Beer sales from independent UK breweries have fallen by 82% since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, a new study of small independent breweries suggests.
Eight out of 10 small breweries said they do not believe the government is doing enough to support them, according to the survey of 300 breweries by trade association The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).
Just over half said they had been unable to access any support from the government, and almost a third were considering making redundancies.
Two-thirds of independent breweries have stopped production due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to SIBA.
With pubs, bars and restaurants closed as part of the coronavirus lockdown, independent breweries have lost their main route to market.
James Calder, chief executive of SIBA, said: “Unlike the global beer brands who can supply supermarkets in great volume, small independent breweries sell the majority of their beer through pubs, bars and restaurants, meaning the lockdown measures have hit them much harder.
“While many have launched local delivery services or online shops to try to stay afloat, the increase in online sales is a drop in the ocean compared to the overall decrease their beer sales have seen.
“Pubs, bars and restaurants have been receiving help from the government, but none of the same schemes apply to our small breweries who saw their sales fall off a cliff almost overnight. They urgently need a package of measures to keep them going otherwise many won’t be able to reopen.”
SIBA is working with the Campaign for Real Ale on the Pulling Together initiative, which is helping pubs and breweries that are fighting for survival against the coronavirus by linking independent breweries and pubs offering beer delivery and takeaway services with beer lovers across the UK.