The rising price of beer and wine is driving more and more Britons out of pubs and restaurants and into their own homes for a drink.

According to market researchers at Mintel in the UK, the widening gap between the price of alcohol in supermarkets and drinks sold in pubs has put the chill on Brits -particularly among the younger generation.

In January, a VAT rise and another 7.2 percent tax were levied on beer - a hike equal to 10 pence per pint in pubs.

The price of a bottle of wine rose 15p (€0.17) and a bottle of spirits rose 54p (€0.60)

According to the Mintel report released this week, 55 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds said they drink at home for a special occasion, compared to 41 percent of overall drinkers.

And while most respondents - 76 percent - agree that the over-riding reason they drink at home is because it's cheaper, other reasons that emerged included the fact that it was less of a hassle, less crowded and more intimate.

Meanwhile, the most popular drink of choice among 44 percent of Brits turned out to be white wine, followed by red wine at 40 percent, and beer at 39 percent.

The study also found a gender divide between drinkers, with more than half of men, 51 percent, preferring beer, and 47 percent of women reaching for white wine.

The declining popularity of beer was also forecast by the British Beer & Pub Association, which releases a quarterly Beer Barometer.

Their latest report, released last month, found that beer sales in supermarkets and shops continued their downward slide in the second quarter, dropping 15 percent over the same period last year. Sales of beer in pubs fell 4.5 percent.

Meanwhile, since 2004, wine consumption per capita in the UK grew from 27 liters per person to 28.6 liters this year.