Three Pubs A Day Are Closing In The UK But There's A Way You Can Help
The UK might be divided when it comes to certain traditions, from the best topping on fish shop chips to who is the best superhero character. But there's one thing that most of us can agree on: you can't beat the pub.
More than just a place to drink beer and eat crisps (although it's good for that too), it's an institution that brings local communities together, where you can have a laugh with your mates, catch up on the footie or round off a weekend with a classic Sunday roast.
It's all this that makes the news that pubs are closing on a mass scale so devastating. Pubs are under a range of pressures and, according to statistics released by Britain's Beer Alliance, three pubs close down in the UK every day.
High tax is one of these pressures and, in fact, one in every three pounds spent in pubs goes straight to the taxman. One of these taxes is beer duty, and it's set to increase in the autumn budget.
Between 2008 and 2012, the beer duty escalator saw taxes increase by a whopping 42 percent, and during that time beer sales dropped by 16 percent, 5,000 pubs were forced to close and 58,000 jobs were lost in the process.
We're already paying considerably higher than the majority of European countries - UK beer duty is three times higher than the EU average, and 11 times that of Germany.
Facing the impending risk of the impact Beer Duty increases could have on everyone's favourite local, Britain's Beer Alliance has launched the 'Long Live the Local' campaign to try and get a beer duty cut and protect venues and jobs around the country (not to mention the cost of a pint).
They're asking anyone who wants to get involved to sign the petition calling on the government to cut beer duty and protect local pubs. You can also email your local MP to put this issue on their agenda and ensure there is support within Parliament.
Already thousands of people have signed, emailed and shared the campaign, having surpassed the figure needed to get a response from the country's decision-makers.
And if you're still not convinced or you just want to understand more about why pubs are so important - not just to the economy, but to communities across the UK too - you can check out the touching documentary put together by the organisation below.
Detailing the real struggles of local pubs, the short film focuses on East Sussex's The Horns Lodge, a former gathering spot of an entire community.
After being introduced to a whole host of colourful characters who have been working, playing and drinking in the pub for decades, the film finishes abruptly to explain that the lodge had to close its doors on January 1 of this year.
With 20 percent of pubs meeting the same fate in the country since 2000, the heartbreaking footage highlights just one of thousands of similar cases.
Ultimately, drinking a beer at home just isn't the same as enjoying a pint in the bustling environment of your local watering hole, proving that a pub is so much more than you might think. Pubs play a unique role in offering an inclusive social environment to people from all walks of life.
So, if you think pubs are worth fighting for, sign the petition and raise your pint glass in honour of keeping local pubs thriving. Chin, chin!