Guide shows small brewers' relief encourages others

Related tags Good beer guide Public house Campaign for real ale

Brewers are starting up all over the country - with twice the number of new brewers listed in the new CAMRA Good Beer Guide than there were last...

Brewers are starting up all over the country - with twice the number of new brewers listed in the new CAMRA Good Beer Guide than there were last year.

Editor Roger Protz states many of the 60 new brewers have been encouraged to start up as a result of Small Brewers' Relief.

Chancellor Gordon Brown extended the relief for smaller brewers to a limit of 36,000 barrels a year in this year's Budget.

Mr Protz claims that savings in duty are now considerable - around £100,000 a year for a brewery producing 20,000 barrels.

But he has also urged Mr Brown to bring in a true sliding scale of duty on the European model in order that independent producers can benefit.

"The total number of micros is in excess of 400," said Mr Protz. "This means that Britain now has more micro-breweries per head of the population than any country in the world."

But he added that it was "grossly unfair" that certain high performing brewers do not benefit from the Small Brewers Relief because they produce more than the 36,000 barrels.

Mr Protz also hits out at the pub companies in the guide, stating that the majority are now acting like beer supermarkets by demanding heavy discounts from suppliers and restricting access to the market for small brewers.

CAMRA announced this week that the average price of a pint of real ale has increased by 10p during the last year.

In its annual survey of more than 900 pubs it found an increase of 4.19 per cent, compared to a price increase of 3.93 per cent with lager.

Despite the rise, the average price of a pint of ale in British pubs was still 19p cheaper than lager.

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