Local breweries are thriving since the introduction of Progressive Beer Duty (PBD), with an extra 1,000 jobs created in local brewing, according to a forthcoming report from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).
SIBA said that PBD, originally introduced in June 2002 and extended in the last budget, had allowed smaller breweries a greater opportunity to invest in their business.
As a result, more than 70% said they had taken on new staff and 100 new breweries had joined SIBA.
Under PBD, brewers that produce up to 36,660 barrels a year qualify for a sliding rate of tax breaks. This threshold was doubled, up from 18,330 barrels, in the March 2004 budget.
SIBA chairman Keith Bott said: "Anecdotal feedback from members of their investment in expanded capacity suggested they were taking on new staff but the confirmation of 1,000 jobs created is great news.
"Progressive Beer Duty helped to give us the kick-start but now there appears to be a virtuous circle.
"Despite some very tough trading conditions local breweries are reinvesting the benefits of continued sales growth in ensuring they can continue to satisfy and indeed fuel that growth. Local brewing seems to be the brightest light in the UK brewing scene."
The data is to be included in SIBA's 2005 Local Brewing Industry Report, which is due out later this month.