Publicans toast hot weather boost

PUBS across Essex have been stretched to the limit during the recent heatwave as liquid refreshment has hit the top of people's priorities.In Britain, experts reckon that an extra 1 million pints of beer have been sold every day over the last weekend - swelling the tills of licensees by some £5 million.

PUBS across Essex have been stretched to the limit during the recent heatwave as liquid refreshment has hit the top of people's priorities.

In Britain, experts reckon that an extra 1 million pints of beer have been sold every day over the last weekend - swelling the tills of licensees by some £5 million.

The soaring temperatures have meant that sales have been boosted as high as last year when publicans reaped the benefit of the World Cup.

Amanda Halsey, landlady of the Castle Pub in Colchester High Street, said sales of draught beer were incredibly high.

"It's been extremely busy over the last few days. We have been increasing our orders every week, but even so it has been difficult to meet demand.

"Peoples' drinking habits are changing as well. More women are drinking beers instead of spirits, and our sales of bottles beers are not as high as we'd have thought.

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"Lots of people are drinking shandy as well."

She added that fans had been brought in to keep the staff cool in the sweltering heat, because the pub is a listed building it is not possible to install air conditioning.

Landlord of the Rose and Crown in the riverside town of Wivenhoe, Martin Daley, said business during the heatwave had been brisk.

The pub is a particular favourite among both locals and visitors in the summer because of its frontage onto the River Colne.

"The weather is bringing a lot more customers out drinking," Mr Daley said, adding that thousands of people had passed through the pub's doors in the last three days.

"We have been packed. This year we have opened a new beer garden around the back and that has been full as well.

"We have put more staff on, but I am still exhausted after the pressure of the weekend."

Neil Brooks, assistant manager of the Martello Inn in Marine Parade West in Clacton said: "We are down by the beach and we are busier than ever at the moment. The beer is selling fast - the stack of empty barrels round the back is massive.

"We usually sell more food than liquor but at the moment it is 50-50 with almost more drinks being sold. We had the carnival at the weekend as well which was bringing everyone to the town."

Staff at the Victory pub in Suffolk Street, Walton on the Naze, said the lager sales had "gone through the roof" in the hot weather.

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