BRITISH pubs will be forced to shut up shop unless the government urgently gets a grip on spiralling energy bills, beer bosses have warned.
The chiefs of six leading breweries have written to Boris Johnson in a desperate plea for “immediate” help with costs, which have soared upwards of 300 per cent.
One Greene King pub even reported a hike of £33,000.
Alarms have been raised about “real and serious irreversible damage”.
The pub bosses said jobs will be lost and beloved breweries forced to close their doors within months.
They are calling for an urgent support package, including a cap on energy prices.
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Unlike households, there’s currently no cap on gas and electricity prices for businesses.
But Mr Johnson has been insistent that any new measures to help families and businesses will be for the next PM to decide.
Either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak will be handed the keys to No10 next Monday.
Kevin George, Chief Executive of St Austell Brewery said: “Having survived the unprecedented challenges arising from the pandemic, pubs and breweries are once again faced with an existential threat because of circumstances beyond their control.
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“The cost of energy threatens to cause mass business failure and the loss of thousands of pubs across the country.”
Andrew Taylor, the managing director of London bar Mr Fox told the BBC that a hike in beer prices could come within months.
He said: "We are absorbing a lot of the increases we've seen but there will be a time when we have to start passing these onto the customer – it's incredibly concerning."
The number of British pubs was already dwindling before the cost of living crisis went nuclear.
According to the Altus Group consultancy there were 39,970 pubs in England and Wales in June, a drop of 7,000 since 2012.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, warned energy costs will cause more damage to the industry than the pandemic if no action is taken in the next few weeks.
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She said: "There are pubs that weathered the storm of the past two years that now face closure because of rocketing energy bills for both them and their customers.
“If we lose them, we not only lose businesses and the jobs that go with them, but also the beating heart of communities across the country where people gather in times of need.”
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