Man takes on 124-pint challenge to save pubs after experts say it’s needed to rescue industry

Bob, a white man with a moustache and beard, wears a red patterned shirt and brown coat. He is smiling, and holds a pint of beer in his right hand. He is in a pub.
Bob Currie

When finance firm Company Debt claimed that every adult in the UK would need to drink 124 pints of beer to make up for the estimated £25.6 billion lost to Covid, many Twitter users welcomed the latest expert advice as guidance they could get behind.

However, one 23-year-old from northwest Somerset has taken the call seriously. When the Twitter account News For All shared the story on 13 May, stage technician Bob Currie simply replied: “Alright.” 

At the time of writing, Currie has now downed 25 pints, as he slowly but surely makes his way to the 124-pint target reported needed for him to play his part.

Speaking to indy100, Currie said: “When I saw the article about every Brit needing to drink 124 pints to ‘save the pubs’, I thought it'd be pretty funny to actually attempt that and document the process.

“The hospitality industry needs support more than ever at the moment … When I was in uni, getting to spend my evenings in the pub with my mates was fantastic, and I know that so many other people feel the same about their local, so hopefully me sharing my journey through 124 pints will encourage more people to support their locals too.”

Ahead of pubs being able to serve drinks indoors again on 17 May, the British Beer and Pub Association estimated that around 2,000 pubs (5 percent) will remain closed despite the easing of restrictions. 

Currie continued: “Personally, I'd say a pub is a great community hub. It's not just the decor or what's on the bar, but the people in the pub that really make it special.

“When I lived in Lincoln, one of my absolute favourite boozers was The Millers Arms on the High Street. It was mostly a locals’ pub, but it was the friendliest pub I've ever been in, and by the second time I visited, I knew everyone's backstory and everyone knew mine.

“The jukebox was always playing music which everyone would sing along to, the pool table was always busy, and on St Patrick's Day it was absolutely rammed, yet you could start a conversation with anybody in there at all.” 

Although Currie still has a mammoth 99 pints still to consume, the pub pundit already has a few favourite venues from his adventure so far.

“I had a lovely curry [on Thursday] at The Wyndham Arms in Williton, and would also really recommend The Butchers Arms in Carhampton, The Notley Arms in Monksilver, and The Quay Inn in Minehead,” he said.

Currie drank the first pint on 20 May, and he doesn’t know when he’ll complete his boozy challenge.

Asked what he’ll do once all 124 pints have been consumed, he said: “It'd be nice to have a get-together with some of my mates to celebrate the final pint, though it's hard to plan anything yet as I don't know how long it'll take.

“Though to answer your question, probably have another.

Godspeed, sir.

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