Row erupts over Progressive Beer Duty

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Progressive beer duty, Brewers, Family brewers, Beer

Row erupts over Progressive Beer Duty
Angry family brewers say the Government must scale back the generous tax breaks that are helping smaller brewers steal their market share. They also...

Angry family brewers say the Government must scale back the generous tax breaks that are helping smaller brewers steal their market share.

They also say the subsidies help "maverick micros" drag down the declining ale category by pushing out the big players who have the resources to rejuvenate the ale sector.

Budget​With the Budget just 12 days away, regional brewers are becoming increasingly vocal in their opposition to progressive beer duty (PBD).

PBD gives a 50% reduction in beer duty for brewers that produce less than 60,000 hectolitres a year, meaning a discount of up to £45 per barrel.

The issue was a major talking point at a meeting of the Independent Family Brewers of Britain this week.

They argued that large and medium sized brewers are responsible for improving ale standards by investing in things like dispense technology and marketing.

And they feel threatened by competition from some micros who can charge less for their beer because of the tax breaks.

Market enriched​Adnams chairman Simon Loftus said the ale market is "enriched" by having lots of small brewers, but called for action to stop the "distorted competition" brought about by PBD.

But Batemans MD Stuart Bateman said medium-sized brewers should "stop wingeing".

Bateman, whose company takes advantage of PBD, said: "Some of the small brewers, probably micros, have been able to invest in their brands thanks to progressive beer duty and have been brewing some cracking beer.

"That has made the cask ale market a lot more exciting and vibrant."

The British Beer and Pub Association called for a review of PBD in its Budget submission.

Related topics: Beer

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