The more than 1.4 million pints that would have been sold this St Patrick's Day is just money down the drain for Scottish pubs this year, as they remain closed due to lockdown.

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) have highlighted the vast quantities of beer going unsold in a bid to highlight the continued damage Covid restrictions are doing to the industry.

The trade body stressed that pubs across Scotland also remain unable to sell takeaway beer this St Patrick’s Day, meaning those looking to celebrate the day cannot do so with a takeaway pint of draught beer from their local.   

According to the SBPA, the loss of sales from St Patrick’s Day alone will result in the trade losing out on £5.2 million that would have been crucial to the sectors recovery.  

READ MORE:  200 Scots pubs lost forever due to Covid crisis as hospitality outlines rescue plan

The SBPA also expressed it was a "great shame" people were still unable to visit their local to mark such a celebratory occasion in the calendar.  

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, explained it was a "real disappointment."

 She said: “A pint in the pub on St Patrick’s Day is always a joyous occasion, but sadly this year it will not happen.  

"Hundreds of thousands of pub goers across Scotland will be devastated they cannot enjoy a cold one at their local. 

"It’s a real disappointment for our pubs too, who will miss out on what would’ve been a big boost to their trade and at a much-needed time too. Instead, they will miss out on selling some 1.4 million pints. 

"That’s £5.2 million in trade that would have been warmly welcomed by them. We urgently need to get the pub reopen and operating without restrictions so the recovery can truly begin.” 


It comes after hospitality bodies in Scotland earlier this week joined together to call on the Scottish Government to reform the coronavirus level restrictions to help save businesses.

Five industry organisations have submitted changes to the level system which they said would save 68,000 jobs and contribute more than £1.2bn to the economy.

The trade bodies – the Scottish Hospitality Group, UK Hospitality Scotland, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, the Night Time Industries Association and the Scottish Beer and Pub Association – said the changes proposed would ensure strict measures to prevent Covid-19 spreading remain in place.

They called on ministers to mirror reopening plans in England, with no curfews or need to order alcohol with a meal.

Otherwise, they want the levels system to be overhauled.

The industry bodies’ revamped restrictions for Level 3 include enabling alcohol sales outdoors and with meals indoors, with stays limited to two hours and a 10.30pm closing time indoors, rising to 11.30pm outdoors.

This would enable 73% of business to operate, the analysis indicates.

READ MORE: Scottish Government asked to consider hospitality trade's proposed route out of lockdown

They also proposed changes to Level 2 which the study said would enable 91% of businesses to operate, instead of the 73% under the current level system.

Stephen Montgomery, group spokesman for the Scottish Hospitality Group, said it was hoped the research would give the Scottish Government a “push to re-address the current levels system which has unfairly targeted our industry since last year”.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “No-one wants lockdown restrictions in place for a moment longer than necessary and we are engaging with businesses and organisations from across the tourism and hospitality industries on a range of issues, including on the gradual easing of measures.

“It is necessary to be cautious and careful in our approach at this time and to prioritise education in the first instance.

“We will provide a firmer indicative timetable for reopening the economy, including shops, hospitality, hairdressers, gyms and parts of our tourism sector this week.”