United Kingdom: ‘The Stay Inn’: Britons are drinking almost double the amount of alcohol at home as they join friends for a pint online amid coronavirus lockdown
By Milly Vincent
March 22, 2020
Brits are drinking almost double the amount of booze at home, as they join their friends in virtual pubs online for a pint after venues were forced to close their doors yesterday.
With home-drinking almost doubling to 100 million pints a week in the UK, millions are expected to join the virtual phenomenon, knocking back pints in front of their phones’ video-conferencing apps as their friends do the same.
Jokers even gave their cyber-pubs – run on apps such as Zoom – names including The Stay Inn, Isolate Inn and The Quarant Inn.
Britain’s top psychologist Sir Cary Cooper backed living room booze-ups to help plug the gap left by pubs closing, saying social connection would boost mental health.
At-home beer consumption is set to almost double from 60 million pints a week to up to 100 million a week after pubs shut.
Britons drink around 60m pints at home and 65m in the pub in an average week, British Beer and Pub Association supermarket and off-licence sales data indicated, but pints drunk at home will soar after the pub shutdown, retail insiders say.
Virtual pub-goer Rhidian Bramley tweeted: ‘Went down the virtual pub last night. Turned out more it was fun than the real thing – and we saved the taxi fares home.’
Katy Montgomerie tweeted: ‘My first virtual pub session with a load of friends was so fun. I really recommend if you’re feeling down.’
Bath University’s student union has got on board with the idea and is running virtual pub quizzes for 500 people The Alexandra pub in Wimbledon, south London, will run its weekly quiz online.
Professor Sir Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology at Manchester Business School, said: ‘Brits love the social connection of going to the pub – but we can still get that connection in a virtual pub. It’s still face-to-face.
‘The best way to boost your spirits now is to talk to someone, and that can be done face-to-face over the internet while having a drink.
‘This crisis is actually bringing communities together in new ways. In the long run, it will have positive effects on society.’