Going to a pub is becoming an “unaffordable luxury” as increasing numbers of drinkers believe the price of a pint is too expensive, according to a new report.
A survey of 1,000 beer drinkers by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) found that just 15% believed prices were affordable.
The campaign group warned that thousands of pubs could close, or beer prices increase further, unless the Government takes action to cut business rates.
The rising price of beer in pubs means people are increasingly drinking at home, said Camra.
Chairman Colin Valentine said: “The British pub is unique, and has been rooted in Britain’s history for hundreds of years.
“All the evidence shows that drinking alcohol in moderation in the company of others is good for people’s well-being, yet the opportunity to get together and enjoy a beer is being taken away from swathes of people on lower and middle incomes, who are increasingly viewing a pub pint as an unaffordable luxury.
“Many landlords are in a tricky situation in that they are forced to either raise their prices or close their doors forever. It is the people on lower incomes who will be hit the hardest, and will then choose to drink at home.
“In addition, thousands of local pubs are at risk of closure, bringing devastating consequences for their local communities.”
Mr Valentine said Chancellor Philip Hammond should take “urgent action” in his November Budget to help pubs.
Camra said pubs pay nearly £140,000 in taxes each year on average, while around 37% of the total cost of a pint is now made up of taxes.
A Treasury spokesman said: “Pubs make an important cultural and economic contribution to the UK, and that is why the Government is supporting pubs and their customers.
“Ninety per cent of pubs across the country can benefit from the new business rates relief introduced at Budget 2017, which could save them up to £1,000 a year.
“In addition, both businesses and their customers have saved over £2 billion since 2013 thanks to changes to alcohol duty.”