THERE’S sad news for pubs and punters alike, as it’s been estimated a whopping 70 million pints of beer will be thrown away due to the coronavirus crisis.

According to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the majority of beer left in storage in UK pubs will be spoiled by the time they come to reopen and will have to be destroyed.

Pubs were among the very first businesses to be shut down due to Covid-19, having been ordered to close on March 20, and it’s not expected they will reopen until July 4 at the earliest.

Although the Government has said that the duty paid on the wasted beer can be claimed back by brewers and pubs, it is still an enormous task for the industry and heartbreaking to see so much British beer, brewed with supreme skill and care, poured away rather than enjoyed in pubs across the UK.

Carole Davies who runs the Clifton Arms in Blackburn said: “The majority of beer left in our cellar will be off by now, and we’ve got about eight barrels that were opened and connected to the lines that have just had to go to waste.

“However, the brewery has been quite good and said any unopened, unused barrels and kegs will be swapped for new ones once this is all over and we can open again, but we have no idea when that will be to be honest.

“We don’t think we’ll be able to open in July.”

The BBPA said some of the beer that cannot be sold has already been used for other purposes, including using it as feed for anaerobic digesters to create organic fertiliser for farming, as well as beer reused as animal feed.

Overall though, the unusable beer and loss of sales due to lockdown has had a devastating impact on the UK’s pubs.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “It’s a 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.

“While it’s good news that some of it can be re-used to help out other sectors affected by Covid-19, such as farming, it’s still sad that people are unable to enjoy this beer.

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

“We believe that pubs should only open when safe to do so, but without additional support now many more of our nation’s pubs and the brewers that supply them with beer will struggle to survive closure and beyond.

“The Government needs to give our sector much more support.”