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Business Comment

Simon English: Weather waters down Britons' beer drinking

Outlook It was supposed to be the summer of love – beer love.

Parched by a raging sun, toasting the England football teams' guts and flair, and cheering on our noble Olympians, Brits – and Londoners in particular – were supposed to drink pubs dry.

Bets on this likelihood were being heavily placed all last year.

Pub companies snapped up London's boozers apace; top prices were paid for decent watering holes in premium locations, licks of paint were applied, premium lagers ordered up.

Several small, niche, pub companies were swallowed altogether. Young's quaffed Geronimo; Greene King swilled the London Pub Company, defeating Fuller, Smith & Turner in the process.

These results just in: sales at Fuller's, without doubt one of the best brewers and pub companies in Britain, actually fell in the 15 weeks to 14 July, despite the football (England were typically brilliant) and the Jubilee celebrations (the Queen was even better).

All of which goes to show that no amount of good planning and good business sense is sufficient to cope with the English weather.

Fuller's chairman Michael Turner is now hoping that the Olympics will come to the rescue.

Will we go to the pub to watch the javelin? Only if they combine it with the 100 metres, is my guess.