The new cross-industry campaign is calling on the Government to relax restrictions on pubs ahead of the next tier announcement on 16 December
Pub-goers across the UK are flooding social media and MPs’ inboxes with messages about why their pubs matter this Christmas, as the UK prepares for a very different festive season.
Even though over 85% of Brits have said that the pub is an important – or very important – part of their Christmas celebration, many valued locals are facing forced closure or severe restrictions at what should be their busiest time of the year.
In response, a coalition of industry partners including the British Beer and Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping, the British Guild of Beer Writers, the Campaign for Real Ale, the Society of Independent Brewers, the Independent Family Brewers of Britain and UKHospitality have launched the #PubsMatter campaign to remind politicians and the media just how important pubs are to local communities across the UK.
The campaign puts a spotlight on pubs, tap rooms, social clubs and hospitality venues that are at the centre of their communities. These venues have been disproportionately hit by recent restrictions and lockdown measures despite the important role that they play in looking after their regulars, providing local amenities, raising money for charities, and tackling loneliness and social isolation.
Anyone who loves their local is encouraged to share why #PubsMatter to them on social media and contact their MP, using resources available at whypubsmatter.org.uk
Thousands of pub-goers have already taken part, sharing testimonials such as:
“As I’ve gotten older and have lost many dear friends, it is heart-warming to see their spouses come to the pub on Christmas Day lunchtime. It is a chance to see old friends, exchange memories, re
“This blasted COVID lockdown has achieved what the Grinch, Ebeneezer Scrooge, Miracle of 34th Street’s Jack Duff and a million more miserable gits have tried and failed to do – and robbed us of Christmas. The festivities just won’t be the same this year for me without meeting up with relatives, friends and neighbours on Christmas Eve and carousing over a few pints of good ale in the Queen’s Head, my local boozer, while the landlord plays on his organ. The Government needs to throw the licensed trade a lifeline before it is too late and our way of life changes forever.” - Charlie Garth, 69, Ampthill, Bedfordshire
“At Christmas time, family, friends, work colleagues, and people you have not seen all year will make an effort to meet up for the all-important Christmas drink
“My local pub to me is like Alice in Wonderland going down the rabbit’s hole. I can take refuge in an alternate universe where good beer, good company and pleasant surroundings allows me to escape the pressures of life.” – Charles Tucker, Beckenham
A spokesperson for the campaign said: “There has never been a more important time to send a clear message to politicians and the media that pubs matter.
“Despite the fact that many publicans have spent thousands ensuring their pubs are COVID-secure, hundred
Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, who penned the foreword for CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2021 earlier this year, said: “It’s clear from the testimonials flooding into the #PubsMatter campaign that Christmas this year won’t be the same without the backdrop of our pubs. The one thing we have all missed during lockdown is human connection and social interaction which, above all else, is everything that the Great British pub provides – a warm, happy and friendly place for people to drink and eat. This is even more keenly felt at Christmas, a time of year that we would usually trek the miles to reconnect with friends, family and colleagues.
“Yet despite the important role that many pubs play in our local communities – and the significant investments that many pub landlords have made to re-open COVID-secure premises post-lockdown – it looks like most of us will be unable to visit our local this Christmas. This is a reality that will weigh heavily on people who have already faced a year of loneliness and social isolation due to the ongoing pandemic.
“The Great British pub is recognised around the world as a uniquely British institution and the passion and the heart and soul that goes into brewing is equal to the top winemakers, distillers, cheese makers, bakers, artisan chocolatiers or any other craft led hospitality producer. It is something we should be very proud of and should aim to protect for generations to come. I fear that without greater Government support our unique pub culture will be under significant threat, and we will see many pubs close their doors forever.”
 CAMRA ran the ‘Christmas at the pub’ survey between 26 November and 4 December. 3,250 responses were received to the question “How important is visiting the pub to the way you normally celebrate Christmas?”. Of these, 47% said the pub was very important to the way they celebrated Christmas, 39% said it was important, 9% said it was neither important or unimportant and 7% said it was not an important part of Christmas (totals rounded).
About Pubs Matter
Pubs Matter is a campaign to get people talking about why pubs and social clubs across the UK are a force for good. We want to shout from the rooftops about why pubs matter to people and communities.
The organisations behind Pubs Matter represent people that love pubs – the people who run them, the people that brew beer for them and, most importantly, the people and communities who use them.
A campaign pack is available to view here: https://whypubsmatter.
More information can be found on the website at https://whypubsmatter.org.
British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA)
The beer and pub sector in the UK employs a total of 900,000 people – 600,000 of which are directly employed in pubs. The British Beer & Pub Association is the leading body representing Britain’s brewers and pub companies. The Association is more than a century old and was originally founded as the Brewers’ Society in 1904. Our members account for some 90 per cent of beer brewed in Britain today, and own around 20,000 of the nation’s pubs.
British Institute of Innkeeping (BII)
The BII is the leading independent licensee support organisation for individuals working in hospitality, with over 9,000 individual members running premises across the UK – predominantly tenanted, leased, managed and freehold pubs. The organisation provides expert helplines, online business support, and guidance on key industry issues, face-to-face networking opportunities and savings on a range of supply deals for its members.
The British Guild of Beer Writers
The British Guild of Beer Writers was formed in 1988 to help spread the word about beers, brewing and pubs. It’s members represent the country’s beer and pub media experts – be they journalists, authors, producers, photographers, illustrators or PR people.
Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)
CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is a not-for-profit consumer group with nearly 180,000 members that has been operating since 1971. Our vision is to have quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community.
The Independent Family Brewers of Great Britain (IFBB)
The IFBB represents the 29 Family Brewers whose breweries and pubs have been at the heart of the UK’s brewing and pub tradition for over 300 years. They remain family-owned and fiercely proud of their brewing heritage throughout England and Wales.
Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA)
The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) represents around 750 small brewers in the UK, which is 80-85% of the professional independent breweries in the UK.
Representing more than 700 companies in a sector that employs over 3.2 million people, UKHospitality speaks for a sector that represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP.
Joint press release from BBPA, BII, British Guild of Beer Writers, CAMRA, IFBB, SIBA, UK Hospitality
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