Data has revealed that beer sales in the UK were down 2.2% in the second quarter of 2019 when compared to the same period in 2018.

The latest Beer Barometer sales data from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) reveals that in the on-trade, otherwise referred to as pubs and bars beer sales decreased by 2.8% on the same quarter last year.

Furthermore, in the off-trade, referred to as supermarkets and off-licence shops, beer sales fell by 1.7% in the same quarter in 2018.

The BBPA said that the decline was against a particularly strong Q2 2018, where sales saw an increase due to a long period of good weather and the group stages of the World Cup.

However, the BBPA noted that beer sales in the on-trade remain under considerable pressure, with pub numbers continuing to fall due to high taxes including beer duty.

The trade body has urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to cut or freeze beer duty in the Budget in a bid to help several community pubs survive.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “We know that cuts and freezes to beer duty make a big difference in helping pubs and boosting beer sales. There is a very real threat, however, that the Chancellor, Sajid Javid, will increase beer duty at the next Budget. After two back-to-back beer duty freezes in 2017 and 2018, an increase would be a big step back. What we really need is a beer duty cut to give pubs a big boost.”

In July, the BBPA urged Boris Johnson to back beer and pubs with a cut in beer tax and help on unfair business rates bills.

The beer and pub sector supports 900,000 jobs in towns and villages across the UK, generates £22.9bn in GDP and contributes £13bn in taxes.