Brits on brink of drinking more beer at home than in pubs

Britons may soon drink more beer at home than in the nation's cherished pubs, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported Monday, with one industry body blaming the supermarkets for undercutting them.

Drinkers are close to consuming more beer from supermarkets, it said, citing figures from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) trade body.

In the 1970s, more than 90 percent of beer was bought from pubs, clubs and bars, the broadsheet said.

The ratio fell to 50.9 percent at the end of last year, with 49.1 percent being bought in shops.

"It should cross over in the near future," a BBPA spokesman told the Telegraph.

The BBPA blames the fall on the supermarkets, which sell beer at a loss that can be made up on other products. Pubs do not have that option.

Meanwhile the GMB trade union said Monday that a pint of lager was 80 pence ($1.27, 93 euro cents) higher and ale 65 pence more expensive than could be justified by rises in inflation and tax changes since 1987.

It blamed the "sky high" rents charged by pub-owning companies.

The Campaign for Real Ale says that around 25 pubs were closing every week as supermarkets undercut them, with the price difference sometimes as high as seven to one.

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