Despite easing in Covid restriction, the pandemic appears to have affected people's desire to head out to their local pub.

Almost one and a half BILLION fewer pints were sold in British pubs in 2021, compared to two years previous.

That's according to the British Beer and Pub Association, who say that represents a 38 per cent hit in sales.

BBPA said there was an on-trade loss of £5.7 billion from beer sales alone – equivalent to 1.4 billion pints.

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In 2020, trading was down 55 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “Every unsold pint is a stark reminder of the dislocating effect Covid restrictions had on our sector and the communities our pubs sit at the heart of.”

The BBPA also said there had been a shift in consumer consumption patterns.

Between March 2020 and October 2021, beer receipts dropped 11 per cent while receipts for wine and spirits rose 8 per cent and 13 per cent.

The BBPA attributes the shift to long periods of restriction pub trading, where beer is the most popular drink, and a rise in at-home drinking.

Ms McClarkin said the BBPA backed planned reforms to the alcohol duty system to “incentivise lower-strength products” and “differentiate beer from stronger wine and spirits”.