Britain's brewers are said to be bitterly disappointed by Gordon Brown's increase in beer duty.
British Beer and Pub Association director of communications, Mark Hastings, said: "This is a slap in the face for one of Britain's world beating businesses.
"Gordon Brown has chosen to turn his back on a brewing sector facing intense pressure from rapid cost inflation and the forthcoming smoking ban.
"Once again, the Chancellor has battered beer and favoured stronger alcoholic drinks like spirits.
"Beer already pays £5.9 billion in tax - more than any other drink. Our tax rate has increased by 23% under this Chancellor, again, far more than other alcoholic drinks. As a result, beer sales continue to sink while other drinks are enjoying a surge in popularity.
This tax policy is not just bad for beer, it's bad for Brown
British Beer and Pub Association director of communications, Mark Hastings.
"This is a tax policy designed to drive people to stronger drink.
"This tax policy is not just bad for beer, it's bad for Brown.
"Last year, beer taxes raised £150 million less than the Treasury projected, and this year will record a £100 million shortfall. This is another missed opportunity for one of Britain's great home grown industries at a time when it is facing very severe pressures."