In news from abroad, British punters are facing the very real threat of going lager-less as, in a post-lockdown explosion in demand, they’re drinking more beer than brewers are currently producing, posing questions about whether Malta will experience the same.
On 12th April, when England’s pubs were permitted to reopen for outdoor service after months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pubs and bars were quickly packed with customers celebrating their regained freedom, often with pints of beers.
In the weeks that followed, aspiring pub-goers continued to brave April’s chilly weather, sometimes booking tables days and weeks in advance to make sure they weren’t turned away.
It was a welcome boom for the battered pub industry. The Drinks Business has reported that after the first week of reopening, hospitality sales in England were down only 24 per cent in comparison to the same week in 2019.
At pubs focus on drinking rather than meal service, sales were down only 11 per cent.
This is not all good news for the alcoholic beverage industry, however. One of the largest suppliers in the country, Heineken, informed local media that it was struggling to fill supply demands for some of its beers, as demand “totally surpassed [its] most optimistic forecasts”.
While the company said it is working to offer alternative products to customers in the UK, experts have warned that “it is essential that these pubs be able to get the beer they desperately need”, especially as some of them are “contractually obliged to sell that particular product”.
As things stand, Malta’s pubs and bars are set to reopen to customers on 7th June, but in the meantime, restaurants will be able to serve alcohol themselves.
Before then, the country is set to open to prospectively beer-thirsty tourists from 1st June.
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