A number of factors could be responsible for the alarming rate of pub closures across Britain, but the trend is killing a way of life that has existed in the UK for centuries.
Many will look at factors such as the high beer duty prices due to the UK Government’s controversial beer duty escalator, which was temporarily scrapped in March 2013 by Chancellor George Osbourne. However, it appears to have come too little and too late for a number of community pubs closing all over Britain.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) described the escalation of pub closures as very concerning. But some are blaming the trend of closures on the smoking ban — a defining legacy left by the outgoing Labour Government in 2010 and the ridiculously cheap prices of alcohol available in supermarkets.
The local pub has always been a traditional bastion of male-dominated working-class life, and is having to change its image. Many new bars and chain pubs have opened but most emulate bistros rather than a traditional "spit and sawdust" pub.
Others are glorified night clubs, serving tequila slammer shots and frequented by the young, rather than real ale-serving establishments where men and women can chat about the state of the nation, the latest sporting news or simply bang the world to rights over a decent pint of beer.