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The British Beer and Pub Industry in 2016

Just before Christmas, The Publican’s Morning Advertiser asked me for my predictions about the events that will shape the UK pub industry in 2016. They said I could be irreverent. This is a bit parochial if you’re not close to the UK pub industry, but if you are, just call me Nostradamus…

After a slow start to the year,
notable only for a combined team of scientists from CERN, MIT and NASA
discovering the true definition of craft beer, things hot up when the
AB-Inbev/SABMiller deal finally goes through. The new combined entity decides
to cut to the chase and announces its purchase of the entire continent of Europe,
with Carlos Brito declaring himself President. All beer apart from Stella
Artois and Becks is immediately banned.
In a desperate move, BrewDog
launches Equity for Punks X and raises $100 trillion for a hostile takeover. As
President Brito is making his President’s Question Time debut in the House of
Commons, James Watt and Martin Dickie drive a tank into the chamber and
announce that the National Anthem will be replaced by the Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen. The Daily Mail gets confused as to whether
to launch a vicious smear campaign against BrewDog for being disrespectful and
challenging authority, or Jeremy Corbyn for refusing to sing the punk anthem,
and self-combusts.
Brito doesn’t go down without a
fight and launches weapons of mass destruction inside parliament, but because
they’ve been made with the cheapest ingredients possible, they don’t work
properly. Chemical weapons hit the toilets, and from the green haze emerges the
dishevelled figure of Greg Mulholland, wearing his underpants over his suit.
Realising the chemical soup has at last given him the superpowers he craves,
Mulholland dispatches Brito before laying waste to the nation’s PubCos,
reducing them to rubble with his laser eyes and thunderous voice. Anti-PubCo
campaigners continue to blame Punch and Enterprise for pub closures anyway.
Against the backdrop of a declining
beer market overall, cask ale volume rises by 0.3%.

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