Brewer calls for urgent PDB review

By Tony Halstead THals22851@aol.com

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Progressive beer duty, Great british beer festival, Beer

Another regional brewery boss has called for a review of progressive beer duty (PBD) to create a fair system for all small brewers. Guy Newell, of...

Another regional brewery boss has called for a review of progressive beer duty (PBD) to create a fair system for all small brewers.

Guy Newell, of the But-combe Brewery near Bristol, says current duty conces-sions are "too generous" for companies with the smallest volumes. Newell told the annual conference of the Society of Independent Brewers (Siba) that the tax allowances had created an "unlevel playing field".

"Some brewers have suddenly found themselves not competitive and it is destabilising the market," he said.

Some companies can claim duty relief of more than £45 per barrel, which Newell said was simply too much.

"Brewers should come up with a fair system. Some are asking why people coming into the industry are getting what amounts to a state subsidy," he said.

Newell, who founded the Beer Seller company before selling out to Scottish & Newcastle for £32m, conceded his views would not go down well with brewers who had reaped major benefits from a sliding scale of duty.

"The argument that bigger regional brewers have tied estates and it is all honey and roses for them is fatally flawed," Newell claimed.

Bigger companies have claimed some small brewers are using the tax allowances to discount brands and undercut rivals. They say too few small independents are using money saved to invest in new plant and extra staff.

 

Siba's award-winning beers

The Howard Town Brewery, Glossop, Derbyshire, walked away with the coveted Gold award in Siba's National Beer of the Year competition for its Wren's Nest Beer. Wren's Nest

triumphed following the annual tasting competition which

preceded the start of the association's conference in Leeds.

The Silver award went to the Brewsters Brewing Co at

Stathern near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, for Rutterkin, while the Bronze award was won by the Pot Belly Brewery at Kettering, Northamptonshire, for Crazy Daze. The trio emerged from a short list of category finalists drawn from regional Siba competition winners.

All category winners will be invited to stock their beers on the Siba stand at Camra's Great British Beer Festival, due to be held in August at London's Earl's Court.

Related topics: Beer

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