Has the pub industry lost its fizz?

“Alcohol is an easy target for the government,” comments 24-year-old Sam Moss, who owns Leeds Brewery and opened his first pub in Leeds city centre six weeks ago, with plans for a second in September. “It’s tackled smoking. And it’s not as if fuel prices can get much higher.”

The Department of Health and the Home Office are due to consult on new measures to curb the irresponsible sale of alcohol, believing that the drinks trade cannot be trusted to abide by voluntary codes.

Banning happy hour won’t address the issue of why 16 year olds binge drink,” says Moss, who pulls in sales of £10,500 a week from his brewery and £12,000 a week from his new pub. “It needs to take a more proactive approach, such as its hard-hitting drink driving television adverts.”

Moss says that his own brews aren’t aimed at “that sort of market”. He adds: “We’re looking to attract professional punters in their 20s to 40s, with disposable income and a penchant for locally brewed beer, rather than ‘three bottles for £2.50’ deals.”Related story: Health warnings on booze

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