The Government is taking a "schizophrenic" approach to small brewers following the 2% duty hike.
That is according to the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA). "What the Government gives the small brewer with one hand, in the form of Progressive Beer Duty and the Sustainable Communities Act, it takes away with the other through its punitive beer taxation policies," said SIBA chief executive Julian Grocock.
"The Government claims it wants a thriving local brewing industry and indeed Progressive Beer Duty, introduced seven years ago, has helped the sector to grow.
"However, today's 2% increase in beer duty — on top of the 17.8% hike imposed over the past year — will start to take its toll and damage the future prospects of many small brewers, who are just the type of sustainable businesses contributing to their local communities that the Government says it wants to support."
He added: "It's also worth noting that the 'binge drinking' the Government claims to be tackling with these tax increases cannot be laid at the door of local beers.
"These are, for the most part, relatively low abv beers, enjoyed in the controlled environment of a pub where alcohol consumption is part of a social occasion, rather than an end in itself.
"Yet, under the current taxation system, local beers are penalised more harshly than other drinks that cause far more alcohol-related harm. The Government should be looking to address this iniquity, not perpetuate it as it has in today's Budget."