Soaring input costs have forced Stella Artois brewer InBev to announce beer price increases in the UK.

Wholesale beer prices for both the on- and off-trade will increase by an average 3.3% from 15 September, InBev said yesterday (31 July).

Rising energy bills and raw material costs, as well as a duty hike in this year's Budget, have combined with a sluggish UK beer market to pile extra pressure on brewers in the UK.

Stuart MacFarlane, the recently-appointed president for InBev UK & Ireland, said: "I cannot remember a time when so many major cost increases have come through so consistently across virtually every aspect of our business.

"We have made every effort to absorb rising costs but the sheer size of increases we have faced in recent months and the fact that we are seeing further rises across virtually every element of our business, means that we now reluctantly have to pass on some of these increases to customers."

UK beer sales fell 4.5% for the three months to 30 June, according to British Beer and Pub Association figures released last week.