Why Wetherspoons isn't selling as much beer as it used to

ITV News Northern Reporter Sangita Lal finds out what's happened the order change at the bar

Beer sales have dropped in Wetherspoons pubs across the UK according to the pub giants latest figures.

In the 15-week period up to 7 November, the company says it saw a 30% drop in ale sales compared to this time two years ago.

However, in that same time period, cocktails and spirits were up 45%.

Experts say it's young people that have driven cocktail sales up 45%. Credit: PA

Hospitality experts say customers, particularly young adults, are opting for drinks that they haven't been able to have at home during lockdown.

"Customers are going out and when they do go out and return to hospitality, they're looking for those great, unique experiences that they can't get at home, and I think cocktails are one of those things that people have missed," says Kate Nicholls of UK hospitality.

Meanwhile, Wetherspoons bosses say they're seeing a trend in older drinkers still being careful when it comes to public spaces.

"As outlined in our annual report, published in October 2021, there have been no outbreaks of Covid-19, as defined by the health authorities, among customers in Wetherspoon pubs," boss Tim Martin said.

"However, some customers have been understandably cautious. Improvement in trade will therefore depend, to some extent, on the outlook for the Covid-19 virus."

He went on to share his optimism that booster vaccinations and better weather in the spring will have a positive impact in the coming months.

In September, Wetherspoons was hit by supply issues - due to a shortage of HGV drivers - which meant some beer brands were unavailable at some of its branches.