Pubs and brewers send urgent warning of closures and job losses amidst soaring energy bills

Following the rise in the consumer energy price cap, business leaders from across the brewing and pub industry have signed an open letter to the Government and leadership candidates warning small businesses will close and jobs will be lost if immediate action isn’t taken on energy bills for businesses

The letter, signed by six business leaders warns that pub and brewing businesses across the UK are at risk of closure due to out of control energy bills, with upwards of 300% price hikes reported.

Chief Executives of regional and family brewing and pub businesses to international companies came together to raise alarm of the ‘real and serious irreversible’ damage the energy crisis will cause if the Government does not implement an urgent support package that effectively caps the price of energy for businesses.

It is an issue impacting the entirety of the industry’s supply chain, with major CO2 producer, CF Industries announcing it will be ceasing production of what is a critical component in beer production and dispense in pubs, citing market conditions as a key decision driver.

The call from business leaders follows the consumer energy price cap announcement at the end of last week which set raised the limit at which consumer energy bills will be capped.

Representatives from J.W Lees, Greene King, Admiral Taverns, St Austell Brewery, Drake and Morgan and Carlsberg Marstons, who make up the Board of the British Beer and Pub Association, noted that whilst action on consumer energy prices is essential, without relief for businesses many jobs and livelihoods would be lost in the coming months.

Chris Jowsey, Chief Executive, Admiral Taverns said:

“The impact of energy price rises on community pubs is truly frightening. One of our licensees reluctantly gave notice to leave his pub, after the cost of electricity increased by 450%, making it impossible to trade profitably. Let’s not forget that for most licensees, the pub is not just their business but also their family home.

“I raised this issue with Minister’s over 6 months ago, but the government has failed to act. A small business price cap is essential if we want to retain local pubs and the jobs and support they provide to their communities across the UK.”

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive, British Beer and Pub Association said:

“This rise in energy costs will cause more damage to our industry than the pandemic did if nothing is done in the next few weeks, consumers will now be thinking even more carefully about where they spend their money. There are pubs that weathered the storm of the past two years that now face closure because of rocketing energy bills for both them and their customers.

“If we lose them, we not only lose businesses and the jobs that go with them, but also the beating heart of communities across the country where people gather in times of need. We need an energy cap for businesses before it’s too late.”