to benefit from customers looking for a quiet drink,” the company says.