Beer sales in British pubs have slumped to their lowest level since the Great Depression, including a 10 percent drop in pints drawn in just the past year, an industry group said Monday.
Blame a nationwide smoking ban that took hold last year, rising costs, competition from supermarkets and an economic downturn that has more Britons tossing back a Newcastle or Boddingtons at home and skipping the local watering hole.
....The Campaign for Real Ale, a consumer group promoting traditional pubs, says more than 1,400 pubs made their final "last calls" last year. The campaign says more than half of British villages are dry for the first time since the Norman Conquest of 1066.
It's not that Britons are walking away from beer altogether. The same report showed sales in shops and supermarkets rose nearly 4 percent. The pub industry has criticized supermarkets for selling beers in packs at a lower cost to draw business.