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Beer shortage: Pubs could run out of lager, Young’s boss warns

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Around 45,000 pubs will reopen indoors for the first time in more than five months tomorrow. This is the next step in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown plans. Millions of Britons are expected to go to the pub tomorrow for a much-deserved drink, but some beer companies are facing supply issues.

The further easing of lockdown rules tomorrow comes just weeks after pubs and restaurants were permitted to open for the first time in months on April 12.

Tomorrow, hospitality venues in England and Wales will open their indoor seating areas so that customers can finally enjoy eating and drinking in the warmth.

However, pubs are expected to face shortages of some beer brands, such as Heineken.

Patrick Dardis, Chief Executive of British pub chain Young’s, told The Telegraph that he has directly lobbied major brewers, including Heineken and InBev, to step up beer production.

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More pubs are expected to reopen tomorrow since some did not have the means to welcome visitors for outdoors-only services back in mid-April.

According to The Telegraph, figures showed that almost nine in ten restaurants in the UK will be open tomorrow.

Mr Dardis has attempted to prevent beer shortages this time around, but the issue could still reoccur.

The Young’s boss said: “I wrote to all the CEOs of all the brewers saying that ‘we’ve been through enough now, we are at the end of tunnel and the last thing we need is a problem with supply, so get your act together and brew like you’ve never brewed before, because it’s just not acceptable’.

“As soon as the pubs start again, we expect supply to be there.”

Mr Dardis added that there has been a “significant improvement” in supply in recent days, but he warned that “we’re not out of the woods yet”.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) estimated that 45,000 pubs will reopen tomorrow, serving around 3million pints.

However, 2,000 pubs will remain closed due to coronavirus measures still being required at venues.

Pub and restaurant customers must still adhere to social distance guidelines and standing will drinking is not allowed.

Furthermore, venues are permitted only to offer table service to customers – ordering drinks or food at the bar will still be off the cards.

Talking ahead of the pubs reopening tomorrow, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the BBPA, said: “This is by no means the end of the crisis for our sector.

“We need pubs fully reopened without any restrictions at all on June 21 if they are to survive and trade viably.”

To cope with the British beer demand, Heineken said that it is “brewing at maximum capacity” and that it has increased volume to an extra 525million pints a year.

A spokesperson for the company told The Sun: “We’ve ramped up our brewing and are importing beer from Europe as we anticipate millions more people to be reuniting with friends over the coming weeks and the great British pub.”


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