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Pubs Are Pouring Millions Of Pints Down The Drain

Dominic Smithers

| Last updated 

Pubs Are Pouring Millions Of Pints Down The Drain

Pubs are pouring millions of pints down the drain, it has been revealed.

Severn Trent and Thames Water have given permission to pubs in the region to get rid of an incredible 6.5 million pints following the closures during lockdown.

While South West Water revealed it had received requests from 1,100 pubs in the area to dispose of unwanted beer.

Earlier this month, the landlord of The Tudor Arms in Gloucestershire said they were 'heartbroken' at having to flush 1,500 pints away.


Richard Sims, manager of The Tudor Arms at Slimbridge, told the BBC: "We had about 13 or 14 barrels left from lockdown and they [Thames Water] gave us three days to do it in.

"To dispense that many pints, it took quite a few hours but it was heart breaking pouring it straight down the drain."

St Austell Brewery was also forced to take action, pulling back 20,000 nine-gallon casks from its pubs, amounting to a total of 1.5 million pints.

Millions of pints are being poured down the drain. Credit: PA
Millions of pints are being poured down the drain. Credit: PA

Andrew Turner, managing director of St Austell Brewery's Beer and Brands, told Business Live: "In order to destroy any beer, publicans have had to seek permission from their local water board. Only once this was granted, could beer be poured away.

"Where permission wasn't granted by the local waterboard, we collected full barrels from our publicans and customers - to clear their cellars ready for new deliveries. The full barrels were brought back to the brewery, for safe and compliant destruction."

Grant Mitchell, from Severn Trent explained that getting rid of such high quantities of booze was a delicate process.

He said: "The sewage system is a very balanced system and relies on bacteria or bugs treating the sewage for us.


"Like anybody, too much alcohol can impair you and we don't want to get the bugs in our treatment works impaired, so we need to feed them in moderation."

It's feared that 70 million pints may be wasted. Credit: PA
It's feared that 70 million pints may be wasted. Credit: PA

However, with several other water boards covering different areas of the UK, it's feared that the true amount of wasted beer could be as much as 70 million pints.

Figures released by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) earlier this year estimated that the country's 47,000 publicans faced the difficult decision of having to get rid of their stock.


The Chief Executive of the BBPA, Emma McClarkin, told The Guardian: "It's a great shame that so much great British beer that should have been enjoyed in community pubs up and down the country has gone to waste.

"People won't have a chance to drink it as it will go off before pubs can reopen."

Adding: "Whilst it is good news that some of the beer can be re-used to help out other sectors affected by Covid-19, such as farming, it is still sad that people are unable to enjoy this beer.

"The need to destroy so much beer really shows how much our brewing and pub sectors have been affected by this crisis."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Coronavirus, Alcohol

Dominic Smithers
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